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SM CEP Soo-Man Lee to Teach at the KAIST School of Computing
The Founder and Chief Executive Producer of SM Entertainment Soo-Man Lee was appointed as a distinguished visiting professor in the KAIST School of Computing. His three-year term starts on March 1. KAIST and the SM Entertainment signed an MOU on joint research on the metaverse last year and Lee’s appointment is the extension of their mutual collaborations in fields where technologies converge and will encourage innovative advancements in engineering technology and the entertainment industry. Lee, who completed a graduate program in computer science at California State University Northridge will give special leadership lectures for both undergraduate and graduate students, and will participate in metaverse-related research as a consultant. In particular, Professor Lee will participate in joint research with the tentatively named Metaverse Institute affiliated with the KAIST Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The institute will help SM Entertainment stay ahead of the global metaverse market by using the avatars of celebrities, and lend itself to raising the already strong brand power of the K-pop leader. Professor Lee said, “I am grateful that KAIST, the very cradle of Korea’s science and technology, has given me the opportunity to meet its students as a visiting professor. We will lead the metaverse world, in which Korea is emerging as a market leader, with the excellent contents and technology unique to our country, and work together to lead the future global entertainment market.” President Kwang-Hyung Lee said, “The ability to expand our limitless creativity in the metaverse is indispensable for us as we adapt to this new era. We hope that the vision and creative insights of Executive Producer Lee, which have allowed him to look ahead into the future of the entertainment contents market, will have a positive and fresh impact on the members of KAIST.” The global influence and reputation of Executive Producer Lee has been well established through his various awards. He was the first Korean to be listed on Variety500 for five consecutive years from 2017 to 2021. He was also the first Korean awardee of the Asia Game Changer Awards in 2016, the first cultural figure to receive the YoungSan Diplomacy Award in 2017, the only Korean to be listed on the 2020 Billboard Impact List, and he has also received the K-pop Contribution Award at the 10th Gaon Chart Music Awards. He recently introduced Play2Create (P2C), a new interactive and creative culture in which re-creation can be enjoyed like a game using IP, and is leading the establishment of the P2C ecosystem.
Humanoid Robot Research Center Opened
(Photo from left: Kyong-Hoon Kim from Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology, Vice President of Research at KAIST Hee-Yoon Lee, Director Oh, Jong-Hwan Kim at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, President Ki-Han Park at the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement, and Dean of KAIST Institute Yun Chol Chung.) KAIST opened its Humanoid Robot Research Center on January 19 at the KAIST Institute. Endorsed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy with 15 billion KRW funding over five years, the center will conduct research for advancing humanoid robot technology and fostering research fellows in the field. Professor Jun Ho Oh at the Department of Mechanical Engineering will serve as the director of the center. Team KAIST under Professor Oh won the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) with its humanoid robot DRC-HUBO, beating 23 teams from six countries. Professor Oh said, “I believe we have already achieved technological prowess through developing the HUBO robot over the past decade. The center will continue to strive for further development of original technology crucial for humanoid robots’ key components. We want to pave the way for having enough of our own technology and needing to bring in technology from abroad. Professor Oh said he will focus on fields such as high-efficiency, high-powered electric drives and hydraulic system humanoid robot capable of executing solid manipulability with high confidence and object recognition intelligence technology. In addition, he said the center will develop module type and extended open software in an effort to disseminate robot technology.
