Research. Vision. Leadership. Family.

While my life is all centered around our wonderful family, this Web site is mostly about work-related aspects of my life. To learn more about our family, I invite you to check out our family Web site – or better even, stop by and get to know us.

About mhof

markusI have always been enthusiastic about solving challenges for the betterment of humankind through bleeding-edge technology, and I could not be happier to have turned my passion into an exciting career as a professional. Whether it was as individual researcher, project leader, department head, executive vice president, or the global head of the world-renowned Bell Labs Research – I have always been lucky enough to work with fantastic colleagues and friends, advancing technology to solve great challenges of our time. This Web site provides a sampling of the professional activities I have been driving, from small projects to far-reaching initiatives, which I invite you to explore and to inquire about. And if you are interested learning more about myself, such as my education or professional activities, I invite you to click on this link.

markussignature_small

 

Research

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. -Zora Neale Hurston

Your life is never boring when working in research. Constantly challenging the status quo, looking for ways to better our lives, exploring and developing solutions to the biggest challenges of our time and making them a reality – can it get any better? Together with my teams, I have worked on the invention, development and deployment of a broad spectrum of exciting technologies.

My work covers the design, specification, implementation and evaluation of communication and data analytic systems, and of applications that build on top of them. The combination of performing original research and affecting the real world is very important to me. I very much enjoy taking projects from their initial ideation, through product development, to full deployment in the field.

During the early years of my career, I created a novel solution for reliably transmitting information over the Internet to very large user groups around the world. The system was deployed across 65 sites worldwide. When joining Bell Labs, my work extended to develop caching techniques and next generation content distribution products for the Internet. This work resulted in the creation of a new product division inside the company, and I was lucky enough to work embedded in this startup-style internal venture for over two years. The products we developed have powered the Web sites of some of the world’s biggest companies.

More recently, I have broadened my work area to investigate data-driven systems and how they can better our collaborations and interactions. The emerging Internet of Things is transforming the world into a giant source of live data streams. My team’s World Wide Streams (WWS) platform is the world’s first global-scale hub for sharing, transforming and publishing live data streams generated by these billions of devices and sensors. It provides infrastructure-agnostic, easily programmable stream processing across edge and core clouds for data streams, as well as media streams. The platform is complemented by our highly scalable cognitive cloud controller, which utilizes AI/ML-based techniques to fully automate configuration, deployment, and scaling of cloud-native applications and services.

Teaching

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations.” ~Patricia Neal

Teaching is so much more than simply transferring knowledge. It is about inspiring others to discover their passion and their creativity. It is about stimulating others to unleash their potential and make the world in which we live a happier place. As researchers, we have an opportunity (do I dare saying an obligation?) to impact the lives of aspiring students for the better. Each student brings unique perspectives, has a different style to understand, absorb, and apply knowledge. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to efficient teaching. Flexibly adjusting teaching methodologies based on the temperament and the resulting learning styles of students is a must. I have been lucky enough to continue teaching and working with students while advancing technology in my day job at Bell Labs on many occasions, including:.

  • Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York, USA: For three subsequent spring semesters, I accepted an offer as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in New York, USA, teaching a graduate course on “Content Networking”. The course is based on our book Content Networking: Architecture, Protocols, and Practice.
  • Invited lecturer at University of Karlsruhe, Germany: I taught an earlier version of the Content Networking class at University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • Invited lecturer at Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany: Teaching a graduate class on modern Internet technologies, from Internet architectures and protocols to principles underlying the World Wide Web.
  • Invited lecturer at Technical University Ilmenau, Germany: Teaching a graduate networking class on Transport Protocols for High Speed Networking
  • Lecturer at University of Karlsruhe, Germany: While working on my Ph.D., I created and taught three graduate lectures on High Speed Networking at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. The lecture taught students about techniques and protocols for broadband communication, the next generation Internet, and the latest activities in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Each of these lectures attracted about 80-100 graduate students.

I have also enjoyed giving tutorials at international conferences such as ACM Multimedia, Word Wide Web Conference, Networked Group Communication, and IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols. In addition to lectures, I organized many seminars and practical courses at various Universities. I am proud to have advised more than 30 master’s students, more than 15 undergraduate students, and to have served on the Ph.D. committee of students from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA) and University of Oregon (Oregon, USA).

Publications

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” ~Albert Einstein

Modern technology has changed the way we share and disseminate our ideas, results, feelings, and experiences. In the past, publications in form of books, papers, and reports were the quintessential tools for researchers to spread their insights and to validate key findings. These days, such traditional publication methods are complemented – if not overtaken – by new publishing vehicles such as blogs, video reports, podcasts, online forums, and others. Nevertheless, you can find a selection of my mostly older publications by clicking on this link.

captureBook available now!

Content Networking: Architecture, Protocols, and Practice.
By Markus Hofmann and Leland Beaumont.
Available now, Hardback, ISBN 1-55860-834-6.

For more information, click here.
Order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.