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KAIST to begin Joint Research to Develop Next-Generation LiDAR System with Hyundai Motor Group
< (From left) Jong-Soo Lee, Executive Vice President at Hyundai Motor, Sang-Yup Lee, Senior Vice President for Research at KAIST > The ‘Hyundai Motor Group-KAIST On-Chip LiDAR Joint Research Lab’ was opened at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon to develop LiDAR sensors for advanced autonomous vehicles. The joint research lab aims to develop high-performance and compact on-chip sensors and new signal detection technology, which are essential in the increasingly competitive autonomous driving market. On-chip sensors, which utilize semiconductor manufacturing technology to add various functions, can reduce the size of LiDAR systems compared to conventional methods and secure price competitiveness through mass production using semiconductor fabrication processes. The joint research lab will consist of about 30 researchers, including the Hyundai-Kia Institute of Advanced Technology Development research team and KAIST professors Sanghyeon Kim, Sangsik Kim, Wanyeong Jung, and Hamza Kurt from KAIST’s School of Electrical Engineering, and will operate for four years until 2028. KAIST will be leading the specialized work of each research team, such as for the development of silicon optoelectronic on-chip LiDAR components, the fabrication of high-speed, high-power integrated circuits to run the LiDAR systems, and the optimization and verification of LiDAR systems. Hyundai Motor and Kia, together with Hyundai NGV, a specialized industry-academia cooperation institution, will oversee the operation of the joint research lab and provide support such as monitoring technological trends, suggesting research directions, deriving core ideas, and recommending technologies and experts to enhance research capabilities. A Hyundai Motor Group official said, "We believe that this cooperation between Hyundai Motor Company and Kia, the leader in autonomous driving technology, and KAIST, the home of world-class technology, will hasten the achievement of fully autonomous driving." He added, "We will do our best to enable the lab to produce tangible results.” Professor Sanghyeon Kim said, "The LiDAR sensor, which serves as the eyes of a car, is a core technology for future autonomous vehicle development that is essential for automobile companies to internalize."
2023 Global Startup Internship Seminar (GSIS)
The Center for Global Strategies and Planning at KAIST hosted the 2023 Global Startup Internship Seminar (GSIS) both online and offline from November 29th to December 1st. Following the success of the 2022 Global Startup Internship Fair (GSIF), the 2023 KAIST GSIS was organized in an enhanced format. This event provided students with the opportunity to explore internship opportunities with U.S. startups. Six startups in the fields of AI, bio, digital healthcare, drones, and e-commerce, Imprimed, Soundable Health, Vessl AI, B Garage, UNEEKOR, and Bringko, all founded by KAIST alumni, were invited. More than 80 KAIST students registered in advance to participate in the event. The participating companies in this seminar shared who they and what they do and provided career mentoring for KAIST students. Catherine Song, the CEO of Soundable Health and a KAIST alumna, said, "It is very meaningful to introduce our company to KAIST students and provide them with the opportunity to take part in global internships." In addition to startup company information and mentoring sessions, the seminar included sessions on preparing CVs, cover letters, and business emails for U.S. internships, and how to settle in Silicon Valley. Internship experiences were also shared by current KAIST students. Finally, a J-1 visa information session was conducted, providing useful tips for students preparing for U.S. internships. Man-Sung Yim, the Vice President of the International Office at KAIST, said, "We hope that KAIST students, who have nurtured a global entrepreneurial spirit through this event, will grow into aspiring entrepreneurs with confidence on the global stage." He also mentioned plans to leverage the success of this event by connecting it with other KAIST global entrepreneurship programs.
