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Professor Sungyeol Choi Receives Science and ICT Ministerial Commendation
< Professor Sungyeol Choi > Professor Sungyeol Choi from the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering received the Science and ICT Ministerial Commendation on the 9th Annual Nuclear Safety and Promotion Day last month, in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of nuclear energy through the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Professor Choi developed high-precision, multi-physics codes that can predict and prevent abnormal power fluctuations caused by boron hideout within nuclear fuel in a pressurized water reactor, solving the problem that has caused economic losses of tens of billions of won every year from industrial sites. He is now developing a new technology that can reduce high-level waste by recycling spent nuclear fuel, while preventing nuclear material from being used for nuclear weapons, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by the nuclear industry. In 2017, his first year in office as a KAIST professor, Professor Choi was selected as the youngest and the only member under 50 of the Standing Scientific Advisory Committee at the Information Exchange Meeting on Partitioning and Transmutation (IEMPT), an authoritative association on the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The following year, he became the first Korean to receive the Early Career Award, which is given to one person every two years by the International Youth Nuclear Congress.
KAIST Showcases Advanced Technologies at CES 2020
< President Sung-Chul Shin experiencing cooling gaming headset developed by TEGWAY > KAIST Pavilion showcased 12 KAIST startups and alumni companies’ technologies at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 held in Las Vegas last month. Especially four companies, TEGWAY, THE.WAVE.TALK, Sherpa Space, and LiBEST won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards presented by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The CTA selects the most innovative items from among all submissions. TEGWAY spinned off by KAIST Professor Byung Jin Cho already made international headlines for their flexible, wearable, and temperature immersive thermoelectric device. The device was selected as one of the top ten most promising digital technologies by the Netexplo Forum in 2015, and has been expanded into VR, AR, and games. THE.WAVE.TALK has developed their first home appliance product in collaboration with ID+IM Design Laboratory of KAIST in which Professor Sang-Min Bae heads as creative director. Their real-time bacteria analysis with smart IoT sensor won the home appliances section. Sherpa Space and LiBEST are the alumni companies. Sherpa Space’s lighting for plants won the sustainability, eco-design, and smart energy section, and LiBEST’s full-range flexible battery won the section for technology for a better world. KAIST’s Alumni Association, Development Foundation, and the Office of University-Industry Cooperation (OUIC) made every effort to present KAIST technologies to the global market. President Sung-Chul Shin led the delegation comprising of 70 faculty, researchers, and young entrepreneurs. The KAIST Alumni Association fully funded the traveling costs of 30 alumni entrepreneurs and students, establishing scholarship for the CES participation. Ten young entrepreneurs were selected through the KAIST Startup Awards, and 20 current students preparing to start their own companies were selected via recommendation from the respective departments. Associate Vice President of the OUIC Kyung Cheol Choi said in excitement, “We received many offers for joint research and investment from leading companies around the world,” adding, “We will continue doing our best to generate global value by developing the innovative technologies obtained from education and research into businesses.” The KAIST pavilion at CES 2020 showcased: 1. flexible thermoelectric device ThermoReal and cooling gaming headset from TEGWAY, 2. wearable flexible battery from LiBEST, 3. applications such as conductive transparent electrode film and transparent heating film from J-Micro, 4. on-device AI solution based on deep learning model compression technology from Nota, 5. portable high resolution brain imaging device from OBELAB, 6. real-time bacteria analysis technology from THE.WAVE.TALK, 7. conversation-based AI-1 radio service platform from Timecode Archive, 8. light source solutions for different stages in a plant’s life cycle from Sherpa Space, 9. skin attached micro-LED patch and flexible piezoelectric acoustic sensor from FRONICS, 10. real-time cardiovascular measurement device from Healthrian, 11. block chain based mobile research documentation system from ReDWit, and 12. student-developed comprehensive healthcare device using a smart mirror. (END)
Scientists Discover the Mechanism of DNA High-Order Structure Formation
