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Professor Juho Kim’s Team Wins Best Paper Award at ACM CHI 2022
The research team led by Professor Juho Kim from the KAIST School of Computing won a Best Paper Award and an Honorable Mention Award at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) held between April 30 and May 6. ACM CHI is the world’s most recognized conference in the field of human computer interactions (HCI), and is ranked number one out of all HCI-related journals and conferences based on Google Scholar’s h-5 index. Best paper awards are given to works that rank in the top one percent, and honorable mention awards are given to the top five percent of the papers accepted by the conference. Professor Juho Kim presented a total of seven papers at ACM CHI 2022, and tied for the largest number of papers. A total of 19 papers were affiliated with KAIST, putting it fifth out of all participating institutes and thereby proving KAIST’s competence in research. One of Professor Kim’s research teams composed of Jeongyeon Kim (first author, MS graduate) from the School of Computing, MS candidate Yubin Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering, and Dr. Meng Xia (post-doctoral associate in the School of Computing, currently a post-doctoral associate at Carnegie Mellon University) received a best paper award for their paper, “Mobile-Friendly Content Design for MOOCs: Challenges, Requirements, and Design Opportunities”. The study analyzed the difficulties experienced by learners watching video-based educational content in a mobile environment and suggests guidelines for solutions. The research team analyzed 134 survey responses and 21 interviews, and revealed that texts that are too small or overcrowded are what mainly brings down the legibility of video contents. Additionally, lighting, noise, and surrounding environments that change frequently are also important factors that may disturb a learning experience. Based on these findings, the team analyzed the aptness of 41,722 frames from 101 video lectures for mobile environments, and confirmed that they generally show low levels of adequacy. For instance, in the case of text sizes, only 24.5% of the frames were shown to be adequate for learning in mobile environments. To overcome this issue, the research team suggested a guideline that may improve the legibility of video contents and help overcome the difficulties arising from mobile learning environments. The importance of and dependency on video-based learning continue to rise, especially in the wake of the pandemic, and it is meaningful that this research suggested a means to analyze and tackle the difficulties of users that learn from the small screens of mobile devices. Furthermore, the paper also suggested technology that can solve problems related to video-based learning through human-AI collaborations, enhancing existing video lectures and improving learning experiences. This technology can be applied to various video-based platforms and content creation. Meanwhile, a research team composed of Ph.D. candidate Tae Soo Kim (first author), MS candidate DaEun Choi, and Ph.D. candidate Yoonseo Choi from the School of Computing received an honorable mention award for their paper, “Stylette: styling the Web with Natural Language”. The research team developed a novel interface technology that allows nonexperts who are unfamiliar with technical jargon to edit website features through speech. People often find it difficult to use or find the information they need from various websites due to accessibility issues, device-related constraints, inconvenient design, style preferences, etc. However, it is not easy for laymen to edit website features without expertise in programming or design, and most end up just putting up with the inconveniences. But what if the system could read the intentions of its users from their everyday language like “emphasize this part a little more”, or “I want a more modern design”, and edit the features automatically? Based on this question, Professor Kim’s research team developed ‘Stylette’, a system in which AI analyses its users’ speech expressed in their natural language and automatically recommends a new style that best fits their intentions. The research team created a new system by putting together language AI, visual AI, and user interface technologies. On the linguistic side, a large-scale language model AI converts the intentions of the users expressed through their everyday language into adequate style elements. On the visual side, computer vision AI compares 1.7 million existing web design features and recommends a style adequate for the current website. In an experiment where 40 nonexperts were asked to edit a website design, the subjects that used this system showed double the success rate in a time span that was 35% shorter compared to the control group. It is meaningful that this research proposed a practical case in which AI technology constructs intuitive interactions with users. The developed technology can be applied to existing design applications and web browsers in a plug-in format, and can be utilized to improve websites or for advertisements by collecting the natural intention data of users on a large scale.