KAIST to Participate in the 2017 Davos Forum
(President Sung-Mo Kang and Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee) KAIST representatives will join high profile, multi-stakeholder dialogues with global leaders across the world to discuss higher education, science, and technological innovation. KAIST President Sung-Mo Kang and Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department will participate in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting on January 17-20, 2017, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. To be held under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership,” the Annual Meeting will offer global leaders from government, business, academia, and civil society a highly interactive platform to address some of the most pressing issues facing the world today, from climate change, economic inequality, to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on future employment. On January 18, President Kang will participate in the Global University Leaders Forum, a community of top 26 universities invited from around the world, and will discuss the relevance of higher education in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He will also share KAIST’s experiences in developing innovative initiatives to bring future-oriented and creative values into its educational and research programs. On January 19, at the Global Future Council on Production, President Kang will speak about new technologies taking place in traditional production and distribution systems as introduced by the emergence of rapidly evolving technological advancements, and present KAIST’s endeavors to transform those changes into opportunities. With an eminent group of scientists, including the Director of the US National Science Foundation France A. Córdova and the Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell of Nature at the Global Science Outlook session, on January 20, President Kang will discuss key challenges for the global science agenda in the year ahead and examine the role of science in formulating public discussions and polices that will have great impact on society and the lives of people. Currently, Professor Lee is the founding Co-Chair of the WEF’s Global Future Council, an interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future. On January 20, he will share his insights at an independent session entitled “World Changing Technology: Biotech and Neurotech,” briefing the audience on the current state of research, development, and commercialization in these fields, as well as explaining how they will contribute to coping with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Professor Lee said, “In recent years, we have seen the world become ever more complex, interconnected, and realigned as it is deeply affected by this unprecedented technological innovations, collectively driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One pillar of such innovation will take place in biotechnology and neuroscience, which will help us design solutions to many of global problems such as environment, pandemic diseases, aging, healthcare, and previously intractable illnesses.” President Kang added, “This year’s Davos meeting will focus on the need to foster leadership at the national, regional, and global level to respond collectively with credible actions to issues of major concern for the sustainable and equitable growth, social inclusion, and human development. KAIST has always been a crucial player in these collaborative efforts, and I am happy to share our insights at the upcoming event.”
2016 KAIST EEWS Workshop
The Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability (EEWS) Graduate School of KAIST hosted a workshop entitled “Progress and Perspectives of Energy Science and Technology” on October 20, 2016. The workshop took place at the Fusion Hall of the KAIST Institute on campus. About 400 experts in energy science and engineering participated in the event. Eight globally recognized scientists introduced the latest research trends in nanomaterials, energy theory, catalysts, and photocatalysts and led discussions on the current status and prospects of EEWS. Professors Yi Cui of Stanford University, an expert in nanomaterials, and William A. Goddard of California Institute of Technology presented their research experiments on materials design and recent results on the direction of theory under the topics of energy and environment. Dr. Miquel Salmeron, a former head of the Material Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Professor Yuichi Ikuhara of Tokyo University introduced their analysis of catalysts and energy matters at an atomic scale. Professor Sukbok Chang of the Chemistry Department at KAIST, a deputy editor of ACS Catalysis and the head of the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalizations at the Institute of Basic Science, and Professor Yang-Kook Sun of Energy Engineering at Hanyang University, who is also a deputy editor of ACS Energy Letters, presented their latest research results on new catalytic reaction development and energy storage. The workshop consisted of three sections which addressed the design of energy and environment materials; analysis of energy and catalytic materials; and energy conversion and catalysts. The EEWS Graduate School was established in 2008 with the sponsorship of the Korean government’s World Class University (WCU) project to support science education in Korea. Professor J. Fraser Stoddart, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was previously worked at the KAIST EEWS Graduate School as a WCU visiting professor for two years, from 2011 to 2013. Professor Ali Coskun, who was a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Stoddart, now teaches and conducts research as a full-time professor at the graduate school. Dean Yousung Jung of the EEWS Graduate School said: “This workshop has provided us with a meaningful opportunity to engage in discussions on energy science and technology with world-class scholars from all around the world. It is also a good venue for our graduate school to share with them what we have been doing in research and education.”
