How did I get here?

The previous post, “Hello World”, touched on why I started my blog.

But, as a blog, it’s missing a key element: self introduction.

In this post, I hope to give a brief background of who I am and what I am doing now, as my last post might not make any sense to those whom I have not had a chance to explain what I am up to now.

As the blog name suggests, my name is Ryo.

I’m currently doing a PhD degree in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. More specifically, I am working on Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP)—there will be a blog post about this if anyone is interested.

As some of you might already know, I have too many hobbies and gadgets.

I am interested in photography, playing musical instruments (Wind Band / Big Band), running around in a student-run theatre as a sound engineer (see CJ’s youtube channel for glimpse of what we do), and last but not least, technology.

Before starting this PhD course, I did an undergraduate degree in Computer Science here at St Andrews. So it wasn’t a dramatic change in terms of living environment, which was a huge relief.


The idea of getting a PhD degree came to mind when I finally had some time to think about what I was interested in, as I reached a holiday after a long stretch of semester+internship+semester+internship.

From the beginning of my 3rd year until the winter of my 4th year, I had not had any ‘breaks’. I did an internship at the Computer Science department during 3rd year winter break, and then one with Adobe in Edinburgh between 3rd year and 4th year for 3 months straight. This, by the way, is a bad idea: it will cause a burn out. Therefore, 4th year winter break was when I start considering the path to a PhD.


Then naturally, the question of “how do I go about doing that?” followed.

I was still looking and applying for jobs. But I was also going through the department’s research field pages, and contacting people from the department. I did have an interest in computer networks, especially in MAC, IP, and Transport layers. This led me to contact my current supervisor, which was followed by a series of meetings.

It turned out that he had a funding associated with his research project. I also knew some others who managed to apply and secure a funding elsewhere. All of these encouraged me to consider the option of a PhD degree.

What the project would involve was explained to me in detail—well, I thought it was in detail at the time. I pondered, and then decided to apply.

After I submitted my PhD application, I was interviewed by the Postgraduate research admin and my supervisor. I passed the interview and was offered a place.

Academically, I needed a 2:1 (Upper Secondary Classification) grade, and I got one to secure my place. But in terms of funding, I needed a 1st, so I went on a funding hunt, one which lasted for about 6 months after graduation.

After all that had been sorted thanks to the support of my relatives and parents, I returned to St Andrews on 24th February, and started my new journey as a PhD student on 27th February.

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