Startup Elice Donates 300 Million KRW to School of Computing
Elice hopes to create a virtuous circle that bridges the educational gap Elice, a student startup from the School of Computing has committed to donate 300 million KRW to KAIST. Jae-Won Kim, CEO of the coding education company, established the startup with his colleagues in 2015. Since then, more than 100 companies, including 17 of Korea’s top 20 companies such as SK and LG have used Elice' digital coding platform to educate employees. More than 200,000 employees have completed the online training with completion rates over 80%. Kim said during the donation ceremony that he hopes to fund the renovation of the School of Computing building and that he will continue to work on expanding platforms that will help make communication between educators and students more interactive. He explained, “We are making this contribution to create a virtuous circle that bridges the educational gap and improves the quality of education." President Kwang Hyung Lee was pleased to welcome the student startup’s donation, saying, "Software talent is one of the most precious resources we should foster for the nation’s future. I am thrilled to see that a startup that was founded here on the KAIST campus has grown into a great company that provides excellent coding education for our society.” Professor Alice Oh, who was the advisor for Kim and his colleagues when they launched the startup, joined the ceremony along with the founding members from KAIST including CPO Su-In Kim, CTO Chong-Kuk Park, and team leader Chang-Hyun Lee.
KAIST and Google Partner to Develop AI Curriculum
Two KAIST professors, Hyun Wook Ka from the School of Transdisciplinary Studies and Young Jae Jang from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, were recipients of Google Education Grants that will support the development of new AI courses integrating the latest industrial technology. This collaboration is part of the KAIST-Google Partnership, which was established in July 2019 with the goal of nurturing AI talent at KAIST. The two proposals -- Professor Ka’s ‘Cloud AI-Empowered Multimodal Data Analysis for Human Affect Detection and Recognition’ and Professor Jang’s ‘Learning Smart Factory with AI’-- were selected by the KAIST Graduate School of AI through a school-wide competition held in July. The proposals then went through a final review by Google and were accepted. The two professors will receive $7,500 each for developing AI courses using Google technology for one year. Professor Ka’s curriculum aims to provide a rich learning experience for students by providing basic knowledge on data science and AI and helping them obtain better problem solving and application skills using practical and interdisciplinary data science and AI technology. Professor Jang’s curriculum is designed to solve real-world manufacturing problems using AI and it will be field-oriented. Professor Jang has been managing three industry-academic collaboration centers in manufacturing and smart factories within KAIST and plans to develop his courses to go beyond theory and be centered on case studies for solving real-world manufacturing problems using AI. Professor Jang said, “Data is at the core of smart factories and AI education, but there is often not enough of it for the education to be effective. The KAIST Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory has a testbed for directly acquiring data generated from real semiconductor automation equipment, analyzing it, and applying algorithms, which enables truly effective smart factory and AI education.” KAIST signed a partnership with Google in July 2019 to foster global AI talent and is operating various programs to train AI experts and support excellent AI research for two years. The Google AI Focused Research Award supports world-class faculty performing cutting-edge research and was previously awarded to professors Sung Ju Hwang from the Graduate School of AI and Steven Whang from the School of Electrical Engineering along with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) credits. These two professors have been collaborating with Google teams since October 2018 and recently extended their projects to continue through 2021. In addition, a Google Ph.D. Fellowship was awarded to Taesik Gong from the School of Computing in October this year, and three Student Travel Grants were awarded to Sejun Park from the School of Electrical Engineering, Chulhyung Lee from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Sangyun Lee from the School of Computing earlier in March. Five students were also recommended for the Google Internship program in March. (END)
Long Economic Depressions and Disparities Loom in the Wake of the COVID-19
"Global Cooperation for Managing Data Key to Mitigating the Impacts Around the World" <Full recorded video of the GSI-IF2020> The COVID-19 pandemic will lead to long economic depressions around the entire world. Experts predicted that the prevalent inequities among the countries, regions, and individuals will aggravate the economic crisis. However, crises always come with new opportunities and international cooperation and solidarity will help creating a new normal in the post-coronavirus era. In a very basic but urgent step, global cooperation for managing data is the key to respond to COVID-19 since medicine and healthcare are intertwined with data science, said experts during an online international forum hosted by the Global Strategy Institute at KAIST on April 22. KAIST launched its think-tank, the Global Strategy Institute (GSI), in February. The GSI aims to identify global issues proactively and help make breakthroughs well aligned with solid science-based policies. The inaugural forum of the GSI focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact socio-economic, scientific, and political landscapes, under the theme “Global Cooperation in the Coronavirus Era.” In his opening