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Professor Byungha Shin Named Scientist of the Month
Professor Byungha Shin from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering won the Scientist of the Month Award presented by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) on May 4. Professor Shin was recognized for his research in the field of next-generation perovskite solar cells and received 10 million won in prize money. To achieve ‘carbon neutrality,’ which many countries across the globe including Korea hope to realize, the efficiency of converting renewable energies to electricity must be improved. Solar cells convert solar energy to electricity. Since single solar cells show lower efficiency, the development of ‘tandem solar cells’ that connect two or more cells together has been popular in recent years. However, although ‘perovskite’ received attention as a next-generation material for tandem solar cells, it is sensitive to the external environment including light and moisture, making it difficult to maintain stability. Professor Shin discovered that, theoretically, adding certain anion additives to perovskite solar cells would allow the control of the electrical and structural properties of the two-dimensional stabilization layer that forms inside the film. He confirmed this through high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Controlling the amount of anions in the additives allowed the preservation of over 80% of the initial stability even after 1000 hours of continuous exposure to sunlight. Based on this discovery, Professor Shin combined silicon with solar cells to create a tandem solar cell with 26.7% energy convergence efficiency. Considering that the highest-efficiency tandem solar cell in existence showed 29.5% efficiency, this figure is quite high. Professor Shin’s perovskite solar cell is also combinable with the CIGS (Cu(In,Ga)Se2) thin-film solar cell composed of copper (Cu), indium (In), gallium (Ga), and selenium (Se2). Professor Shin’s research results were published in the online edition of the journal Science in April of last year. “This research is meaningful for having suggested a direction for solar cell material stabilization using additives,” said Professor Shin. “I look forward to this technique being applied to a wide range of photoelectrical devices including solar cells, LEDs, and photodetectors,” he added. (END)
Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee Honored with Charles D. Scott Award
Vice President for Research Sang Yup Lee received the 2021 Charles D. Scott Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. Distinguished Professor Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST is the first Asian awardee. The Charles D. Scott Award, initiated in 1995, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to enable and further the use of biotechnology to produce fuels and chemicals. The award is named in honor of Dr. Charles D. Scott, who founded the Symposium on Biomaterials, Fuels, and Chemicals and chaired the conference for its first ten years. Professor Lee has pioneered systems metabolic engineering and developed various micro-organisms capable of producing a wide range of fuels, chemicals, materials, and natural compounds, many of them for the first time. Some of the breakthroughs include the microbial production of gasoline, diacids, diamines, PLA and PLGA polymers, and several natural products. More recently, his team has developed a microbial strain capable of the mass production of succinic acid, a monomer for manufacturing polyester, with the highest production efficiency to date, as well as a Corynebacterium glutamicum strain capable of producing high-level glutaric acid. They also engineered for the first time a bacterium capable of producing carminic acid, a natural red colorant that is widely used for food and cosmetics. Professor Lee is one of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR), ranked in the top 1% by citations in their field by Clarivate Analytics for four consecutive years from 2017. He is the first Korean fellow ever elected into the National Academy of Inventors in the US and one of 13 scholars elected as an International Member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the USA. The awards ceremony will take place during the Symposium on Biomaterials, Fuels, and Chemicals held online from April 26.