(Molecular structures of Abo1 in different energy states (left), Demonstration of an Abo1-assisted histone loading onto DNA by the DNA curtain assay. ) The genetic material of our cells—DNA—exists in a high-order structure called “chromatin”. Chromatin consists of DNA wrapped around histone proteins and efficiently packs DNA into a small volume. Moreover, using a spool and thread analogy, chromatin allows DNA to be locally wound or unwound, thus enabling genes to be enclosed or exposed. The misregulation of chromatin structures results in aberrant gene expression and can ultimately lead to developmental disorders or cancers. Despite the importance of DNA high-order structures, the complexity of the underlying machinery has circumvented molecular dissection. For the first time, molecular biologists have uncovered how one particular mechanism uses energy to ensure proper histone placement onto DNA to form chromatin. They published their results on Dec. 17 in Nature Communications. The study focused on proteins called histone chaperones. Histone chaperones are responsible for adding and removing specific histones at specific times during the DNA packaging process. The wrong histone at the wrong time and place could result in the misregulation of gene expression or aberrant DNA replication. Thus, histone chaperones are key players in the assembly and disassembly of chromatin. “In order to carefully control the assembly and disassembly of chromatin units, histone chaperones act as molecular escorts that prevent histone aggregation and undesired interactions,” said Professor Ji-Joon Song in the Department of Biological Sciences at KAIST. “We set out to understand how a unique histone chaperone uses chemical energy to assemble or disassemble chromatin.” Song and his team looked to Abo1, the only known histone chaperone that utilizes cellular energy (ATP). While Abo1 is found in yeast, it has an analogous partner in other organisms, including humans, called ATAD2. Both use ATP, which is produced through a cellular process where enzymes break down a molecule’s phosphate bond. ATP energy is typically used to power other cellular processes, but it is a rare partner for histone chaperones. “This was an interesting problem in the field because all other histone chaperones studied to date do not use ATP,” Song said. By imaging Abo1 with a single-molecule fluorescence imaging technique known as the DNA curtain assay, the researchers could examine the protein interactions at the single-molecule level. The technique allows scientists to arrange the DNA molecules and proteins on a single layer of a microfluidic chamber and examine the layer with fluorescence microscopy. The researchers found through real-time observation that Abo1 is ring-shaped and changes its structure to accommodate a specific histone and deposit it on DNA. Moreover, they found that the accommodating structural changes are powered by ADP. “We discovered a mechanism by which Abo1 accommodates histone substrates, ultimately allowing it to function as a unique energy-dependent histone chaperone,” Song said. “We also found that despite looking like a protein disassembly machine, Abo1 actually loads histone substrates onto DNA to facilitate chromatin assembly.” The researchers plan to continue exploring how energy-dependent histone chaperones bind and release histones, with the ultimate goal of developing therapeutics that can target cancer-causing misbehavior by Abo1’s analogous human counterpart, ATAD2. Profile -Professor Ji-Joon Song ( www.song-kaist.org) Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences Email:firstname.lastname@example.org KI for the BioCentury (https://kis.kaist.ac.kr/index.php?mid=KIB_O) KAIST -Dr. Carol Cho Department of Biological Sciences The Research Center for Natural Sciences KI for the BioCentury (https://kis.kaist.ac.kr/index.php?mid=KIB_O) KAIST
Professor Meeyoung Cha, First Young Information Scientist Awardee from KAIST
< Professor Meeyoung Cha (Left) > Professor Meeyoung Cha from the School of Computing was awarded the fourth Young Information Scientist Award by the Korean Institute of Information Scientists and Engineers (KIISE) last month. Professor Cha is the first from KAIST to win the prize since its establishment under the auspices of the WWW 2014 organizing committee. The Young Information Scientist Award is awarded to scientists under the age of 40 who have contributed to the development of information science and excelled in research and development in their field. Professor Cha played a leading role as a young information scientist, having been cited more than 13,000 times in other research papers on fake news detection, lightweight and robust representation of economic scales from satellite imagery, and the development of insomnia detection models. Reputed as a promising researcher, Professor Cha has been selected as the chief investigator at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) since January 2019 where she has been operating the Data Science Group under the Center for Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Professor Cha was also invited as a keynote speaker to the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), an international academic conference held in Hong Kong in November 2019, where she gave a lecture on “Current Challenges in Computational Social Science” for 1,900 attendees. (END)