remarks, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin stressed that future global governance will be dominated by the power of science and technology. “If we can implement efficient policies together with troubleshooting technology for responding to future crises, we will emerge stronger than before,” he said. President Shin said ‘the Korean model’, which is being recognized as a shining example for dealing with the pandemic, is the result of collaborations combining the creativity of the private sector, the public sector’s strong infrastructure, and the full support of the citizens. He added, “Without the technological prowess coming from the competent R&D power of Korea, we could not achieve these impressive results.” “Creative collaboration among the private and public sectors, along with research universities from around the world, will help shore up global resilience against the epidemic. We should work together to build a world of growing prosperity,” President Shin said. Prime Minister Sye-Kyun Chung, who is in charge of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in Korea, stressed global solidarity in his welcoming remarks, saying that “We need to share information and rely on the strength of our connections, rather than retreating into nationalistic isolation.” Peter Lee, Vice President of the Microsoft Healthcare, pointed out in his welcoming remarks three critical sectors for global cooperation: medicine and healthcare, public health and prevention, and life and the economy. He emphasized the rule of thumb for managing data, saying that data in these fields should be open, standardized, and shared among countries to combat this global pandemic. During a keynote session, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Jerome Kim described the challenges that go along with developing a vaccine. Dr. Kim said that only 7% of vaccine candidates go through the clinical trial stages, and it will take five to 10 years to completely prove a new vaccine’s safety after completing three stages of clinical tests. “It’s very challenging to develop the vaccine for COVID-19 within 12 to 15 months,” said Dr. Kim. He added that 78 out of 115 candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials around the world. There are five groups, including Moderna, Inovio, Jenner Institute, CanSino, and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, who are doing clinical trials in phases 1 and 2. “Given the fact that COVID-19 is a totally new type of virus, various stakeholders’ participation, such as the National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups, the WHO, and UNICEF, is needed to work together to benefit the entire world,” he pointed out. Professor Edward Yoonjae Choi from the Graduate School of AI at KAIST shared how AI and data sciences are being utilized to interpret the major trends of the epidemic. His group mainly focuses on deep learning to model electronic health records (EHR) for disease predictions. Professor Choi said AI and machine learning would be crucial solutions and collaborative research projects will surely accelerate how quickly we can overcome the pandemic. In addition, Dr. Kijung Shin’s group is interpreting the SIR (Susceptible, Infected, and Recovered) model in Korea to predict the number of infections and when people were infected. However, researchers noticed that they could not see the typical modeling in Korea for predicting the number of infections since the model disregarded the new variable of humans’ efforts to stop the spread the virus. According to research by Professor Steven Whang’s group on social distancing and face mask distribution among vulnerable age groups, people in their 20s, 60s, and 70s followed the social distancing guidelines the most strictly. The research team analyzed the data provided by SK Telecom in the Gangnam district of Seoul. The data provided on people in their 70s, a group that accounted for half of all fatalities, showed that masks were generally well distributed nationwide. Dr. Alexandros Papaspyrids, Tertiary Education Industry Director of the Asia region of Microsoft, said that despite all the disadvantages and problems related to remote education, we shouldn’t expect to return to the days before the COVID-19 any time soon. “We should accept the new normal and explore new opportunities in the new educational environment,” he said. Hongtaek Yong, Deputy Minister at the Office of R&D Policy at the Ministry of Science and ICT presented the Korean government’s disease prevention and response policy and how they tried to mitigate the economic and social impact. He stressed the government’s fast testing, tracing, and openness for successfully flattening the curve, adding that the government used an ICT-based approach in all aspects of their response. From early this year when the first patient was reported, the government aggressively encouraged the biotech industry to develop diagnostic kits and novel therapeutic medications. As a result, five companies were able to produce genetic diagnostic reagents through the emergency approval. More notably, four of them are conducting massive R&D projects sponsored by the government and this is the result of the government’s continuous investment in R&D. Korea is the leader in R&D investment among the OECD countries. According to Yong, the government’s big data project that was launched in 2017 continuously traces the trends of epidemics in Korea. The epidemiological studies based on the paths taken by suspected patients using credit card transaction made the difference in predicting the spread of the coronavirus and implementing countermeasures. The data has been provided to the Korea’s Center for Disease Control (CDC). “In addition to the epidemics, we have so many other pending issues arising from digital and social equities, un-contact services, and job security. We are very open to collaborate and cooperate with other countries to deal with this global crisis,” Yong said. During the subsequent panel discussions, David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said, “The global economy in the coronavirus era will not have a rapid V-shaped recovery, but rather will fall into a long depression for at least two years.” He pointed out that if countries practice protectionism like they did during the Great Depression, the recession will be even worse. Hence, he urged the international community, especially developed nations, to avoid protectionism, consider the economic difficulties of developing countries, and provide them with financial support. Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution Rebecca Winthrop raised concerns over the recent shift to online teaching and learning, claiming that insufficient infrastructures in low-income families in developing nations are already causing added educational disparities and provoking the inequity issue around the world. “The ways to provide quality education equally through faster and more effective means should be studied,” she said. Professor Joungho Kim, the director of the KAIST GSI and the forum’s organizer, concluded the event by saying that this forum will be a valuable resource for everyone who is providing assistance to those in need, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. (END)
Cyber MOU Signing with Zhejiang University
KAIST signed an MOU with Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China on March 25. This MOU signing ceremony took place via video conference due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The collaboration with ZJU had already started with the signing of an MOU for cooperation in technology commercialization last December. Possible cooperation initiatives included facilitating joint start-up businesses, patent portfolios, and technology marketing. With this general agreement signing, it is expected that the two institutes will expand mutual exchanges and collaborations at the institutional level for education and research. President Sung-Chul Shin said, “We will work together to devise measures for the systematic advancement of cooperation in various directions, including education, research, and the commercialization of technologies.” ZJU, a member of the C9 League known as China’s Ivy League, was established in 1897 and is located in the city of Hangzhou. Its population across 37 colleges and schools comprises 54,641 students and 3,741 faculty members. The university was ranked 6th in Asia and 54th in the world in the 2020 QS Rankings. (END)
KAIST GSAI and SNUBH Join Hands for AI in Healthcare
< Dean Song Chong (left) and Director Chang Wan Oh (right) at the KAIST GSAI - SNUBH MOU Signing Ceremony > The Graduate School of AI (GSAI) at KAIST and the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in AI education and research in the field of healthcare last month. The two institutions have agreed to collaborate on research and technology development through the implementation of academic and personnel exchange programs. The GSAI, opened in August 2019 as Korea’s first AI graduate school, has been in the forefront of nurturing top-tier AI specialists in the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution. The school employs a two-track strategy that not only provides students with core AI-related courses on machine learning, data mining, computer vision, and natural language processing, but also a multidisciplinary curriculum incorporating the five key fields of healthcare, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, security, and emerging technologies. Its faculty members are "the cream of the crop” in their early 40s, achieving world-class performance in their respective fields. SNUBH opened the Healthcare Innovation Park in 2016, the first hospital-led convergence research complex among Korean medical institutions. It is leading future medical research in five specialized areas: medical devices, healthcare ICT, human genetics, nano-machines, and regenerative medicine. The Dean of the GSAI, Song Chong, said, “We have set the stage for a cooperative platform for continuous and efficient joint education and research by the two institutions.” He expressed his excitement, saying, “Through this platform and our expertise in AI engineering and medicine, we will lead future AI-based medical technology.” The Director of the SNUBH Research Division, Chang Wan Oh, stressed that “the mutual cooperation between the two institutions will become a crucial turning point in AI education and research, which is at the core of future healthcare.” He added, “Through a high level of cooperation, we will have the ability to bring about global competitiveness and innovation.” (END)
KAIST and Google Jointly Develop AI Curricula
KAIST selected the two professors who will develop AI curriculum under the auspices of the KAIST-Google Partnership for AI Education and Research. The Graduate School of AI announced the two authors among the 20 applicants who will develop the curriculum next year. They will be provided 7,500 USD per subject. Professor Changho Suh from the School of Electrical Engineering and Professor Yong-Jin Yoon from the Department of Mechanical Engineering will use Google technology such as TensorFlow, Google Cloud, and Android to create the curriculum. Professor Suh’s “TensorFlow for Information Theory and Convex Optimization “will be used for curriculum in the graduate courses and Professor Yoon’s “AI Convergence Project Based Learning (PBL)” will be used for online courses. Professor Yoon’s course will explore and define problems by utilizing AI and experiencing the process of developing products that use AI through design thinking, which involves product design, production, and verification. Professor Suh’s course will discus“information theory and convergence,” which uses basic sciences and engineering as well as AI, machine learning, and deep learning.
