Mar 3, 2010    #021
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC School of Computing and Engineering visiting professor receives Fulbright award

Professor Nail Akar's research could eventually increase Internet speed

Someday, Internet browser error messages, such as "408 Request Timeout" and "502 Service Temporarily Overloaded" may no longer plague people.

With that ultimate goal in mind, Nail Akar - a visiting professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) - began a seven-month Fulbright Scholar grant research project, "Markov Renewal Queues, Markov Fluid Queues and Their Applications to Modeling and Engineering of Computer Networks" in January. Akar also is an associate professor in the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

Akar is developing techniques and tools to study traditional and fluid computer network queuing systems. A computer network queuing system involves "customers" (i.e., packets, frames, jobs, etc.) that arrive at a processor (i.e., server, multiplexer, switch, router, etc.) at different times. Once they arrive at a processor, customers are buffered for service in a queue while the processor serves the previous customer.

"The research I've conducted at UMKC has always played an important role in my professional career," said Akar, who conducted research at UMKC from 1994 to 1996 and paid short research visits to UMKC between 2002 and 2006. "I have great working relationships with the faculty members of SCE, and another benefit is that there are a number of faculty members who work in the same discipline that I do."

The Fulbright Program, America's international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 294,000 people from more than 155 countries the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright alumni are: Karen Vorst, Dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences; Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director and Founder, Grameen Bank, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006; Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union; Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University; and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation.

For the 2010 year, about 1,250 U.S. faculty and professionals received Fulbright Scholar or Fulbright Specialist grants to teach and conduct research abroad; another 850 foreign scholars received awards to visit U.S. campuses for a year or more.

For more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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