A KAIST research team unveils new path for dense photonic integration
Integrated optical semiconductor (hereinafter referred to as optical semiconductor) technology is a next-generation semiconductor technology for which many researches and investments are being made worldwide because it can make complex optical systems such as LiDAR and quantum sensors and computers into a single small chip. In the existing semiconductor technology, the key was how small it was to make it in units of 5 nanometers or 2 nanometers, but increasing the degree of integration in optical semiconductor devices can be said to be a key technology that determines performance, price, and energy efficiency. KAIST (President Kwang-Hyung Lee) announced on the 19th that a research team led by Professor Sangsik Kim of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering discovered a new optical coupling mechanism that can increase the degree of integration of optical semiconductor devices by more than 100 times. The degree of the number of elements that can be configured per chip is called the degree of integration. However, it is very difficult to increase the degree of integration of optical semiconductor devices, because crosstalk occurs between photons between adjacent devices due to the wave nature of light. In previous studies, it was possible to reduce crosstalk of light only in specific polarizations, but in this study, the research team developed a method to increase the degree of integration even under polarization conditions, which were previously considered impossible, by discovering a new light coupling mechanism. This study, led by Professor Sangsik Kim as a corresponding author and conducted with students he taught at Texas Tech University, was published in the international journal 'Light: Science & Applications' [IF=20.257] on June 2nd. done. (Paper title: Anisotropic leaky-like perturbation with subwavelength gratings enables zero crosstalk). Professor Sangsik Kim said, "The interesting thing about this study is that it paradoxically eliminated the confusion through leaky waves (light tends to spread sideways), which was previously thought to increase the crosstalk." He went on to add, “If the optical coupling method using the leaky wave revealed in this study is applied, it will be possible to develop various optical semiconductor devices that are smaller and that has less noise.” Professor Sangsik Kim is a researcher recognized for his expertise and research in optical semiconductor integration. Through his previous research, he developed an all-dielectric metamaterial that can control the degree of light spreading laterally by patterning a semiconductor structure at a size smaller than the wavelength, and proved this through experiments to improve the degree of integration of optical semiconductors. These studies were reported in ‘Nature Communications’ (Vol. 9, Article 1893, 2018) and ‘Optica’ (Vol. 7, pp. 881-887, 2020). In recognition of these achievements, Professor Kim has received the NSF Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Young Scientist Award from the Association of Korean-American Scientists and Engineers. Meanwhile, this research was carried out with the support from the New Research Project of Excellence of the National Research Foundation of Korea and and the National Science Foundation of the US. < Figure 1. Illustration depicting light propagation without crosstalk in the waveguide array of the developed metamaterial-based optical semiconductor >
The 1st Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp bridges KAIST and Silicon Valley, US
Twenty KAIST students gave a go at selling their business ideas to investors at Silicon Valley on the “Pitch Day” at 2022 Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp. From Tuesday, June 21 to Monday, July 4, 2022, KAIST held the first Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp (GESC). The 2022 GESC, which was organized in collaboration with Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), KOTRA Silicon Valley IT Center, and KAIST Alumni at Silicon Valley, was a pilot program that offered opportunities of experiencing and learning about the cases of startup companies in Silicon Valley and a chance to expand businesses to Silicon Valley through networking. Twenty KAIST students, including pre-startup entrepreneurs and students interested in global entrepreneurship with less than one year of business experience were selected. The first week of the program was organized by Startup KAIST while the second week program was organized by the Center for Global Strategies and Planning (GSP) at KAIST in collaboration with the Stanford Technology Venture Program (STVP), KAIST Alumni at Silicon Valley, and KOTRA at Silicon Valley. Dr. Mo-Yun Lei Fong, the Executive Director of STVP, said, “The program offered an opportunity for us to realize our vision of empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to become global citizens who create and scale responsible innovation. By collaborating with KAIST and offering entrepreneurial insights to Korean students, we are able to have a positive impact on a global scale.” Mo added, “The program also enabled STVP to build bridges, learn from the students, and refine our culturally relevant curriculum by understanding Korean culture and ideas.” On the “Pitch Day” on July 1, following a special talk by Dr. Chong-Moon Lee, the Chairman of AmBex Venture Partners, the students presented their team business ideas such as an AI-assisted, noise-canceling pillow devised for better sleep, a metaverse dating application, an XR virtual conferencing system, and an AI language tutoring application to the entice global investors’ curiosity. The invited investors, majorly based in Silicon Valley, commented that all the presentation was very exciting, and the level of pitches was beyond the expectation considering that the students have given only two weeks. Ms. Seunghee Lee of the team “Bored KAIST Yacht Club”, which was awarded the first prize, explained, “our item, called ‘Meta-Everland’, is a service that offers real-time dating experiences similar to off-line dates. The GESC taught me that anybody can launch a startup as long as they are willing. Developing a business model from ideation and taking it to the actual pitching was challenging, but it was a very thrilling experience at the same time.” Lee added, “Most importantly, over the course of the program and the final