Mobile Clinic Module Wins Red Dot and iF Design Awards
The Mobile Clinic Module (MCM), an inflatable negative pressure ward building system developed by the Korea Aid for Respiratory Epidemic (KARE) initiative at KAIST, gained international acclaim by winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award and iF Design Award. The MCM was recognized as one of the Red Dot Product Designs of the Year. It also won four iF Design Awards in communication design, interior architecture, user interface, and user experience. Winning the two most influential design awards demonstrates how product design can make a valuable contribution to help contain pandemics and reflects new consumer trends for dealing with pandemics. Designed to be patient friendly, even in the extreme medical situations such as pandemics or triage, the MCM is the result of collaborations among researchers in a variety of fields including mechanical engineering, computing, industrial and systems engineering, medical hospitals, and engineering companies. The research team was led by Professor Tek-Jin Nam from the Department of Industrial Design. The MCM is expandable, moveable, and easy to store through a combination of negative pressure frames, air tents, and multi-functional panels. Positive air pressure devices supply fresh air from outside the tent. An air pump and controller maintain air beam pressure, while filtering exhausted air from inside. An internal air information monitoring system efficiently controls inside air pressure and purifies the air. It requires only one-fourth of the volume of existing wards and takes up approximately 40% of their weight. The unit can be transported in a 40-foot container truck. MCMs are now located at the Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences and Jeju Vaccine Center and expect to be used at many other facilities. KARE is developing antiviral solutions and devices such as protective gear, sterilizers, and test kits to promptly respond to the pandemic. More than 100 researchers at KAIST are collaborating with industry and clinical hospitals to develop antiviral technologies that will improve preventive measures, diagnoses, and treatments. Professor Nam said, “Our designers will continue to identify the most challenging issues, and try to resolve them by realizing user-friendly functions. We believe this will significantly contribute to relieving the drastic need for negative pressure beds and provide a place for monitoring patients with moderate symptoms. We look forward to the MCM upgrading epidemic management resources around the globe.” (END)
KAIST Teams Up with Yozma Group to Nurture Startups
KAIST has joined hands with Israeli venture capital investor Yozma Group to help campus-based startups grow and build success. The two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint technology value creation initiatives at the signing ceremony that was held at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon on April 8. Under the MOU, Yozma Group will make investments and implement acceleration programs for startups established by KAIST professors, graduates, and students, as well as those invested in by the university. Yozma Group already launched a $70 million fund to help grow companies in Korea and Israel. Yozma Group will use the fund as well as its global acceleration know-how and network of over 400 R&D centers across Israel to help promising KAIST startups enter overseas markets. Moreover, Yozma Group also plans to discover and support KAIST startups that need technology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institution in natural and exact sciences. KAIST is also in talks to locate Yozma Group’s branch office on the university’s campus to ensure seamless collaborations. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee explained to Yozma Group’s Founder and Chairman Yigal Erlich and Head of Asia Pacific Won-Jae Lee at the MOU signing ceremony that “startup and technology commercialization are the crucial areas where KAIST will make innovations.” “Cooperation with Yozma Group will help KAIST startups transform their ideas and technologies into real businesses and build a global presence,” he added. Yozma Group started as Yozma Fund, created in conjunction with the Israeli government in 1993 to support the globalization of Israeli startups and to foster the growth of Israel’s venture capital industry. The Fund, which was privatized in 1998, has supported 97 Israeli tech ventures joining the Nasdaq, leading Israel to become a global innovation hub that has the third-most companies listed on the Nasdaq. (END)
COVID-Update: KAIST on High Alert amid Spring Resurgence
COVID-19 Task Force responds 24-7 and ISSS provides returning international students with a comfort package during 14-day mandatory quarantine In response to the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the proximate college districts in Daejeon, KAIST announced the enforcement of stricter health and safety regulations. Korean health authorities expected another surge of COVID-19 cases this spring as Korea’s daily new COVID-19 cases have rebounded to the high 600s and over 700 in April, which is the most in over three months. New guidelines issued on April 5 banned faculty, staff, and students from engaging in off-campus activities and utilizing external public facilities. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, bars, cafes, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms, PC rooms, restaurants, and other crowded indoor spaces. All class and research activities, work meetings, and school events were moved exclusively online, and working from home and flexible working hours were highly encouraged in order to minimize face-to-face interactions on campus. In particular, having meals outside of KAIST cafeterias in groups of two or more was prohibited, while food delivery and take-outs were allowed. Executive Vice President and Provost Seung Seob Lee said in a letter to the KAIST community on April 5 that “the school considers the risk of the current situation to be very high, likely the highest since the outbreak of COVID-19.” Provost Lee then called for more team efforts to contain the current phase of the pandemic and asked everyone to do their part. The school installed new temperature scanners equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers in front of the dormitory entrances to further control the spread of the disease on campus, following confirmed COVID-19 cases among dormitory residents. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no clear end in sight, the Task Force for the Prevention of COVID-19 and the International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) Team at KAIST are working around the clock to reduce the risk of infection spread not only within the campus, but also coming from outside the campus. Under strict health and safety guidelines, KAIST has allowed international students to come back to campus. Currently about 600 international students, mostly graduate students reside on campus. All returning students should complete the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine required by the Korean government at their own expense. The KAIST COVID-19 Task Force is in charge of enacting on-campus health and safety guidelines, responding to reports and inquiries from the KAIST community 24-7, and controlling outsider access, among other responsibilities. The ISSS Team requires returning international students to fill out an entry authorization form and receive approval from the KAIST COVID-19 Task Force prior to returning to campus from their home countries. Once students arrive at their designated quarantine facility, the KAIST ISSS Team sends care packages, which includes some toiletries, instant food, a multipot, a thermometer, and other daily necessities. During the quarantine period, returning students are also advised to follow the directions given by government officials and to coordinate with the ISSS Team. The team also provides useful Korean phrases for international students to help them with communication. The self-quarantine period ends at 12 p.m. 14 days after arrival. Within two days of finishing the 14 days of self-isolation, these students are required to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 at the nearest health center. After confirmed negative, they are allowed to move into on-campus accommodations. KAIST will maintain the current method of remote education and distancing methods until further notice. (END)
Professor Jihee Kim Wins the Lucas Prize for Her Income Inequality Theory
Professor Jihee Kim from the School of Business and Technology Management at KAIST was announced as one of two winners of the 2021 Robert E. Lucas Jr. Prize. Professor Kim was recognized for having provided an empirical analysis on engines of income growth, sources of income inequality, and their rich interplay in her paper published in the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) in October 2018. The co-author of this study, Professor Charles I. Jones at Stanford University, was honored to be another awardee of this year’s Lucas Prize. The Robert E. Lucas Jr. Prize, simply known as the Lucas Prize, is awarded biannually for the most interesting paper in the area of Dynamic Economics published in the leading economics journal JPE in the preceding two years. The prize was established in 2016 in celebration of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Economics Laureate Dr. Lucas’s seminal contributions to economics. The two former prizes were presented in 2019 and 2017 respectively. Professor Kim and Professor Jones, in their award-winning paper titled 'A Schumpeterian Model of Top Income Inequality', observed that top income inequality was relatively low and stable between 1960 and 1980, but then rose sharply in some countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The authors focused on entrepreneurial activities and the resulting income as the driving force of income inequality. They assumed that the forces that increased the efforts of fast-growing entrepreneurs to improve their products or increased productivity of their efforts could increase income inequality. On the other hand, the forces that enhanced creative destruction or that raised the rate at which high-growth entrepreneurs lost that status could decrease income inequality, according to the authors’ theory. Professor Kim explained, “Various economic forces due to globalization, the advancement in AI and IT technologies, taxes, and policies related to innovation blocking may explain the varied patterns in income inequality.” “Through follow-up research, I will continue developing economic theory models that can analyze the impact of changes such as income tax rates and salary negotiations on income inequality,” she added. Professor Kim received her bachelor’s degree from the KAIST School of Computing in 2005 and pursued her graduates studies at Stanford University, acquiring a master’s degree in economics in 2011 and a doctoral degree in management science and engineering in 2013. (END)
Professor Jae Kyoung Kim to Lead a New Mathematical Biology Research Group at IBS