President Shin Shares Innovation Strategy at Moscow
President Sung-Chul Shin shared the recipe for success for rapid national development through university education during the Island 10-22 Conference held at the Skolov Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow on July 16. President Shin stressed how urgent it is for higher education to rapidly embrace the new global economic environment brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in his keynote address entitled ‘Roles and Responsibilities of Universities for Rapid National Development’. The Island 10-22 Conference is a summit co-organized by the National University of Science and Technology MISIS and University of the National Technological Initiative 2035 and supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. More than 30 world-renowned experts, presidents of leading technological universities including President Peretz Lavie from the Israel Institute of Technology Technion, President Scott Pulsipher from Western Governors University and specialists in big data participated in the conference as speakers and discussed a diverse spectrum of ideas for making innovations and digital transformations in universities. More than 1,600 participants joined the conference. During his keynote speech, President Shin explained how Korea has achieved such rapid economic growth over the past half century. He cited the Korean government’s vision and innovation policies as factors leading to Korea’s phenomenal success. KAIST, one of the results of the Korean government’s innovation policy, led the nation to advanced technological breakthroughs in industries such as semiconductors. Such visionary policies and investments in science, technology, and education eventually made the Korea of today possible. President Shin said that KAIST distinguished itself through its new vision of C3 that fosters intellectual creativity, caring for others, and a challenging mind . Under Vision 2031, a blueprint for becoming a leading global university, President Shin said the KAIST continues to strive for innovations in convergent education,research and entreprenurship.
Education Innovation Day Reaffirms Rewarding of Excellence
Professors Tae-Eog Lee and Il-Chul Moon from the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering received the Linkgenesis Best Teacher Award and the Soo-Young Lee Teaching Innovation Award on May 10. They were each awarded with 10 million KRW in prize money during the Education Innovation Day ceremony held at the Chung Kun-mo conference hall. The award was endowed by KAIST Alumni Scholarship Chairman Hyung-Kyu Lim and KAIST Foundation Chairman Soo-Young Lee to support the innovation initiative and acknowledge faculty members who made significant contributions to educational innovation and benefited the general public though their innovations. “KAIST’s vision for excellence and commitment to innovation is a game changer. Educational innovation is one of five pillars of Vision 2031, and it is our priority to foster critical and creative thinking students,” said President Sung-Chul Shin at the ceremony. All the awardees made presentation on their innovative projects and shared their ideas on better pedagogical methodology for next generation. Professor Lee, dean of the KAIST Academy and the head of the Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching was recognized for his contribution to enhancing educational quality through innovative learning and teaching methodology development. He has set up an Education 3.0 Initiative, an online education platform for flipped learning at KAIST. Professor Moon also upgraded the online education platform to the 4.0 version and extended KAIST’s massive online courses through KOOC framework. This open platform offers more than 62 courses, with more than 170 thousand users registered since 2014. Professor Song-Hong Park from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering and Professor Jae-Woo Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering also won the Excellence Award.
NEREC Summer Program Keeps Fellows Thinking, Engaged in Nuclear Nonproliferation
Nuclear technology is more than just technology. It is the fruit of the most advanced science and technology. It also requires high standards of policymaking and global cooperation for benefiting the technology. As part of the fifth annual Nuclear Nonproliferation Education and Research Center (NEREC) Summer Fellows Program at KAIST, 24 students from 15 countries participated in six-week intensive education and training program. NEREC is the only university-based center dedicated to nuclear nonproliferation education and research established in 2014. The program, which provides multidisciplinary lectures and seminars on nuclear technology and policy as well as international relations, was designed to nurture global nuclear technology experts well equipped in three areas: in-depth knowledge of technology, applicability gained from sound policy building, and negotiating for international cooperation. It now has grown into the most popular summer program at KAIST. During the program from July 6 to August 18, participants were able to engage in enriching and stimulating learning experiences in tandem with policies and technology for the utilization and provision of peaceful and safe nuclear technology. Participating fellows also had to conduct a group research project on a given topic. This year, they explored nuclear nonproliferation issues in relation to nuclear exports and brainstormed some recommendations for current policy. They presented their outcomes at the 2018 NEREC Conference on Nuclear Nonproliferation. After intensive lecture sessions and group research work, the fellows went off to key policy think-tanks, nuclear research institutes, and research power facilities in Korea, Japan, and China. “NEREC emphasizes nuclear nonproliferation issues related to civilian nuclear power and the associated nuclear fuel cycle development from the point of technology users. I am very glad that the number of participants are increasing year by year,” said the Director of NEREC Man-Sung Yim, a professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering. Participants’ majors vary from nuclear engineering to international relations to economics. The fellows divided into two groups of graduate and undergraduate courses. They expressed their deep satisfactory in the multidisciplinary lectures by scholars from KAIST, Seoul National University, and Korea National Defense University. Many participants reported that they learned a lot, not only about policy and international relations but on the research they are conducting and what the key issues will be in dealing for producing meaningful research work. Moad Aldbissi from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology is one of the students who shared the same view. He said, “Coming from a technical background in nuclear engineering, I managed to learn a lot about nuclear policy and international relations. The importance of integrating the technical and political fields became even clearer.” Most students concurred that they recognized how important it was to make international collaboration in this powerful field for each country through this program. “As an engineering student, I just approached this program like an empty glass in policy areas. While working with colleagues during the program, I came to understand how important it is to make cooperation in these fields for the better result of national development and international relations,” said Thanataon Pornphatdetaudom from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. To Director Yim, this program is becoming well positioned to educate nuclear policy experts in a number of countries of strategic importance. He believes the continuous supply of these experts will contribute to promoting global nuclear nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy while the use of nuclear technology continues.
