Issue 113 | Apr-Jun 2018

Chain Reaction

Dr Luu The Loi (Computing '17)

Dr Luu The Loi (Computing ‘17), 27,  Co-founder and CEO of blockchain startup Kyber Network, recounts his learning journey at NUS.

Why did you choose to take up a PhD in Computer Science at NUS?

Right before my graduation from the University of Engineering and Technology at the Vietnam National University (with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science), I was looking for positions in academia from a reputable university in Asia. I had visited NUS previously as part of an exchange programme, and had always wanted to come back and spend more time here.

I went through the websites of faculty members in the School of Computing and sent emails to a few professors, including Assistant Professor Prateek Saxena, whose research interests aligned with mine. Asst Prof Saxena replied immediately and showed interest in my profile. We had a few follow-up interviews after that. He was really helpful and patient, and addressed every question that I had back then.

Three months later, I was working as a research assistant with Asst Prof Saxena. I enjoyed the research environment and work so much that after a year, I decided to sign up for the PhD programme.

In 2016, Dr Luu was awarded the Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship,  which supported him during a stint at a  top international  research institute.

How has the course benefited your work?

Through the PhD programme, I built up my fundamental knowledge base and learnt how to tackle problems with patience and dedication. I received plenty of constructive cristicism from my fellow colleagues in the programme, and this helped me a lot in sharpening my thinking. I also learnt how to work with different people in a team, how to lead and move projects to meet the deadlines. The PhD programme was one of the main enabling factors that inspired me to start Kyber Network.

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