Professor Jae Kyoung Kim from the KAIST Department of Mathematical Sciences was appointed as the third Chief Investigator (CI) of the Pioneer Research Center (PRC) for Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS). Professor Kim will launch and lead a new research group that will be devoted to resolving various biological conundrums from a mathematical perspective. His appointment began on March 1, 2021. Professor Kim, a rising researcher in the field of mathematical biology, has received attention from both the mathematical and biological communities at the international level. Professor Kim puts novel and unremitting efforts into understanding biological systems such as cell-to-cell interactions mathematically and designing mathematical models for identifying causes of diseases and developing therapeutic medicines. Through active joint research with biologists, mathematician Kim has addressed many challenges that have remained unsolved in biology and published papers in a number of leading international journals in related fields. His notable works based on mathematical modelling include having designed a biological circuit that can maintain a stable circadian rhythm (Science, 2015) and unveiling the principles of how the biological clock in the body maintains a steady speed for the first time in over 60 years (Molecular Cell, 2015). Recently, through a joint research project with Pfizer, Professor Kim identified what causes the differences between animal and clinical test results during drug development explaining why drugs have different efficacies in different people (Molecular Systems Biology, 2019). The new IBS biomedical mathematics research group led by Professor Kim will further investigate the causes of unstable circadian rhythms and sleeping patterns. The team will aim to present a new paradigm in treatments for sleep disorders. Professor Kim said, “We are all so familiar with sleep behaviors, but the exact mechanisms behind how such behaviors occur are still unknown. Through cooperation with biomedical scientists, our group will do its best to discover the complicated, fundamental mechanisms of sleep, and investigate the causes and cures of sleep disorders.” Every year, the IBS selects young and promising researchers and appoints them as CIs. A maximum of five selected CIs can form each independent research group within the IBS PRC, and receive research funds of 1 billion to 1.5 billion KRW over five years. (END)
A Self-Made Couple in Their 90s Donates to KAIST
A self-made elderly couple in their 90s made a 20 billion KRW donation to KAIST on March 13. Chairman of Samsung Brush Sung-Hwan Chang and his wife Ha-Ok Ahn gave away their two properties valued at 20 billion in Nonhyon-dong in Seoul to KAIST during a ceremony on March 13 in Seoul. Chairman Chang, 92, made a huge fortune starting his business manufacturing cosmetic brushes. Building two factories in China, he expanded his business to export to high-end cosmetic companies. Chairman Chang, a native of North Korea, is a refugee who fled his hometown with his sister at age 18 during the Korean War. He said remembering his mother who was left behind in North Korea was the most painful thing. “We always wanted to help out people in need when we would earn enough money. We were inspired by our friends at our retirement community who made a donation to KAIST several years ago. We believe this is the right time to make this decision,” said Chairman Chang. The couple lives in same retirement community, a famous place for many successful businessmen and wealthy retired figures, located in Yongin, Kyonggi-do with Chairmen Beang-Ho Kim, Chun-Shik Cho, and Chang-Keun Son. With their gift, KAIST established Kim Beang-Ho & Kim Sam-Youl ITC Building as well as the Cho Chun-Shik Graduate School of Green Transportation. The four senior couples’ donations amount to 76.1 billion KRW. “It would be the most meaningful way if we could invest in KAIST for the country’s future,” said Chairman Chang. “I talked a lot with Chairman Kim on how KAIST utilizes its donations and have developed a strong belief in the future of KAIST.” Chairman and Mrs. Chang already toured the campus several times at the invitation of President Kwang-Hyung Lee and President Lee himself presented the vision of KAIST to the couple. The couple also attended President Lee’s inauguration ceremony on March 8. President Lee thanked the couple for their donation, saying “I take my hat off to Chairman Chang and his wife for their generous donation that was amassed over their lifetime. They lived very fiscally responsible lives. We will efficiently utilize this fund for educating future global talents." (END)
Professor Mu-Hyun Baik Honored with the POSCO TJ Park Prize
Professor Mu-Hyun Baik at the Department of Chemistry was honored to be the recipient of the 2021 POSCO TJ Park Prize in Science. The POSCO TJ Park Foundation awards every year the individual or organization which made significant contribution in science, education, community development, philanthropy, and technology. Professor Baik, a renowned computational chemist in analyzing complicated chemical reactions to understand how molecules behave and how they change. Professor Baik was awarded in recognition of his pioneering research in designing numerous organometallic catalysts with using computational molecular modelling. In 2016, he published in Science on the catalytic borylation of methane that showed how chemical reactions can be carried out using the natural gas methane as a substrate. In 2020, he reported in Science that electrodes can be used as functional groups with adjustable inductive effects to change the chemical reactivity of molecules that are attached to them, closely mimicking the inductive effect of conventional functional groups. This constitutes a potentially powerful new way of controlling chemical reactions, offering an alternative to preparing derivatives to install electron-withdrawing functional groups. Joined at KAIST in 2015, Professor Baik also serves as associate director at the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) since 2015. Among the many recognitions and awards that he received include the Kavli Fellowship by the Kavli Foundation and the National Academy of Science in the US in 2019 and the 2018 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.
