President of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
DAEJEON, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Nobel Physics Prize laureate Robert Laughlin was sworn in Wednesday as the first foreign president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea"s top technology university.
Laughlin, in his inauguration speech, pledged to transform the state-run Korean university into a globally competitive educational institution, while also vowing to make it research oriented.
"Many people have asked me how I, as a foreigner, could possibly understand the situation here at KAIST, much less figure out a path forward," he said. "The short answer is that the situation here is not unique. The problems facing the research university are historical in nature and essentially identical all over the world."
He added the same worried discussions are taking place in other universities around the globe such as at Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Heidelberg and Tokyo.
"I have come here not to solve your problems but to solve my own," the 54-year-old American said.
Laughlin said KAIST is a large, well-functioning organization for which few things needed to be changed.
The former Stanford University professor also promised to work hard to lead the university in a novel direction.
"All of us in the technical university have a holy obligation ... we are here for the sole purpose of having big dreams and finding the strength to make them come to pass," Laughlin said.
"As far as I"m concerned, my job comes down to one thing: to make sure that your dreams are big enough, and to help everyone here -- faculty and students -- find the means to make them come to pass. That"s all," he said.
The ceremony was attended by Science and Technology Minister Oh Myung, Daejeon City Mayor Yeom Hong-chul and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard, among others.
On Thursday, Laughlin is scheduled to meet President Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul. Laughlin will start his four-year term from mid-August, KAIST said.
Laughlin won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1998 with Horst Stoermer of Germany and Daniel Tsui of the United States for discovering a new form of quantum fluid that gives more profound insights into the general inner structure and dynamics of matter.
On May 28, he was chosen to run the Korean university at a board meeting. (END)
< Photo 1. Opening of NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference > In attendance of the Minister of Science and ICT Jong-ho Lee, NYU President Linda G. Mills, and KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee, KAIST co-hosted the NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference at the Paulson Center of New York University (NYU) in New York City, USA on September 21st, 9:30 pm. At the conference, KAIST and NYU discussed the direction and policies for ‘global AI and digit2023-09-22
< Photo 1. 2023 KAIST Tech Fair in New York > KAIST (President Kwang-Hyung Lee) announced on the 11th that it will hold the ‘2023 KAIST Tech Fair in New York’ at the Kimmel Center at New York University in Manhattan, USA, on the 22nd of this month. It is an event designed to be the starting point for KAIST to expand its startup ecosystem into the global stage, and it is to attract investments and secure global customers in New York by demonstrating the technological value2023-09-11
KAIST (President Kwang Hyung Lee) announced on the 29th that it has solicited a development fund of KRW 1 billion from MVITRO (CEO Young Woo Lee) for joint research at the KAIST-NYU Joint Campus, which is being pursued to be KAIST's first campus on the United States. KAIST plans to use this development fund for research and development of various solutions in the field of 'Healthcare at Home' among several joint researches being conducted with New York University (hereinafter referred to as N2023-05-30
< Photo 1. On the 17th, KAIST held the 2023 Commencement Ceremony for a total of 2,870 students, including 691 doctors. > KAIST held its 2023 commencement ceremony at the Sports Complex of its main campus in Daejeon at 2 p.m. on February 27. It was the first commencement ceremony to invite all its graduates since the start of COVID-19 quarantine measures. KAIST awarded a total of 2,870 degrees including 691 PhD degrees, 1,464 master’s degrees, and 715 bachelor’s degrees2023-02-20
The KAIST Alumni Association (Chairman, Chil-Hee Chung) announced on the 12th that the winners of the 2023 KAIST Distinguished Alumni Award and International Alumni Award has been selected. The KAIST Distinguished Alumni Award, which produced the first recipient in 1992, is an award given to alumni who have contributed to the development of the nation and society, or who have glorified the honor of their alma mater with outstanding academic achievements and social and/or communal contributions.2023-01-12