Director Ahn at Startup KAIST Donates 100 Million KRW for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
< Director Steve Ahn (Right) > Steve Ahn, the Director of Startup KAIST, donated one hundred million KRW of development fund to his alma mater KAIST to increase entrepreneurship opportunities and nourish start-up culture on campus. Professor Ahn founded Leadis Technology Inc. in 2000, a fabless semiconductor company based in Silicon Valley that develops mobile phone sub-display applications. Leadis Technology Inc. made its stock market debut on the NASDAQ in 2004. “KAIST produces many start-ups, however, entrepreneurial culture has yet to become a growth engine of KAIST, compared to education and research. Through invigorating entrepreneurial spirit and revitalizing start-up activities, KAIST should reclaim its leadership role in creating decent jobs and fuelling economic growth and competitiveness at home and abroad,” he said during the donation ceremony last month. He added, “I am forever grateful to my alma mater KAIST for having provided me with a quality education. It was a valuable asset that helped me gain an opportunity to nurture the up-and-coming, next-generation scholars as a professor at KAIST. I decided to make this donation hoping that KAIST students will be given more entrepreneurship opportunities, and a healthy start-up ecosystem will be accelerated beyond KAIST.” Director Ahn earned his bachelor’s degree in metallurgy from Seoul National University, followed by a master’s degree in materials engineering from KAIST. He received another master's degree in electrical engineering, and was granted a doctorate in materials engineering from Stanford University. He has been mentoring start-up activities at Startup KAIST since 2014, and serving as the principal professor at K-School since 2016. From these activities, he was recognized for his academic achievements and committed leadership, which led him to be appointed as the Director of Startup KAIST in March 2019. (END)
A System Controlling Road Active Noise to Hit the Road
The research team led by Professor Youngjin Park of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed a road noise active noise control (RANC) system to be commercialized in partnership with Hyundai Motor Group. On December 11, Hyundai Motor Group announced the successful development of the RANC system, which significantly reduces the road noise flowing into cars. The carmaker has completed the domestic and American patent applications for the location of sensors and the signal selection method, the core technology of RANC. RANC is a technology for reducing road noise during driving. This system consists of an acceleration sensor, digital signal processor (the control computer to analyze sound signals), microphone, amplifier, and audio system. To make the system as simple as possible, the audio system utilizes the original audio system embedded in the car instead of a separate system. The acceleration sensor first calculates the vibration from the road into the car. The location of the sensor is important for accurately identifying the vibration path. The research team was able to find the optimal sensor location through a number of tests. The System Dynamics and Applied Control Laboratory of Professor Park researched ways to significantly reduce road noise with Hyundai Motor Group for four years from 1993 as a G7 national project and published the results in international journals. In 2002, the researchers published an article titled “Noise Quietens Driving” in Nature, where they announced the first success in reducing road noise in actual cars. The achievement did not lead to commercialization, however, due to the lack of auxiliary technologies at the time, digital amplifiers and DSP for cars for example, and pricing issues. Since 2013, Professor Park’s research team has participated in one technology transfer and eight university-industry projects. Based on these efforts, the team was able to successfully develop the RANC system with domestic technology in partnership with Hyundai’s NVH Research Lab (Research Fellow, Dr. Gangdeok Lee; Ph.D. in aviation engineering, 1996), Optomech (Founder, Professor Gyeongsu Kim; Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, 1999), ARE (CEO Hyeonseok Kim; Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, 1998), WeAcom, and BurnYoung. Professor Park’s team led the project by performing theory-based research during the commercialization stage in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Group. For the commercialization of the RANC system, Hyundai Motor Group is planning to collaborate with the global car audio company Harman to increase the degree of completion and apply the RANC system to the GV 80, the first SUV model of the Genesis brand. “I am very delighted as an engineer to see the research I worked on from my early days at KAIST be commercialized after 20 years,” noted Professor Park. “I am thrilled to make a contribution to such commercialization with my students in my lab.”