IAMCOMPANY, an educational technology startup created by a KAIST student
In-Mo Chung, a senior student of the Department of Industrial Design at KAIST, developed a mobile homework book application, IAMSCHOOL, in order to help parents engage, more interactively, in their children’s school activities. Chung said in an interview with KAIST: “I came up with creating my company, IAMCOMPANY, when I worked as a volunteer for a student club in 2009 that provides an educational service to high school students living in a less-favored environment. I found out their educational environment very poor, which ultimately led me to build a public interest business model for education.” Chung created a few mobile applications including IAMSCHOOL and IAMCLASS. The application, IAMSCHOOL, receives school’s notices, homework assignments, or any information related to classes and sends them directly and immediately to parents, allowing real-time communications between parents and teachers. In Korea, parents usually check as many as 50 school notices per month. Once registered, private educational institutes and public organizations can also receive school information through this application. In July 2011, the Department of Science Management at KAIST hosted a student competition for startup ideas, and Chung’s idea to build an educational application won the best award. In 2012, he received the grand prize at the KAIST E-5 Startup Competition. An undergraduate student who is the chief executive officer of a tech startup Chung established IAMCOMPANY with the seed fund of 13 million Korean won that he had received from the city government of Daejeon. His business idea was selected as one of the 300 College Student Startup Projects, a startup support program operated by Daejeon City to encourage entrepreneurship among college and university students. Chung talked about the background of his business: “I think that my idea to offer a “free educational application” helped me win the first prize at the student startup competition. At that time, I was still young, so I considered the winning of the competition as an “exercise” to build my own business in the future. But when I actually started my company, I found out that KAIST’s startup programs helped me a lot throughout the entire process and realized that these programs are good enough for young entrepreneurs to build up their company from a single idea.” KAIST professors and staff support student startups. Chung took in-depth mentoring from KAIST professors. Professor Min-Hwa Lee of the Department of Management Science and Professor Lak-Kyoung Song of the Department of Technology Management, who is also the president of the Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center, have supported Chung’s endeavors. President Taek-Su Kang of the KAIST Innovation Center gave Chung a lot of advice as he was developing IAMCOMPANY’s initial business model. Chung said that even now, they look for solutions together when his business ran into a brick wall. Professor Lee said, “IAMCOMPANY does not aim for profit. Instead, by supplying free applications, they improve the environment of education and eventually create public interest. Also, they find out consumers’ hidden demands and satisfied it creatively.” With 8,000 schools registered to IAMSCHOOL, 750,000 parents are using the application in just two years of its release. Parents and teachers responded enthusiastically. The application “IAMSCHOOL” provides services for 8,000 schools in Korea. Currently, 750,000 parents are using this application. The company offers the nation’s largest online education service. The reason behind their rapid growth is that their service solves communications problems between schools and parents in a simple and efficient manner. Jung-Mi Hwang, a teacher at Galma Elementary School in Dajeon, said: “After using this application, there are fewer occasions of students forgetting their school materials. We think this is because the parents can check the school notices and newsletters at any time through the application.” She added, “I hope more and more schools will use this application because it is convenient and also available for free.” Another teacher from Daedeok Elementary School in Daejeon, Dong-Min Nam, said that “many parents like this application since they are immediately notified with school events.” KAIST’s Technology Business Incubation Center “After moving around many places due to expensive rent,” Chung said that “we finally moved into the Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) at KAIST. The center helped us not only providing the space, but also mentoring and connecting us with venture investment companies. This was a great help in attracting initial investments.” Chung added: “At first, a staff member from TBIC was concerned about the viability of my company. I was then an undergraduate student with zero business experience, and from his standpoint, I was taking a huge risk.” But in several months after its establishment, IAMCOMPANY has grown to have 16 employees. An investment of 1.5 billion Korean won from a venture capital company led to a sustainable growth. In early stage, IAMCOMPANY received 300 million Korean won from a venture capital company, and it recently attracted additional 1.2 billion won from a leading venture capital. With these investments, the company grew further. Moreover, investments from large educational corporations have proved the value and competitiveness of the company in the education market. Chung plans to expand his service globally, particularly in China and Singapore. He said that he would not forget how he had started his business, and with such a focused mind, he would strive to provide students and parents with quality educational services while proactively incorporating the advanced information technology (IT) into his products. A bold movement to Pangyo Techno Valley, a Korean version of Silicon Valley Although the company started with only two members, as of August 2014, it boasts of having twenty employees, a remarkable leap of growth within just two years. In April this year, Chung relocated his office from TBIC to Pangyo Techno Valley, the Silicon Valley of Korea, in order to provide a better work environment to his staff. It was not an easy decision for him to leave the comfortable, well-known place, the KAIST campus, and the colleagues, including TBIC staff and KAIST professors, who had helped his startup efforts in early days. However, in order to recruit better employees and to access additional IT resources and education-related companies, Chung decided to make a bold movement, relocating his business to Pangyo Techno Valley in Seoul. A reputable American venture capital investor, Timothy C. Draper, invested in IAMCOMPANY Chung was able to secure solid support from an eminent global investor, Timothy C. Draper, the founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a venture capital based in Menlo Park in California. Recently, Draper, a legendary investor of the Silicon Valley, invested USD 20,000 in IAMCOMPANY. Draper discovered worldwide venture companies such as Hotmail, Skype, and Baidu. IAMCOMPANY received high marks from him as a company with a competitive edge in the global education market. Chung met Draper in April 2014 when he participated in a television network’s (Korean Broadcasting System) audition program for startups. Draper was one of the judges for the program, and he was impressed by the robust growth of IAMCOMPANY. He eventually made a decision to chip in USD 20,000 in Chung’s company. Chung said that he was glad to meet the tycoon of Silicon Valley who recognized the potential of his company. In last October, IAMSCHOOL was selected for the K-APP Global Hub Program—a global market pioneering program to support the development of mobile applications—which was sponsored by the Small and Medium Business Administration in Korea. IAMCOMPANY will bring ‘the Korean Wave’ in the area of educational applications. Chung said, “We plan to sustainably manage the applications and add more functions, so that more educational institutions can adopt our application.” The company aims to provide its service to over 11,000 schools and 100,000 academies nationally so that more parents are able to receive educational news and information easily. Chung concluded his interview in an upbeat tone as he predicted the future of his company: “I am proud that IAMSCHOOL is being recognized by the world’s best investor, and I have gained confidence to advance to the global market. Through global service, I want to make "the Korean Wave" in the field of educational applications and to receive appreciation from students, teachers, and parents worldwide.”
