By Kim Tae-gyu / Staff Reporter
THE KOREA TIMES 05-29-2004
A Nobel laureate will lead the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), winning a stiff race with a pair of strong Korean candidates.
The KAIST on Friday said the state-financed institute appointed Robert Laughlin as its 12th president instead of two local hopefuls, professors Shin Seong-cheol and Park Seong-ju.
This is the first time that foreigners take charge of the KAIST since it was established in 1971 and Laughlin also is noted in the history as the first Nobel Prize winner to head Korea"s educational institute.
After receiving approval of Science-Technology Minister Oh Myung, Laughlin will be inaugurated as early as next month, according to a KAIST official.
Laughlin, a Stanford professor, made his name after being co-awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics with Horst Stoermer and Daniel Tsui for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid.
The findings, which explained the fractional quantum hall effect for the first time, have been recognized as a significant breakthrough in understanding quantum physics.
The American physicist had also sustained a special connection with Korea even before he garnered the prestigious prize and has visited Korea several times.
Early last month, Laughlin was named to head the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) in recognition of his notable interest in Korea.
The APCTP is an international research institute headquartered inside Pohang University of Science and Technology in North Kyongsang Province.
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