Nutshell Bio

Call me Karl.

I'm from Korea, where I lived until middle school. As both a bad student and an unpopular kid who just draws, I wasn't a spectacular success. But I thrived in beautiful worlds and heart-touching stories in books, movies, and games. Especially, the complete virtual reality in games gave me a vision, and I resolved to be "good enough" someday to make the best of all.

I chose to study abroad since Korea is pretty rough for someone with bad record to step up again. My parents didn't quite support my resolution, so I joined a cheap exchange student program, which turned out to be a disaster. I was sent to Emmett, Idaho where I mostly did house chores and yardwork for my host family. I managed to transfer to Ben Lippen School in South Carolina. I wanted to challenge myself academically, so I moved to Episcopal High School in Virginia. I went to the University of Rochester, where I graduated in three years with majors in mathematics and computer science and a minor in history. Then I came to Columbia University to pursue a PhD degree in computer science.


Obviously, the above summary is a simplified version trimmed of all kinds of details. Even at this relatively early stage, the context of my life has become just too complex to fully delineate, so please accept my apologies.
  • A copy of my CV is available. [pdf]

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