EureCar, KAIST's Self-Driving Car, Made It to the Global Student Design Finalists at the 2014 National Instruments Annual Conference in Austin, Texas
The National Instruments Week 2014, an annual conference hosted by the National Instruments Corporation (NI), a global producer of automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software, was held on August 4-7, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center in Texas. This international conference on graphical system design brought together more than 3,200 leading engineers and scientists across a spectrum of industries, from automotive to telecommunications, to robotics to energy. On the third day of the keynote sessions at the conference, August 7, 2014, the winner of the Global Student Design Competition (GSDC) was announced. EureCar, a self-driving car developed by Professor “David” Hyunchul Shim at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, KAIST, and his students, was one of the three finalists that were invited to the conference to contend for the Global Grand Prize. The three finalists, each selected from a regional competition, were: EureCar from KAIST, Sepios, a nautical robot from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zürich), and NASA Student Launch Project from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A total of 3,250 student research teams from 25 countries entered the 2014 GSDC, and the winner was ETH Zürich. GSDC is designed to promote a better understanding and application by engineering students of NI’s system design software and hardware in their research and learning. Participating students utilized NI’s LabVIEW (software) and CompactRIO (hardware) to create their own solutions to engineering problems that encompass inexpensive medical devices to complex underwater autonomous vehicles. For details about the finalists, please go to: http://www.kaist.ac.kr/Upl/downfile/TS4159_Wahby_Student_Design_Showcase.pdf
The World Economic Forum Invites KAIST to 2014 Davos Forum
President Steve Kang and Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee have been invited by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to attend its annual meeting slated for January 22-25, 2014 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The president will also join the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) to be held during the annual meeting. The GULF consists of leading research universities throughout the world, at which President Kang will address agenda related to higher education and research. From September 11th to 13th, KAIST was invited to the WEF’s 2013 Summer Davos Forum held in Dalian, China. The Summer Davos Forum is recognized as a barometer of the world economy, and KAIST hosted three sessions there. In a session titled “Smart Regulations,” Professor Sang Yup Lee hosted presentations and discussions under the topic of “How regulation models can strengthen technical innovation and expansion.” President Steve Kang, Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Group, Mark Weinberger, CEO of Ernest & Young, and Peter Terium, CEO of RWE, participated in the discussions. The KAIST delegates also presented and participated in a session titled “From Trade Center to Innovative Hub” to discuss how to lead innovations in Asia, as well as “Marine Resources: Finding New Frontier” to address issues of how to develop and manage oceanic resources for potential growth. President Kang said, “The World Economic Forum allows us to introduce the results of our innovative and creative research to global leaders and to demonstrate that our global position continues to grow.” The WEF has been hosting Summer Davos Forum in China since 2007. About 1,500 participants from over 90 countries joined in this year’s summer forum under the theme of “Innovation: Inevitable Mainstream.” New strategies for innovations and solutions for global threats were suggested through presentations and discussions in 125 sessions. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an independent, international, and non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and government leaders to shape global, regional and industry agenda. Among the meetings and forums organized by the WEF, its annual meeting held each January in Davos, a.k.a. the Davos Forum, has been the best known gathering. The Davos Forum brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world including health and environment.
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