pitch, I found out that an interesting idea can attract investors interest even at a very early stage of the launching.” Mr. Byunghoon Hwang, a student who attended the program said, “Having learned the thoughts and attitudes the people at the front line of Silicon Valley, my views on career and launching of a start-up have been expanded a lot.” Ms. Marina Mondragon, another attendee at the program, also said that the program was very meaningful because she was able to learn the difference between the ecosystem for the new start-up businesses at Korea and at Silicon Valley through her talks with the CEOs at Silicon Valley. The program was co-organized by the Center for Global Strategies and Planning at KAIST International Office and Startup of KAIST. Dr. Man-Sung Yim, the Associate Vice President for KAIST International Office, who guided students in Silicon Valley, said, “I believe the GESC program broadened the views and entrepreneurial mindset of students. After joining this program, students stepped forward to become a founder of startups.” In addition, Dr. Young-Tae Kim, the Associate Vice President of the Institute for Startup KAIST, addressed “Startup KAIST will support business items founded via the program through various other programs in order to enhance their competitiveness in the global market.” The GSP and Startup KAIST will continuously revamp the program by selecting distinguished fellows to join the program and coming up with innovative startup items. Profile: Sooa Lee, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor email@example.com Center for Global Strategies and Planning Office of Global Initiatives KAIST International Office https://io.kaist.ac.kr Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2022 KAIST Research Day Recognizes 10 Outstanding Researches
On May 31, the 2022 KAIST Research Day was held at the Jeongo Geun-mo Conference Hall at KAIST’s main campus. Since 2016, Research Day has been a yearly festival for researchers at KAIST. By introducing major research achievements and providing opportunities for information exchanges in R&D, it aims to create an atmosphere for mutual cooperation and communication amongst researchers, thereby vitalizing interdisciplinary research. At this year’s event, 10 faculty members and their representative research achievements were rewarded. As the winner of the Grand Prize for Research, Professor Il-Doo Kim (Department of Materials Science and Engineering) gave a lecture on his topic, “Ultrasensitive flexible chemical sensor”. With rising attention being given to environmental safety and healthcare, the importance of mobile sensors for trace amounts of molecules that can quickly raise hazard signals and allow early diagnosis from breath analysis have been brought to light. The lecture will break down ultrasensitive chemical sensor development cases, and introduced how gas sensor technologies developed at KAIST in particular are being applied at semiconductor and display fabrication plants for environmental and safety analyses and hazard prevention. Professor Il-Doo Kim is a recognized researcher for his inventive achievements in the fields of respiratory gas sensor technology for early disease monitoring, and ordered nanofiber membranes for antiviral and fine dust filters. Professor Kim has so far published 343 international research papers, received 56 journal covers, been awarded 230 domestic and international patents, and completed 12 technology transfers. He has also received a presidential award on the 51st invention day in 2016, Scientist of the Year Award selected by reporters in 2019, and has been named a fellow in the engineering division of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology in 2022. Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho at the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering and Professor Doh Chang Lee at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering were each awarded the Research Award, and Professor Dongsoo Han at the School of Computing received the Innovation Award. Professors Buhm Soon Park at the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy, Changick Kim at the School of Electrical Engineering and Hyun Jung Cho at the School of Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences received the Interdisciplinary Research Award as a team. The passion and experiences of the awardees are to be introduced to undergraduate and graduate students as well as fellow researchers through a pre-recorded video lecture, while the lecture of the winner of the grand prize will be delivered on site. Meanwhile, the top ten R&D achievements of KAIST selected excellent research outcomes from the natural and biological sciences including “Polariton-based PT symmetry laser that turns loss into gain” (Professor Yong-Hoon Cho at the Department of Physics), “Solution to the Riemann Problem including weak shock waves in 1-dimensional space” (Professor Moon-Jin Kang at the Department of Mathematical Sciences), and “Characterization of immune reaction in COVID-19 patients” (Professor Eui-Cheol Shin at the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering.) Awardees from the engineering field included “Fluid surface stabilization technology using plasma jet” (Professor Wonho Choe at the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, “Visual recognition technology using event-based cameras” (Professor Kuk-Jin Yoon at theDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, “Artificial sensory system development through neural signal mimicry” (Professor Seongjun Park at the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, “Mott transition material-based ultrahigh speed, low-power, and deformation-resistant true random number generator” (Professor Kyung Min Kim at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, “Investment service design based on Aline: ESG” (Professor Sangsu Lee at the Department of Industrial Design), “Structural color printing technology without chemical colorings” (Professor Shin-Hyun Kim at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and “Differentiable transient optical transfer simulation” (Professor Minhyuk Kim at the School of Computing) To encourage the participation of members of KAIST, all parts of the ceremony will be broadcast live through YouTube in both English and Korean.” He added, “Offline audiences will congratulate the awardees at Fusion Hall in the KI Building and gain research ideas.”