Upbeat Message for a New Future at President Lee’s Inauguration
KAIST’s 17th President Kwang Hyung Lee reaffirmed his commitment to building a new future preparing for the post-AI era during his inauguration on March 8. The Board of Trustees selected the former provost and executive vice president as the new president, succeeding 16th President Sung-Chul Shin whose four-year term expired last month. In his inaugural address, President Lee proposed a new culture strategy, ‘QAIST’ designed to foster more creative talents and ensure innovative research infrastructure. He said that the best way to stand out as a leading global university is to carve out our own distinctness. The ceremony was live streamed via YouTube due to the social distancing guidelines, with a very limited number of distinguished guests attending. Among them were President Lee’s former student Jung-Ju Kim who started Nexon, now the world’s most popular online game company, and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Moon-Soul Chung who President Lee worked with when he made the endowment for establishing the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2001 and the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy in 2013. In his induction speech, Chairman Woo Sik Kim of the Board of Trustees said that President Lee is a proven leader who has deep insight and passion and he will help KAIST make a new leap forward. “I believe that Professor Lee will be the right leader at this critical moment for the university, ushering in a new future for KAIST as it turns 50 this year.” President Lee explained that for the next 50 years, KAIST should double down to identify the challenges humanity faces, then define and resolve them with unyielding innovations in education, research, technology commercialization, and internationalization. “We definitely should pull together to produce sustainable global value that will serve the prosperity and happiness of all humanity, not only our nation. We will become one of the top 10 universities in the world when we realize all these goals. We can live up to the people’s expectations by producing creative global talent, staying ahead of new research topics, and producing corporations that will lead the nation’s industries.” “To this end, I will continue to strive to help us achieve our mission of becoming a ‘Global Value Creative Leading University’ as described in KAIST Vision 2031. I will do my utmost to bring about the ‘KAIST New Culture Strategy, QAIST’ for a post-AI era.” He added that he would like to inspire students and faculty to have more humanistic approaches in their education and learning. The ‘Q’ in “QAIST” refers to questioning. President Lee believes that the learning starts with questions and being curious about something. “We will innovate the educational system to have them question everything.” Then, he said that he will focus on ‘A’dvanced research to prepare for the post AI-era. “We should be the first mover who can define and solve new problems. It’s more important to be the ‘first’ one than the ‘best’ one.” He also said he will create a new culture that failing would not be stigmatized, offering more chances after failing. ‘I’nternationalization is another vision the new president will continue to pursue. He plans to embrace greater diversity on the campus to achieve goals of 15% international faculty, 25% female faculty, and 15% international students by reshaping the recruiting policy. He will continue to expand KAIST campuses overseas. ‘S’tartup and technology commercialization will be the crucial areas where the president will make innovations. “I will fully support any startups at KAIST. I encourage every lab to start a startup,” he stressed. President Lee said he plans to increase KAIST’s annual revenue from technology commercialization fees to 100 billion KRW in 10 years, a step to secure financial independence. He plans to privatize the Institute of Technology Value Creation, which is responsible for technology commercialization at KAIST to enhance its competitiveness. ‘T’rust building is the prerequisite value for creating transparent and reliable management in finance and HR. President Lee said he would like to make a new organizational culture that will be more ethical, responsible, and autonomous with a high standard of integrity. His predecessor, President Sung-Chul Shin lauded his successor in his congratulatory speech saying, “He is a president prepared for this job.” “I have known him for more than 30 years. He is a man of action. With unparalleled ideas and prompt execution, he carried out all his duties efficiently for the Committee of Vision 2031 that he chaired, and played a central role in establishing the full vision of KAIST. First and foremost, he is a man of great passion, with a firm vision but a warm heart.” Nexon founder and Chairman Jung-Ju Kim also made an emotional tribute to his former professor. Holding back tears, he said, “I was not a good student. I was struggling in my graduate courses so I had to drop out of my PhD course. But Professor Lee and his wife never gave up on me. They were so kind to me and were always encouraging despite my disappointing days. I am now ready to do something good for KAIST, for Professor Lee, and for the future of our society. I believe that President Lee will guide us down the new path for KAIST.” IDIS Holdings CEO Young-Dal Kim also attended the ceremony to congratulate his former professor on his inauguration. (END)
KAIST Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary with 2,712 New Graduates via 2021 Commencement Ceremony