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)
Professor Junil Choi Receives Stephen O. Rice Prize
< Professor Junil Choi (second from the left) > Professor Junil Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering received the Stephen O. Rice Prize at the Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in Hawaii on December 10, 2019. The Stephen O. Rice Prize is awarded to only one paper of exceptional merit every year. The IEEE Communications Society evaluates all papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Communications journal within the last three years, and marks each paper by aggregating its scores on originality, the number of citations, impact, and peer evaluation. Professor Choi won the prize for his research on one-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) for multiuser massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) antenna systems published in 2016. In his paper, Professor Choi proposed a technology that can drastically reduce the power consumption of the multiuser massive MIMO antenna systems, which are the core technology for 5G and future wireless communication. Professor Choi’s paper has been cited more than 230 times in various academic journals and conference papers since its publication, and multiple follow-up studies are actively ongoing. In 2015, Professor Choi received the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award, an award equals to the Stephen O. Rice Prize. He was also selected as the winner of the 15th Haedong Young Engineering Researcher Award presented by the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences (KICS) on December 6, 2019 for his outstanding academic achievements, including 34 international journal publications and 26 US patent registrations. (END)
Professor Sung Yong Kim Elected as the Chair of PICES MONITOR
< Professor Sung Yong Kim > Professor Sung Yong Kim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering was elected as the chair of the Technical Committee on Monitoring (MONITOR) of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). PICES is an intergovernmental marine science organization that was established in 1992 through a collaboration between six North Pacific nations including South Korea, Russia, the United States, Japan, China, and Canada to exchange and discuss research on the Pacific waters. Its headquarters is located in Canada and the organization consists of seven affiliated maritime science and marine technology committees. Professor Kim was elected as the chair of the technical committee that focuses on monitoring and will be part of the Science Board as an ex-officio member. His term will last three years from November 2019. Professor Kim was recognized for his academic excellence, expertise, and leadership among oceanographers both domestically and internationally. Professor Kim will also participate as an academia civilian committee member of the Maritime and Fisheries Science and Technology Committee under the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries for two years from December 18, 2019. He stated, “I will give my full efforts to broaden Korean oceanography research by participating in maritime leadership positions at home and abroad, and help South Korea become a maritime powerhouse.” (END)
Professor Shin-Hyun Kim Receives the Young Scientist Award
Professor Shin-Hyun Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering received the Young Scientist Award from the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. The Young Scientist Award is presented to a promising young Korean scientist under the age of 40 who shows significant potential, passion, and remarkable achievement. Professor Kim was lauded for his research of intelligent soft materials. By applying his research, he developed a capsule sensor material that can not only be used for sensors, but also for displays, color aesthetics, anti-counterfeit technology, residual drug detection, and more. The award ceremony took place on December 14 at the Gwacheon National Science Museum. The Korean minister of Science and ICT delivered words of encouragement, reminding everyone that “the driving force behind creative performance of scientists is the provision of continuous support.” He added, “Researchers of Korea deserve greater public attention and support.” (END)
New Liquid Metal Wearable Pressure Sensor Created for Health Monitoring Applications
