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ISOC Fellows Get Inside View of Standards Work at IETF 78

By: Henri Wohlfarth


Date: October 1, 2010

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Six information technology professionals from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America attended their first IETF meeting in July 2010 in Maastricht, Netherlands, as part of the Internet Society’s Fellowship to the IETF Programme. Now in its fifth year, the programme, which operates under the aegis of ISOC’s Next Generation Leaders Programme, enables Internet technologists from developing regions to participate more fully in the IETF’s standards work by facilitating their attendance at an IETF meeting. Here’s what some of them are accomplishing in their home countries—and what they took away from their experience at IETF 78.

“You get to meet the big players in the technical Internet industry, and you get to meet interesting people as well, such as the Father of the Internet and Mr. RFC 1.”—Fahd Batayneh (Jordan)

Born in Bangalore, India, and educated at Yarmouk University in Jordan, Fahd is currently affiliated with Jordan’s National Information Technology Center, a government agency that serves as the arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, where he’s a names and numbers specialist. He is a member of the national steering committees responsible for deploying IPv6 and ENUM in Jordan, which explains his interest in the Domain Name System, IPv6, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), and ENUM work being done within the IETF. Fahd is part of the team that designed the policies and launch periods for Jordan’s IDN ccTLD (country code top-level domain) .alordon in Arabic, and he works actively with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as a volunteer. He is pursuing a career “with a focus and passion on names and numbers,” he wrote. “I also look forward to contributing to the wide Internet community, whether it be in policy, technology, or governance.”

“The experience and research ideas gained from the [IETF] meeting will be helpful when I proceed with my Ph.D. education.” —Hassen Redwan Hussen (Ethiopia)

With a research-intensive background, Hassen spent five years in a community-based nongovernmental organization as ICT manager and another six years at Addis Ababa University’s College of Developmental Studies. One of the reasons he was motivated to apply to the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF is his interest in team-based research and development studies related to computer science, engineering, and ICT. Hassen is interested in 6LoWPAN fragmentation security, wireless sensor networks, mobile ad hoc networks, and security and privacy in ubiquitous networks and systems. “The IETF meeting will help me in learning about new technological advancements and applications,” he wrote.

“There is an openness and friendliness of participants [at IETF] willing to help and share information, especially with the first-timers.” —Ernest Brown (Ghana)

A graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon, Ernest is general manager of operations at Broadband Home Ltd., an indigenous Ghanaian-owned and -operated telecommunications firm that has the distinction of being the first company in Ghana to deploy Nomadic WiMAX technology. “My career goal is to help shape ICT [information and communication technology] policy in Ghana as the country emerges as a technology hub in western Africa.” In particular, Ernest is interested in contributing to developments for drafts in the IETF’s DNSops and IP Performance metrics group as well as in training up-and-coming engineers through the Ghana Network Operators Group.

“It is really easy to approach people [at IETF meetings] who are experts in certain areas and engage in a fruitful discussion with them on relevant topics in a very informal way.” —Bilal Zafar (Pakistan)

As a research engineer at LG Electronics, Bilal is actively engaged in work related to smart-phone development, including 3.5 and 4G wireless networks and long-term evolution in particular. Born in the city of Swat in the northwestern province of Khyper Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, he now lives and works in South Korea. “I am looking for a career in the wireless communications industry,” he wrote. “I developed a much greater interest in the wireless embedded Internet and the IPv6-based wireless sensor networks after attending IETF 78.” Bilal’s interest within the IETF is primarily IPv6-based low-power personal-area networks, which relates to his research.

“What I enjoyed most about the IETF meeting was the exposure to diverse topics at the leading edge of Internet technology.” —Sharon Yalov-Handzel (Israel)

With an interest in Internet indexing and information retrieval, Sharon is currently working on completion of a Ph.D. in visual data mining from Bar-Ilan University. As a lecturer at Afeka College, she teaches courses in advanced algorithms, parallel computing, information theory, and knowledge engineering. Within the IETF, Sharon is particularly interested in the Internet Research Task Force and the real-time applications working group. Eventually, she is interested in establishing her own technology start-up business. Sharon’s participation in the Fellowship to the IETF in Maastricht was made possible through funding from the Internet Society Israel Chapter.

“I enjoy getting together with the most ‘hi-tech’ people of the Internet.” —Humberto Silva Galiza de Freitas (Brazil)

Born in a small city and now living in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia in Brazil, Humberto is currently a graduate student of the Brazilian army where he handles security and administrative tasks. He has a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Federal University in Bahia. At IETF, Humberto is most interested in the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol working group, though he follows discussions on the RRG and SIDR groups as well. Down the road, he is interested in studying the dissemination of protocols, such as LISP, that could contribute to making the future of the Internet more widespread in his country.

IETF 78 First-time Fellows

Fahd Batayneh (Jordan)

Mentor: Hugo Koji Kobayashi

Ernest Brown (Ghana)

Mentor: Samita Chakrabarti

Hassen Redwan Hussen (Ethiopia)

Mentor: Pascal Thubert

Humberto Silva Galiza de Freitas (Brazil)

Mentor: Eduardo Ascenco Reis

Sharon Yalov-Handzel (Israel)

Mentor: Al Morton

Bilal Zafar (Pakistan)

Mentor: Carsten Bormann

Returning Fellows

Alejandro Acosta (Venezuela)

Vinayak Hegde (India)

Subramanian Moonesamy (Mauritius)

This article was posted on 31 January 2011

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