Mooi Choo Chuah laughs as she waves at the stacks of paper piled high on the desk, chairs and floor of her office.
"I enjoy doing research," she says. "I’m interested in many interdisciplinary topics that solve real problems. Whenever a problem interests me, I spend tons of time reading up new material so that I can learn how I can contribute to this new area."
IEEE, which calls itself the world’s largest organization for the advancement of technology, officially cited Chuah for her accomplishments in wireless network systems and protocol design.
Unofficially, one suspects that IEEE was equally impressed with the scope of Chuah’s work and the energy she brings to it.
Chuah joined the faculty in January 2004 after 12 years with Bell Labs. She holds 62 U.S. patents and 15 international patents, most of them for innovations with wireless LAN (Local Area Network)-based systems, and for features that enable quality of service, mobility management in WLAN and 3G systems. She also designs security and disruption-tolerant network solutions for wireless and internet-based systems.
In the past few years, Chuah has expanded her research areas to include the electrical power grid, mobile visual search and, perhaps most notably, mobile healthcare applications.
"I believe it’s important for researchers to evolve," she says. "That opens up more opportunities to contribute to new problems."