ICT Volunteer Corps Off to Africa
A volunteer corps made up of students will take part in ICT education services in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. KAIST students have been volunteering with the ICT education program in Africa since 2015. The volunteer corps will be made up of 51 students from 13 teams and will be conducting services for a month through the end of July at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) in Ethiopia, Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) and Star High School in Tanzania, and IT Education Center in Uganda. In Tanzania, KAIST students teamed up with NM-AIST students to carry out appropriate technology programs applied with Arduino kits. They plan to use scientific and engineering approaches to address local residents’ living challenges such as developing agricultural water suppliers using sensors measuring water in the soil and oxygen suppliers in the reservoir. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia and Uganda, student volunteers will be involved in various ICT educational programs for local students. The volunteering corps will also introduce cultural programs including K-Pop dancing for young students there. They will also engage in sports and art classes for students at orphanages in the region. President Sung-Chul Shin encouraged volunteers at the kick-off ceremony saying, “KAIST students should keep always humility, warmth, and tolerance in mind. I believe our students will exert leadership out there along with knowledge as well as wisdom.”
KAIST-KU Sign MOU on 4th Industrial Technology Development
(President Shin(second from left) poses with Khalifa University President Tod Laursen after signing an MOU in the UAE on March 25. Far left is Chairman of the NST Kwangyun Wohn and far right is the UAE Minister of Educatiion Hussain Al Hammadi.) KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University Interim President Tod Laursen signed an MOU on the Fourth Industrial Technology Development on March 25 in the UAE. They signed the MOU during the UAE-ROK Nuclear Friendship and KAIST Alumni Night at Khalifa University co-hosted by KAIST and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). The MOU will bring new opportunities to further expand bilateral cooperation in education and training in the relevant technologies called for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than 100 dignitaries including Chairman of National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) in Korea Dr. Kwangyun Wohn, President of KAERI Jaejoo Ha, the UAE Minister of Education His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, and His Excellency Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) Director General Christopher Viktorsson attended the event. In particular, a significant number of Emirati graduates of the KUSTAR-KAIST education program and many others who completed various KAIST training programs joined the event. The Nuclear Friendship Night was celebrating the completion of the first nuclear power plant in Barakah exported by Korea. This is the first nuclear reactor in the Middle East, which is to start operation later this year. The event also coincided with Korean President Moon Jae-In’s state visit to the UAE. KAIST and KAERI gathered distinguished leaders from the higher education and nuclear industries at the event in response to the UAE government’s top national agenda of fostering future talents and promoting the nuclear industry in order to ensure energy security. KAIST and Khalifa University signed an initial agreement in education and research in 2009 when the governments of Korea and the UAE signed a contract to build four nuclear power plants in Barakah. Since then, the two universities have worked together closely in the areas of nuclear engineering, bio-medical engineering, robotics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and materials science. With this signing on the new MOU, the partnership between the two institutions will mark the second phase of educating high-caliber human resources in science and technology of the two countries. The KAIST Alumni Night also brought more opportunities to appreciate the achievements that the two countries have made through collaboration in education and research, mostly represented in the field of nuclear technology between KAIST and Khalifa University. During the event, KAIST graduates also shared their experiences from the education at KAIST, followed by the welcoming speeches from the UAE Minister of Education and the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences. KAIST President Shin, in his welcoming speech at the event, said, “I look forward to more students in the UAE having the opportunity to experience the world’s top-level education and global environment that KAIST offers. The collaboration with Khalifa University and the UAE is very important for building both countries’ future growth.” KU President Laursen said, “This MOU on research cooperation focusing on technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, nuclear engineering, and other technical areas will further consolidate our partnership with KAIST and support us in developing human capital suitable to take on future challenges in the science and technology sectors. We firmly believe the talent pool of experts created by this initiative will contribute to the overall economic growth of the UAE.”
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