Quantum Technology: the Next Game Changer?
The 6th KAIST Global Strategy Institute Forum explores how quantum technology has evolved into a new growth engine for the future The participants of the 6th KAIST Global Strategy Institute (GSI) Forum on April 20 agreed that the emerging technology of quantum computing will be a game changer of the future. As KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee said in his opening remarks, the future is quantum and that future is rapidly approaching. Keynote speakers and panelists presented their insights on the disruptive innovations we are already experiencing. The three keynote speakers included Dr. Jerry M. Chow, IBM fellow and director of quantum infrastructure, Professor John Preskill from Caltech, and Professor Jungsang Kim from Duke University. They discussed the academic impact and industrial applications of quantum technology, and its prospects for the future. Dr. Chow leads IBM Quantum’s hardware system development efforts, focusing on research and system deployment. Professor Preskill is one of the leading quantum information science and quantum computation scholars. He coined the term “quantum supremacy.” Professor Kim is the co-founder and CTO of IonQ Inc., which develops general-purpose trapped ion quantum computers and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits. Two leading quantum scholars from KAIST, Professor June-Koo Kevin Rhee and Professor Youngik Sohn, and Professor Andreas Heinrich from the IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience also participated in the forum as panelists. Professor Rhee is the founder of the nation’s first quantum computing software company and leads the AI Quantum Computing IT Research Center at KAIST. During the panel session, Professor Rhee said that although it is undeniable the quantum computing will be a game changer, there are several challenges. For instance, the first actual quantum computer is NISQ (Noisy intermediate-scale quantum era), which is still incomplete. However, it is expected to outperform a supercomputer. Until then, it is important to advance the accuracy of quantum computation in order to offer super computation speeds. Professor Sohn, who worked at PsiQuantum, detailed how quantum computers will affect our society. He said that PsiQuantum is developing silicon photonics that will control photons. We can’t begin to imagine how silicon photonics will transform our society. Things will change slowly but the scale would be massive. The keynote speakers presented how quantum cryptography communications and its sensing technology will serve as disruptive innovations. Dr. Chow stressed that to realize the potential growth and innovation, additional R&D is needed. More research groups and scholars should be nurtured. Only then will the rich R&D resources be able to create breakthroughs in quantum-related industries. Lastly, the commercialization of quantum computing must be advanced, which will enable the provision of diverse services. In addition, more technological and industrial infrastructure must be built to better accommodate quantum computing. Professor Preskill believes that quantum computing will benefit humanity. He cited two basic reasons for his optimistic prediction: quantum complexity and quantum error corrections. He explained why quantum computing is so powerful: quantum computer can easily solve the problems classically considered difficult, such as factorization. In addition, quantum computer has the potential to efficiently simulate all of the physical processes taking place in nature. Despite such dramatic advantages, why does it seem so difficult? Professor Preskill believes this is because we want qubits (quantum bits or ‘qubits’ are the basic unit of quantum information) to interact very strongly with each other. Because computations can fail, we don’t want qubits to interact with the environment unless we can control and predict them. As for quantum computing in the NISQ era, he said that NISQ will be an exciting tool for exploring physics. Professor Preskill does not believe that NISQ will change the world alone, rather it is a step forward toward more powerful quantum technologies in the future. He added that a potentially transformable, scalable quantum computer could still be decades away. Professor Preskill said that a large number of qubits, higher accuracy, and better quality will require a significant investment. He said if we expand with better ideas, we can make a better system. In the longer term, quantum technology will bring significant benefits to the technological sectors and society in the fields of materials, physics, chemistry, and energy production. Professor Kim from Duke University presented on the practical applications of quantum computing, especially in the startup environment. He said that although there is no right answer for the early applications of quantum computing, developing new approaches to solve difficult problems and raising the accessibility of the technology will be important for ensuring the growth of technology-based startups.
