Georgia Tech’s Taesoo Kim, an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science (SCS), has been awarded the Catherine M. and James E. Allchin Early Career Professorship. The endowed professorship is nominated by College of Computing Dean Zvi Galil, and celebrates an early career professor who demonstrates considerable promise in the field of computing.
“It means a lot to me,” Kim said. “The award honors my research and teaching efforts that I am putting at Georgia Tech.”
Kim joined the SCS faculty in 2014 after finishing his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He immediately started working in the Institute for Information Security and Privacy, where his research focuses on systems security.
He is most interested in building secure computing systems by studying design, system implementation analysis, and the separation of trusted components. Much of his research involves detecting and recovering from cyberattacks. His work has already garnered research grants from the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and many others.
Yet Kim is as passionate about his teaching as his research. Even though he is a self-taught coder, taking an operating system class in college taught him the value of formal computer science education.
“The role of a teacher is not to just convey massive amounts of existing knowledge to students, but to be deeply involved in the students’ learning process, stimulating their intellectual curiosity, and inspiring them with a love for building good systems,” he said.
To this end, he instructs students through coding, peer teaching, and team exercises like hacking competitions. Kim implements these techniques in the Information Security Lab he teaches every semester.
Kim is the second SCS faculty member to be awarded this endowed professorship. Assistant Professor Hadi Esmaeilzadeh was the first recipient. The chair is named after alumnus James Allchin, who managed the development of Microsoft Windows products among others during his time at the company. It’s quite the legacy to live up to, but Kim is a good fit.
"The Allchin professorship recognizes Professor Kim's outstanding contributions to computer security,” said Professor Lance Fortnow, chair of SCS. “Taesoo is already reshaping the field at this early stage of his academic career.”