Soft pressure sensors have received significant research attention in a variety of fields, including soft robotics, electronic skin, and wearable electronics. Wearable soft pressure sensors have great potential for the real-time health monitoring and for the early diagnosis of diseases. A KAIST research team led by Professor Inkyu Park from the Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a highly sensitive wearable pressure sensor for health monitoring applications. This work was reported in Advanced Healthcare Materials on November 21 as a front cover article. This technology is capable of sensitive, precise, and continuous measurement of physiological and physical signals and shows great potential for health monitoring applications and the early diagnosis of diseases. A soft pressure sensor is required to have high compliance, high sensitivity, low cost, long-term performance stability, and environmental stability in order to be employed for continuous health monitoring. Conventional solid-state soft pressure sensors using functional materials including carbon nanotubes and graphene have showed great sensing performance. However, these sensors suffer from limited stretchability, signal drifting, and long-term instability due to the distance between the stretchable substrate and the functional materials. To overcome these issues, liquid-state electronics using liquid metal have been introduced for various wearable applications. Of these materials, Galinstan, a eutectic metal alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, has great mechanical and electrical properties that can be employed in wearable applications. But today’s liquid metal-based pressure sensors have low-pressure sensitivity, limiting their applicability for health monitoring devices. The research team developed a 3D-printed rigid microbump array-integrated, liquid metal-based soft pressure sensor. With the help of 3D printing, the integration of a rigid microbump array and the master mold for a liquid metal microchannel could be achieved simultaneously, reducing the complexity of the manufacturing process. Through the integration of the rigid microbump and the microchannel, the new pressure sensor has an extremely low detection limit and enhanced pressure sensitivity compared to previously reported liquid metal-based pressure sensors. The proposed sensor also has a negligible signal drift over 10,000 cycles of pressure, bending, and stretching and exhibited excellent stability when subjected to various environmental conditions. These performance outcomes make it an excellent sensor for various health monitoring devices. First, the research team demonstrated a wearable wristband device that can continuously monitor one’s pulse during exercise and be employed in a noninvasive cuffless BP monitoring system based on PTT calculations. Then, they introduced a wireless wearable heel pressure monitoring system that integrates three 3D-BLiPS with a wireless communication module. Professor Park said, “It was possible to measure health indicators including pulse and blood pressure continuously as well as pressure of body parts using our proposed soft pressure sensor. We expect it to be used in health care applications, such as the prevention and the monitoring of the pressure-driven diseases such as pressure ulcers in the near future. There will be more opportunities for future research including a whole-body pressure monitoring system related to other physical parameters.” This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. < Figure 1. The front cover image of Advanced Healthcare Materials, Volume 8, Issue 22. > < Figure 2. Highly sensitive liquid metal-based soft pressure sensor integrated with 3D-printed microbump array. > < Figure 3. High pressure sensitivity and reliable sensing performances of the proposed sensor and wireless heel pressure monitoring application. > Profile: Prof. Inkyu Park email@example.com Micro/Nano Transducers Laboratory http://mintlab1.kaist.ac.kr/ Department of Mechanical Engineering KAIST
Team Geumo Wins Consecutive Victories in K-Cyber Security Challenge
< Professor Sang Kil Cha > < Masters Candidate Kangsu Kim and Researcher Corentin Soulet > Team Geumo, led by Professor Sang Kil Cha from the Graduate School of Information Security, won the K-Cyber Security Challenge in the AI-based automatic vulnerability detection division for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. The K-Cyber Security Challenge is an inter-machine hacking competition. Participants develop and operate AI-based systems that are capable of independently identifying software vulnerabilities and gaining operating rights through hacking. The K-Cyber Security Challenge, inspired by the US Cyber Grand Challenge launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT and organized by the Korea Internet and Security Agency. Researcher Corentin Soulet of the School of Computing and master’s student Kangsu Kim of the Graduate School of Information Security teamed up for the competition. Professor Cha, who has led the research on software and systems security since his days at Carnegie Mellon University, succeeded in establishing a world-class system using domestic technology. In a recent collaboration with the Cyber Security Research Center, Professor Cha achieved a ten-fold increase in the speed of binary analysis engines, a key component of AI-based hacking systems. For this accomplishment, he received the Best Paper Award at the 2019 Network and Distributed System Security Workshop on Binary Analysis Research (NDSS BAR). Kangsu Kim said, "It is a great honor to win the competition two years in a row. I will continue to work hard and apply my knowledge to serve society.” (END)
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