President Lee Presents Plans to Nurture Next-Generation Talents
President Lee stressed that nurturing medical scientists, semiconductor R&D personnel, startup entrepreneurs, and global innovators are key missions he will continue to pursue during a news conference KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee said that nurturing medical scientists, semiconductor R&D personnel, startup entrepreneurs, and global innovators are key missions he will continue to pursue during an online news conference marking the 1st anniversary of him becoming the president on February 15. He said that nurturing physician-scientists is the most critical mission for KAIST to help the nation create a new growth engine. He said KAIST will help the nation drive the bio-industry and provide medical science resources for the nation’s health sector. To this end, he said that KAIST will open its Medical Science and Technology School by 2026. “We plan to expand the current Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering into a new Medical Science and Technology School that will focus entirely on a condensed MD-PhD course converging the fields of AI, bio, and physics,” he said. The school aims to foster medical scientists whose research results will eventually be commercialized. He said that the university is now discussing revisions to related laws and regulations with the government and other universities. To supply human resources to the semiconductor industry, President Lee said the university will add a campus in Pyongtaek City that will serve as an advanced convergence research hub in the field of next generation semiconductors in collaboration with Samsung Electronics and the city of Pyongtaek. The three-stage opening plan projected the final opening of the campus by 2036. During the first stage, which will be completed by 2026, it will construct the campus infrastructure in Pyongtaek city where Samsung Semiconductors runs two massive semiconductor complexes. By 2031, it plans to launch the open research platform including a future cities research center and future vehicles research center. The campus will open the global industrial collaboration cluster hub by 2036. In the global arena, President Lee said he is working to open the New York campus with stakeholders in the United States. He announced the plan last December that was endorsed by New York-based entrepreneur Hee-Nam Bae, the chairman of Big Continent Inc. President Lee and Chairman Lee signed an MOU for the funding to open the campus in New York. “We are discussing how to facilitate the plan and best accommodate the interests and potential of our students. Many ideas and plans are on the table and we think it will take longer than expected to finalize the plan,” explained President Lee. However, he added that the basic idea is to offer art tech and health technology programs as well as an AI-based finance MBA at the New York campus, in addition to it serving as the startup accelerator of KAIST. President Lee stressed the importance of technology commercialization when successfully launching KAIST Holdings last month to help spinoffs of KAIST labs accelerate their end results. He said that KAIST Holdings will build a virtuous supporting system to commercialize the technology startups coming from KAIST. “We plan to list at least 10 KAIST startups on the KOSDAQ and two on the NASDAQ by 2031. KAIST Holdings also aims to nurture companies valued at a total of one billion KRW and earn 100 billion KRW in technology fees by 2031.
Thermal Superconductor Lab Becomes the 7th Cross-Generation Collaborative Lab
The Thermal Superconductor Lab led by Senior Professor Sung Jin Kim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering will team up with Junior Professor Youngsuk Nam to develop next-generation superconductors. The two professor team was selected as the 7th Cross-Generation Collaborative Lab last week and will sustain the academic legacy of Professor Kim’s three decades of research on superconductors. The team will continue to develop thin, next-generation superconductors that carry super thermal conductivity using phase transition control technology and thin film packaging. Thin-filmed, next-generation superconductors can be used in various high-temperature flexible electronic devices. The superconductors built inside of the semiconductor device packages will also be used for managing the low-powered but high-performance temperatures of semiconductor and electronic equipment. Professor Kim said, “I am very pleased that my research, know-how, and knowledge from over 30 years of work will continue through the Cross-Generation Collaborative Lab system with Professor Nam. We will spare no effort to advance superconductor technology and play a part in KAIST leading global technology fields.” Junior Professor Nam also stressed that the team is excited to continue its research on crucial technology for managing the temperatures of semiconductors and other electronic equipment. KAIST started this innovative research system in 2018, and in 2021 it established the steering committee to select new labs based on: originality, differentiation, and excellence; academic, social, economic impact; the urgency of cross-generation research; the senior professor’s academic excellence and international reputation; and the senior professor’s research vision. Selected labs receive 500 million KRW in research funding over five years.
