National Science Foundation Selects UB Professor Who Models Internet Switches to Receive Early Career Development Award

Release Date: April 16, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Hung Q. Ngo, Ph.D., an assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation to develop a theory for the design and analysis of ultra-fast optical switches.

The CAREER award will provide a total of $410,000 in funding over five years.

According to the NSF, the CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars "who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century."

Optical switches, explained Ngo (pronounced 'No'), are devices at the core of the Internet infrastructure, which move incoming Internet data, such as video, audio or text encapsulated in multiple light channels (wavelengths) to outgoing light channels.

"Currently, optical to electronic to optical conversions are done at switches, a very inefficient process, which creates bottlenecks at the network core," he said.

"One of the main objectives of this project is to come up with economical switch designs, which avoid the optical/electronic conversions, allowing ultra-fast switching speeds," he said. "This will speed up the Internet considerably."

Because switches have multiple components and different characteristics, Ngo explained, it is difficult to compare them to determine which ones are faster, more efficient and less expensive to produce.

Ngo's research also is aimed at developing mathematical models of optical switches that allow for a unified view of all kinds of optical switches.

The models ultimately will provide a foundation for the most efficient and most economical designs.

Ngo, who has been a UB faculty member since 2001, is the co-editor with Ding-Zhu Du, Ph.D., of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, of Switching Networks: Recent Advances (Kluwer, 2001).

In addition to studying Internet switching, Ngo studies approximation algorithms, combinatorics and graph theory.

He is a resident of Amherst.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Tel: 716-645-4605