Kilnam Chon (Hangul: 전길남; born 3 January 1943) is a South Korean computer scientist. As a result of his contributions, South Korea became the second country in the world to be largely connected to the Internet, after the United States.[better source needed]
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1943, he graduated from Osaka University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1965 and then a Ph.D in Systems Engineering from UCLA in 1974. He worked as a computer system designer at Rockwell International and a technical researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory until the late 1970s. After returning to South Korea at the age of 36 in 1979, he worked as a researcher at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. From 1982 to 2008, he was a professor of computer science at KAIST.
Chon produced much talent in the System Architecture Lab (SA Lab) he directed. He was the founder of Korea's first Internet company, Inet. He helped develop the one-click service for Nexon's Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds and Neowiz Games with Na Seong-gyun, among a plethora of other systems for games.
While he studied at UCLA, he played a key role in introducing South Korea to the Internet. On 15 May 1982, he helped develop an internet system between Seoul National University and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. As a result, South Korea became the second country in the world to be largely connected to the Internet, after the United States, and he is called "the father of Korean Internet". In addition, on 23 April 2012, he was inducted into the Internet Society's Internet Hall of Fame in their Global connectors category. He would later serve on the Hall of Fame's Advisory Board in 2017.
He retired from KAIST in 2008 and later became a professor emeritus there. Afterwards, he became a visiting professor at Peking University in 2008. After retiring from KAIST, he has been a professor at Keio University's Shonan Fujisawa campus in their policy and media research department.
His research fields include the Internet, systems engineering, and human-computer interactions.