Scientists Develop Wireless Networks that Allow Brain Circuits to Be Controlled Remotely through the Internet
Wireless implantable devices and IoT could manipulate the brains of animals from anywhere around the world due to their minimalistic hardware, low setup cost, ease of use, and customizable versatility A new study shows that researchers can remotely control the brain circuits of numerous animals simultaneously and independently through the internet. The scientists believe this newly developed technology can speed up brain research and various neuroscience studies to uncover basic brain functions as well as the underpinnings of various neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KAIST, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, created a wireless ecosystem with its own wireless implantable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to enable high-throughput neuroscience experiments over the internet. This innovative technology could enable scientists to manipulate the brains of animals from anywhere around the world. The study was published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on November 25 “This novel technology is highly versatile and adaptive. It can remotely control numerous neural implants and laboratory tools in real-time or in a scheduled way without direct human interactions,” said Professor Jae-Woong Jeong of the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and a senior author of the study. “These wireless neural devices and equipment integrated with IoT technology have enormous potential for science and medicine.” The wireless ecosystem only requires a mini-computer that can be purchased for under $45, which connects to the internet and communicates with wireless multifunctional brain probes or other types of conventional laboratory equipment using IoT control modules. By optimally integrating the versatility and modular construction of both unique IoT hardware and software within a single ecosystem, this wireless technology offers new applications that have not been demonstrated before by a single standalone technology. This includes, but is not limited to minimalistic hardware, global remote access, selective and scheduled experiments, customizable automation, and high-throughput scalability. “As long as researchers have internet access, they are able to trigger, customize, stop, validate, and store the outcomes of large experiments at any time and from anywhere in the world. They can remotely perform large-scale neuroscience experiments in animals deployed in multiple countries,” said one of the lead authors, Dr. Raza Qazi, a researcher with KAIST and the University of Colorado, Boulder. “The low cost of this system allows it to be easily adopted and can further fuel innovation across many laboratories,” Dr. Qazi added. One of the significant advantages of this IoT neurotechnology is its ability to be mass deployed across the globe due to its minimalistic hardware, low setup cost, ease of use, and customizable versatility. Scientists across the world can quickly implement this technology within their existing laboratories with minimal budget concerns to achieve globally remote access, scalable experimental automation, or both, thus potentially reducing the time needed to unravel various neuroscientific challenges such as those associated with intractable neurological conditions. Another senior author on the study, Professor Jordan McCall from the Department of Anesthesiology and Center for Clinical Pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis, said this technology has the potential to change how basic neuroscience studies are performed. “One of the biggest limitations when trying to understand how the mammalian brain works is that we have to study these functions in unnatural conditions. This technology brings us one step closer to performing important studies without direct human interaction with the study subjects.” The ability to remotely schedule experiments moves toward automating these types of experiments. Dr. Kyle Parker, an instructor at Washington University in St. Louis and another lead author on the study added, “This experimental automation can potentially help us reduce the number of animals used in biomedical research by reducing the variability introduced by various experimenters. This is especially important given our moral imperative to seek research designs that enable this reduction.” The researchers believe this wireless technology may open new opportunities for many applications including brain research, pharmaceuticals, and telemedicine to treat diseases in the brain and other organs remotely. This remote automation technology could become even more valuable when many labs need to shut down, such as during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work was supported by grants from the KAIST Global Singularity Research Program, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the United States National Institute of Health, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. -PublicationRaza Qazi, Kyle Parker, Choong Yeon Kim, Jordan McCall, Jae-Woong Jeong et al. “Scalable and modular wireless-network infrastructure for large-scale behavioral neuroscience,” Nature Biomedical Engineering, November 25 2021 (doi.org/10.1038/s41551-021-00814-w) -ProfileProfessor Jae-Woong JeongBio-Integrated Electronics and Systems LabSchool of Electrical EngineeringKAIST
Digital Big Bang, Metaverse Technologies