KAIST is proud to announce the graduation of 2,712 students, including 668 PhDs and 1,331 master’s degree recipients. The pandemic could not stop the university from recognizing each graduate's remarkable and original achievements. A pandemic-proof blended commencement ceremony was held on Friday, February 19, and livestreamed to the graduates and their loved ones. KAIST decided to take extra precautions to protect graduates and other attendees’ health and well-being. For the virtual ceremony, only 83 out of the 2,712 graduates were invited to attend the ceremony in person. Graduates were divided into four groups to attend at four different places in Daejeon and Seoul campuses and watch the ceremony via Zoom. No family members or friends of the graduates were allowed to participate at the campus, but happily cheered the graduates via YouTube. This year’s valedictorian, Hyun-Young Park from the School of Electrical Engineering, received the Award of the Minister of Science and ICT. Salutorian Yeh-Lin Cho from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering received the Award of the KAIST Board of Trustees, while the recipient of the KAIST Presidential Award was Min-Jae Kim from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering. The Award of the KAIST Development Foundation Chairman and the KAIST Alumni Association Presidential Award were conferred to Kyung-Tae Kim from the Department of Physics and Min-Woo Jung from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively. President Sung-Chul Shin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Woo Sik Kim, and a very limited number of faculty members and administrative staff officiated the commencement ceremony from the KAIST Auditorium. President Shin applauded the graduates’ hard work and dedication in his commencement speech. He also delivered a very special congratulatory message to the bachelor’s degree awardees. “This year’s commencement is especially meaningful for me. I was appointed as the 16th president of KAIST on February 23, 2017, and met you for the first time on February 28 at the matriculation ceremony. We promised each other—as freshmen and as the first alumnus president—to do our best for the next four years,” President Shin recalled. He added, “I have done my best to keep my promise, and now my term will end on February 22. Of course, the past four years were even more precious because you were all a part of it.” In conclusion, President Shin said, “I am proud of you for keeping your end of the promise. Thank you for becoming who you are today. I have high hopes for the bright future that you will be shaping for KAIST and our society.” The livestream ceremony is archived for viewing on KAIST's Official YouTube Channel. (END)
Provost Kwang Hyung Lee Elected as the 17th President of KAIST
Provost and Executive Vice President Kwang Hyung Lee was selected as the 17th president of KAIST during a vote of the KAIST Board of Trustees on February 18. He will succeed President Sung-Chul Shin, whose four-year term concludes on February 22. President-elect Lee, 67, was among the three final candidates who were nominated by the Presidential Search Committee. Upon the selection, President-elect Lee said he will take up new challenges to transform KAIST into the most relevant research university in the world, fostering talents who can work with emerging technologies while pushing for innovative R&D initiatives that will benefit all of humanity. President-elect Lee is a futurologist who pioneered multidisciplinary studies and research at KAIST. He advocated that the convergence of information, biology, and nano-technologies would be critical for future industries, playing a crucial role in establishing the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2001 and the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy in 2013. He then served as the inaugural head of both faculties. President-elect Lee has extensive administrative experience at KAIST, serving as Associate Vice President of the International Office, and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs since early 2001. He is also serving as a member of the Korea Presidential Education Committee. An ardent champion of entrepreneurship and startups, he has advised the first generations of KAIST startup entrepreneurs such as Nexon, Idis, Neowiz, and Olaworks. President-elect Lee, drawn to creative thinking and flipped learning, is famous for watching TV upside down. Such pioneering ideas and his unusual thinking style were modeled in the ‘eccentric professor’ role featured on the TV hit drama of ‘KAIST’ from 1999 to 2000. An alumnus who earned his MS in industrial engineering at KAIST in 1980 after completing his undergraduate studies at Seoul National University, President-elect Lee joined the KAIST faculty in 1985 upon receiving his PhD in computer science from INSA de Lyon in France. A computer scientist as well as fuzzy theorist whose research area extends to AI, bioinformatics, fuzzy intelligent systems, and foresight methods, Professor Lee has published more than 70 papers in international journals and textbooks on system programming, fuzzy set theory and its applications, and three-dimensional creativity. He also invented a fuzzy elevator, subway operation controller, and AI transportation controller. A fellow at the Korea Academy of Science and Technology and the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, he was decorated by the Korean government and the French government in recognition of the innovative education and research initiatives he has pursued.
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