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Meet HP intern Kyungyong Lee


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist


Kyungyong-Lee_April-2013.jpgKyungyong Lee is two thirds of his way into a year-long internship in HP’s Systems Research Lab. A native of Busan, South Korea, Lee received his undergraduate degree from Sung Kyun Kwan University in Seoul, and then worked for Samsung as a software engineer for four years before deciding to pursue graduate studies. He is currently a PhD student in computer engineering at the University of Florida. After experiencing the flatlands of Florida, Lee’s enjoying being back in a region with some serious mountains. He hikes in the California foothills and Sierras when he can, and stays fit by cycling to work every day.


HP: What’s been your research focus at HP Labs?

I’ve been working with my supervisor, Partha Ranganathan, and mentors  Indrajit Roy and Vanish Talwar on in-database analytics. The idea is that we can speed up analytics on very large sets of data by doing some of the computing within the database. One thing I’ve been asking is how we can extend the functionality of Presto, a distributed system for large scale machine learning and graph processing built here in HP Labs, to run within a database.


HP: How could that help speed things up?

When you have a very large database, transporting all that data into your processing software becomes an ‘expensive’ operation in compute terms. If you can do computation within the database, you avoid moving it back and forth. On a related project I did with engineers at HP ArcSight, the HP Security Intelligence platform, we were able to use in-database pattern mining on the HP Vertica Analytics platform to analyze very large data sets around nine times faster than you can using other popular platforms, such as Hadoop.


HP: What has struck you most about working here?

I like the open, non-hierarchical way in which people work at HP Labs. I feel I can discuss anything. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young or if you’ve been here a long time or are new, people are interested in talking about ideas and learning from each other. Also, there are a lot of experts in here in a whole range of areas. So if I have a question, I can find a leader on that subject right here. Many of the best research papers that I read in school turn out to have been written by people working at HP Labs.


HP: Has being here changed your post-PhD plans?

Well, now I’m very open to working in an industrial research job! It’s been interesting because it’s my first time in an industrial lab and we really are at a sweet spot where we have real practical problems that product teams need help solving, but we also have time for deeper research. I really like that.


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