The GSI Forum 2021 will explore the potential of new metaverse technologies that will change our daily lives KAIST will be hosting a live online international forum on Sept.8 at 9 am (KST) through its KAIST YouTube channel. The forum will explore global trends regarding metaverse technology innovations and applications and discuss how we can build a new technology ecosystem. Titled `Digital Big Bang, Metaverse Technology,' the Global Strategy Institute-International Forum 2021 will be the fourth event of its kind, following the three international forums held in 2020. The forum will delve into the development trends of metaverse platforms and AR/VR technologies and gather experts to discuss how such technologies could transform multiple aspects of our future, including education. President Kwang Hyung Lee explains in his opening remarks that new technologies are truly opening a new horizon for our lives, saying, “In the education sector, digital technology will also create new opportunities to resolve the longstanding pedagogical shortfalls of one-way knowledge delivery systems. New digital technologies will help to unlock the creativity of our students. Education tailored to the students’ individual levels will not only help them accumulate knowledge but improve their ability to use it. Universities around the world are now at the same starting line. We should carve out our own distinct metaverse that is viable for human interactions and diverse technological experiences that promote students’ creativity and collaborative minds.” Minster of Science and ICT Hyesook Lim will introduce how the Korean government is working to develop metaverse industries as a new potential engine of growth for the future in her welcoming remarks. The government’s efforts include collaborations with the private sector, investments in R&D, the development of talent, and regulatory reforms. Minister Lim will also emphasize the importance of national-level discussions regarding the establishment of a metaverse ecosystem and long-term value creation. The organizers have invited global experts to share their knowledge and insights. Kidong Bae, who is in charge of the KT Enterprise Project and ‘Metaverse One Team’ will talk about the current trends in the metaverse market and their implications, as well as KT’s XR technology references. He will also introduce strategies to establish and utilize a metaverse ecosystem, and highlight their new technologies as a global leader in 5G networks. Jinha Lee, co-founder and CPO of the American AR solution company Spatial, will showcase a remote collaboration office that utilizes AR technology as a potential solution for collaborative activities in the post-COVID-19 era, where remote working is the ‘new normal.’ Furthermore, Lee will discuss how future workplaces that are not limited by space or distance will affect our values and creativity. Professor Frank Steinicke from the University of Hamburg will present the ideal form of next-generation immersive technology that combines intelligent virtual agents, mixed reality, and IoT, and discuss his predictions for how the future of metaverse technology will be affected. Marco Tempest, a creative technologist at NASA and a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, will also be joining the forum as a plenary speaker. Tempest will discuss the potential of immersive technology in media, marketing, and entertainment, and will propose a future direction for immersive technology to enable the sharing of experiences, emotions, and knowledge. Other speakers include Beomjoo Kim from Unity Technologies Korea, Professor Woontaek Woo from the Graduate School of Culture Technology at KAIST, Vice President of Global Sales at Labster Joseph Ferraro, and CEO of 3DBear Jussi Kajala. They will make presentations on metaverse technology applications for future education. The keynote session will also have an online panel consisting of 50 domestic and overseas metaverse specialists, scientists, and teachers. The forum will hold a Q&A and discussion session where the panel members can ask questions to the keynote speakers regarding the prospects of metaverse and immersive technologies for education. GSI Director Hoon Sohn stated, "KAIST will seize new opportunities that will arise in a future centered around metaverse technology and will be at the forefront to take advantage of the growing demand for innovative science and technology in non-contact societies. KAIST will also play a pivotal role in facilitating global cooperation, which will be vital to establish a metaverse ecosystem.”
Repurposed Drugs Present New Strategy for Treating COVID-19
Virtual screening of 6,218 drugs and cell-based assays identifies best therapeutic medication candidates A joint research group from KAIST and Institut Pasteur Korea has identified repurposed drugs for COVID-19 treatment through virtual screening and cell-based assays. The research team suggested the strategy for virtual screening with greatly reduced false positives by incorporating pre-docking filtering based on shape similarity and post-docking filtering based on interaction similarity. This strategy will help develop therapeutic medications for COVID-19 and other antiviral diseases more rapidly. This study was reported at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Researchers screened 6,218 drugs from a collection of FDA-approved drugs or those under clinical trial and identified 38 potential repurposed drugs for COVID-19 with this strategy. Among them, seven compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero cells. Three of these drugs, emodin, omipalisib, and tipifarnib, showed anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in human lung cells, Calu-3. Drug repurposing is a practical strategy for developing antiviral drugs in a short period of time, especially during a global pandemic. In many instances, drug repurposing starts with the virtual screening of approved drugs. However, the actual hit rate of virtual screening is low and most of the predicted drug candidates are false positives. The research group developed effective filtering algorithms before and after the docking simulations to improve the hit rates. In the pre-docking filtering process, compounds with similar shapes to the known active compounds for each target protein were selected and used for docking simulations. In the post-docking filtering process, the chemicals identified through their docking simulations were evaluated considering the docking energy and the similarity of the protein-ligand interactions with the known active compounds. The experimental results showed that the virtual screening strategy reached a high hit rate of 18.4%, leading to the identification of seven potential drugs out of the 38 drugs initially selected. “We plan to conduct further preclinical trials for optimizing drug concentrations as one of the three candidates didn’t resolve the toxicity issues in preclinical trials,” said Woo Dae Jang, one of the researchers from KAIST. “The most important part of this research is that we developed a platform technology that can rapidly identify novel compounds for COVID-19 treatment. If we use this technology, we will be able to quickly respond to new infectious diseases as well as variants of the coronavirus,” said Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee. This work was supported by the KAIST Mobile Clinic Module Project funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). The National Culture Collection for Pathogens in Korea provided the SARS-CoV-2 (NCCP43326). -PublicationWoo Dae Jang, Sangeun Jeon, Seungtaek Kim, and Sang Yup Lee. Drugs repurposed for COVID-19 by virtual screening of 6,218 drugs and cell-based assay. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (https://doi/org/10.1073/pnas.2024302118) -ProfileDistinguished Professor Sang Yup LeeMetabolic &Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratoryhttp://mbel.kaist.ac.kr Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringKAIST
Upbeat Message for a New Future at President Lee’s Inauguration
KAIST’s 17th President Kwang Hyung Lee reaffirmed his commitment to building a new future preparing for the post-AI era during his inauguration on March 8. The Board of Trustees selected the former provost and executive vice president as the new president, succeeding 16th President Sung-Chul Shin whose four-year term expired last month. In his inaugural address, President Lee proposed a new culture strategy, ‘QAIST’ designed to foster more creative talents and ensure innovative research infrastructure. He said that the best way to stand out as a leading global university is to carve out our own distinctness. The ceremony was live streamed via YouTube due to the social distancing guidelines, with a very limited number of distinguished guests attending. Among them were President Lee’s former student Jung-Ju Kim who started Nexon, now the world’s most popular online game company, and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Moon-Soul Chung who President Lee worked with when he made the endowment for establishing the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2001 and the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy in 2013. In his induction speech, Chairman Woo Sik Kim of the Board of Trustees said that President Lee is a proven leader who has deep insight and passion and he will help KAIST make a new leap forward. “I believe that Professor Lee will be the right leader at this critical moment for the university, ushering in a new future for KAIST as it turns 50 this year.” President Lee explained that for the next 50 years, KAIST should double down to identify the challenges humanity faces, then define and resolve them with unyielding innovations in education, research, technology commercialization, and internationalization. “We definitely should pull together to produce sustainable global value that will serve the prosperity and happiness of all humanity, not only our nation. We will become one of the top 10 universities in the world when we realize all these goals. We can live up to the people’s expectations by producing creative global talent, staying ahead of new research topics, and producing corporations that will lead the nation’s industries.” “To this end, I will continue to strive to help us achieve our mission of becoming a ‘Global Value Creative Leading University’ as described in KAIST Vision 2031. I will do my utmost to bring about the ‘KAIST New Culture Strategy, QAIST’ for a post-AI era.” He added that he would like to inspire students and faculty to have more humanistic approaches in their education and learning. The ‘Q’ in “QAIST” refers to questioning. President Lee believes that the learning starts with questions and being curious about something. “We will innovate the educational system to have them question everything.” Then, he said that he will focus on ‘A’dvanced research to prepare for the post AI-era. “We should be the first mover who can define and solve new problems. It’s more important to be the ‘first’ one than the ‘best’ one.” He also said he will create a new culture that failing would not be stigmatized, offering more chances after failing. ‘I’nternationalization is another vision the new president will continue to pursue. He plans to embrace greater diversity on the campus to achieve goals of 15% international faculty, 25% female faculty, and 15% international students by reshaping the recruiting policy. He will continue to expand KAIST campuses overseas. ‘S’tartup and technology commercialization will be the crucial areas where the president will make innovations. “I will fully support any startups at KAIST. I encourage every lab to start a startup,” he stressed. President Lee said he plans to increase KAIST’s annual revenue from technology commercialization fees to 100 billion KRW in 10 years, a step to secure financial independence. He plans to privatize the Institute of Technology Value Creation, which is responsible for technology commercialization at KAIST to enhance its competitiveness. ‘T’rust building is the prerequisite value for creating transparent and reliable management in finance and HR. President Lee said he would like to make a new organizational culture that will be more ethical, responsible, and autonomous with a high standard of integrity. His predecessor, President Sung-Chul Shin lauded his successor in his congratulatory speech saying, “He is a president prepared for this job.” “I have known him for more than 30 years. He is a man of action. With unparalleled ideas and prompt execution, he carried out all his duties efficiently for the Committee of Vision 2031 that he chaired, and played a central role in establishing the full vision of KAIST. First and foremost, he is a man of great passion, with a firm vision but a warm heart.” Nexon founder and Chairman Jung-Ju Kim also made an emotional tribute to his former professor. Holding back tears, he said, “I was not a good student. I was struggling in my graduate courses so I had to drop out of my PhD course. But Professor Lee and his wife never gave up on me. They were so kind to me and were always encouraging despite my disappointing days. I am now ready to do something good for KAIST, for Professor Lee, and for the future of our society. I believe that President Lee will guide us down the new path for KAIST.” IDIS Holdings CEO Young-Dal Kim also attended the ceremony to congratulate his former professor on his inauguration. (END)
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