Erskine Programme Visitor Profile: Professor Sungdeok Cha


Sungdeok and his wife Christine in Kaikōura

Where have you come from, and what do you teach?
I am a professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Korea University in Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining Korea University, I was a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) from 1994 through 2008.

I usually teach courses on software engineering, and my research topics have been on software safety and computer security. At UC, I teach courses on computer security and computer network.

I am on 6-months sabbatical leave from Korea University.

What interested you in the Erskine Programme/why did you want to come to UC?
I had a chance to visit New Zealand for the first time in 2015 when I came to attend Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC) held in Hamilton. I had a chance to stop by Christchurch and met Prof. DongSeong Kim who informed me of the Erskine program. DongSeong is an outstanding and active researcher on computer security, and I am very interested in exploring collaborative research opportunities with him.

Opportunity to spend some time exploring New Zealand, as is probably the case with most Erskine fellows, is another attraction.

What have you been doing at UC?
Although I have been doing computer security-related research, this is the first time I actually offered a semester-long course on the subject. Course preparation has taken a lot of my time in Korea in preparation of my Erskine stay, and it continues to require preparation throughout the semester. The other class I teach during the fourth term is an introduction to computer network. Lecture preparation for both classes is keeping me really busy.

What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?
Life in New Zealand is quite different from that of crowded and hectic one I live in Seoul. What a pleasant break even though it is only for a few months.

Occasionally, my wife and I take a short trip to nearby attractions to places like Castle Hill, Akaroa, and Lake Tekapo. Once the semester is over, we plan to take an extended trip in New Zealand. A trip to Milford Sound during the term break was so nice, and I got to take a lot of photos. New Zealand is a perfect place to enjoy two of my favourite hobbies, photography and golf. That is why New Zealand is a paradise to me, and I am thankful for an opportunity to serve UC as an Erskine fellow.