IETF 72 Welcomes ISOC Fellows

By: Wendy Rickard

Date: October 7, 2008

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Fellows and mentors at IETF 72 in Dublin
ISOC Fellowship to the IETF programme fellows and mentors at IETF 72 in Dublin

Six technology specialists and researchers from Africa, Asia, and South America journeyed to Dublin, Ireland, for their first IETF meeting as part of the Internet Society’s (ISOC’s) Fellowship to the IETF programme. Guided by their mentors and supported by ISOC staff, the fellows had been selected from among dozens of applicants and given opportunities to sharpen their technical skills, indulge their interests, and meet face-to-face with colleagues and others whom they’d known only by reputation or by way of time spent on working group (WG) mailing lists.

By all accounts, the fellows benefited considerably from the experience, bringing with them-and taking away-their own unique perspectives.

Meet the Fellows

Born and raised in a small city a few kilometers from Santiago, Chile, Hugo Salgado developed a passion for mathematics as a child. Although he began his studies by pursuing a degree in physics at the Universidad de Chile, in his third year he discovered the Internet and changed his major to computer science. Today he works for NIC Chile, the .cl country code top-level domain registry where he develops software written in Perl, maintains a few Web sites, and implements DNS-related technologies, such as IDN. Even though Internet security has become a passion of late, Hugo writes that it is the IDN work that interests him most. “We were the first Spanish TLD with IDN,” he writes, “so we are very concerned about the changes that came with IDNAbis.”

Attending an IETF meeting was an eye-opener for Hugo. “Everyone was friendly and open-minded,” he said. “That makes for a very rich environment for developing ideas and to be creative in.” Following the trip, Hugo planned to participate in mailing list discussions and to spread the work of the IETF. “We are currently preparing our first informational RFC submission on the .cl extensions for EPP registration,” he added.

Ali Hammad Akbar is an assistant professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the University of Engineering & Technology (UET), the largest engineering university in Pakistan. He also consults to UETs Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Sciences, where he helped establish a research group called WATCHNETs (wireless and ad hoc actuator and sensor networks).

No stranger to travel, the Pakistani native recently earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Ajou University in South Korea, a master of science in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. He is interested primarily in 6LoWPANs, particularly in mobility, security, and routing issues. (See page 16.)

Mohamad Dikshie Fauzie conducts research in Internet measurement analyses in dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 environments at Keio University in Japan. Born and raised in Indonesia, Mohamad supplements his research with work as a School on Internet-Asia (SOI-Asia) operator at Bandung Institute of Technology, where he operates dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 networks for real-time distance learning using IP multicast operation. He’s also actively involved in Indonesia’s IPv6 task force, a group consisting of academics, government representatives, and representatives from telecommunications companies and Internet service providers that are working to implement IPv6 in Indonesia.

Attending IETF 72 helped Mohamad gain a better understanding of the problems associated with IPv6 deployment and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM), an area that is critical to his research. He plans to use the knowledge he gained in Dublin as the basis for a report to Indonesia’s IPv6 task force about the latest developments. He also plans to write a report to SOI-Asia about the status of PIM-Sparse Mode.

University professor and researcher Tamrat Bayle possesses a deeply held belief in the power of a robust information infrastructure to support his country’s IT industries. He also says he’s a strong believer in the IETF’s contribution to the success of the Internet. This native Ethiopian is an assistant professor and head of the Department of Information Technology at the College of Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation. There he teaches graduate-level courses in advanced computer networks, data communications, mobile ad hoc networking, and wireless IP networks. He also advises on master’s degree theses and serves as a principal investigator on a project whose aim is to increase classroom interaction with mobile wireless technology.

Fellows and mentors at IETF 72 in Dublin
Fellow Mohamad Dikshie (right) with mentor Erik Nordmark

Attending IETF 72 offered Tamrat a unique opportunity to enhance his knowledge and to contribute more integrally to the growth of the emerging IT industries in his country. “The Internet is the new frontier in our country,” he writes. “It is my strong belief that [attending] the IETF meeting will assist my country in general-and the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation in particular-in finding solutions for efficient and scalable internetworking needs.”

In his role as internetworking coordinator with British Telecom in Venezuela, Alejandro Acosta was recently involved in the implementation of IPv6 within the company’s network running BGP, firewalls, Linux, and IP services, including SSH, Apache, and DNS. “My responsibilities in the company include everything related to the IP protocol,” Alejandro writes, “including devices, services, connections, troubleshooting, and VoIP using Open Source.”

Since he was in high school, Alejandro has been interested in “everything related to computers and specifically with the Internet.” His main areas of interest today include IP, BGP, DNS, and routing protocols. “The IETF community has had a big impact on those fields and, therefore, on me,” he writes. Attendance at an IETF meeting not only brings Alejandro face-to-face with technologists working on the issues that interest him most; it also enables him to bring the knowledge he gains to the two national universities with which he works closely, as well as to the groups, such as LACNIC.

Kumar Saurabh says the IETF is one of the main forces behind the evolution of the Internet and its associated standards. The software engineer at Sonus Networks in India is helping design and implement Border Gateway Function (BGF) by using H.248 protocol. He also works on Session Border Controllers (SBCs), which involves extensive application of the session initiation protocol (SIP) and which explains his interest in the IETF’s SIP working group.