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KAIST Partners with Korea National Sport University
KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee signed an MOU with Korea National Sport University (KNSU) President Yong-Kyu Ahn for collaboration in education and research in the fields of sports science and technology on April 5 at the KAIST main campus. The agreement also extends to student and credit exchanges between the two universities. With this signing, KAIST plans to develop programs in which KAIST students can participate in the diverse sports classes and activities offered at KNSU. Officials from KNSU said that this collaboration with KAIST will provide a new opportunity to recognize the importance of sports science more extensively. They added that KNSU will continue to foster more competitive sports talents who understand the convergence between sports science and technology. The two universities also plan to conduct research on body mechanics optimizing athletes’ best performance, analyze how the muscles of different events’ athletes move, and will propose creative new solutions utilizing robot rehabilitation and AR technologies. It is expected that the research will extend to the physical performance betterment of the general public, especially for aged groups and the development of training solutions for musculoskeletal injury prevention as Korean society deals with its growing aging population. President Lee said, “I look forward to the synergic impact when KAIST works together with the nation’s top sports university. We will make every effort to spearhead the wellbeing of the general public in our aging society as well as for growth of sports.” President Ahn said, “The close collaboration between KAIST and KNSU will revitalize the sports community that has been staggering due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will contribute to the advancement of sports science in Korea.”
Team KAIST to Race at CES 2022 Autonomous Challenge
Five top university autonomous racing teams will compete in a head-to-head passing competition in Las Vegas A self-driving racing team from the KAIST Unmanned System Research Group (USRG) advised by Professor Hyunchul Shim will compete at the Autonomous Challenge at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) on January 7, 2022. The head-to-head, high speed autonomous racecar passing competition at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will feature the finalists and semifinalists from the Indy Autonomous Challenge in October of this year. Team KAIST qualified as a semifinalist at the Indy Autonomous Challenge and will join four other university teams including the winner of the competition, Technische Universität München. Team KAIST’s AV-21 vehicle is capable of driving on its own at more than 200km/h will be expected to show a speed of more than 300 km/h at the race.The participating teams are:1. KAIST2. EuroRacing : University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), University of Pisa (Italy), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) 3. MIT-PITT-RW, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada)4.PoliMOVE – Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama 5.TUM Autonomous Motorsport – Technische Universität München (Germany) Professor Shim’s team is dedicated to the development and validation of cutting edge technologies for highly autonomous vehicles. In recognition of his pioneering research in unmanned system technologies, Professor Shim was honored with the Grand Prize of the Minister of Science and ICT on December 9. “We began autonomous vehicle research in 2009 when we signed up for Hyundai Motor Company’s Autonomous Driving Challenge. For this, we developed a complete set of in-house technologies such as low-level vehicle control, perception, localization, and decision making.” In 2019, the team came in third place in the Challenge and they finally won this year. For years, his team has participated in many unmanned systems challenges at home and abroad, gaining recognition around the world. The team won the inaugural 2016 IROS autonomous drone racing and placed second in the 2018 IROS Autonomous Drone Racing Competition. They also competed in 2017 MBZIRC, ranking fourth in Missions 2 and 3, and fifth in the Grand Challenge. Most recently, the team won the first round of Lockheed Martin’s Alpha Pilot AI Drone Innovation Challenge. The team is now participating in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge as a member of Team CoSTAR with NASA JPL, MIT, and Caltech. “We have accumulated plenty of first-hand experience developing autonomous vehicles with the support of domestic companies such as Hyundai Motor Company, Samsung, LG, and NAVER. In 2017, the autonomous vehicle platform “EureCar” that we developed in-house was authorized by the Korean government to lawfully conduct autonomous driving experiment on public roads,” said Professor Shim. The team has developed various key technologies and algorithms related to unmanned systems that can be categorized into three major components: perception, planning, and control. Considering the characteristics of the algorithms that make up each module, their technology operates using a distributed computing system. Since 2015, the team has been actively using deep learning algorithms in the form of perception subsystems. Contextual information extracted from multi-modal sensory data gathered via cameras, lidar, radar, GPS, IMU, etc. is forwarded to the planning subsystem. The planning module is responsible for the decision making and planning required for autonomous driving such as lane change determination and trajectory planning, emergency stops, and velocity command generation. The results from the planner are fed into the controller to follow the planned high-level command. The team has also developed and verified the possibility of an end-to-end deep learning based autonomous driving approach that replaces a complex system with one single AI network.
Connecting the Dots to Find New Treatments for Breast Cancer
Systems biologists uncovered new ways of cancer cell reprogramming to treat drug-resistant cancers Scientists at KAIST believe they may have found a way to reverse an aggressive, treatment-resistant type of breast cancer into a less dangerous kind that responds well to treatment. The study involved the use of mathematical models to untangle the complex genetic and molecular interactions that occur in the two types of breast cancer, but could be extended to find ways for treating many others. The study’s findings were published in the journal Cancer Research. Basal-like tumours are the most aggressive type of breast cancer, with the worst prognosis. Chemotherapy is the only available treatment option, but patients experience high recurrence rates. On the other hand, luminal-A breast cancer responds well to drugs that specifically target a receptor on their cell surfaces, called estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). KAIST systems biologist Kwang-Hyun Cho and colleagues analyzed the complex molecular and genetic interactions of basal-like and luminal-A breast cancers to find out if there might be a way to switch the former to the latter and give patients a better chance to respond to treatment. To do this, they accessed large amounts of cancer and patient data to understand which genes and molecules are involved in the two types. They then input this data into a mathematical model that represents genes, proteins and molecules as dots and the interactions between them as lines. The model can be used to conduct simulations and see how interactions change when certain genes are turned on or off. “There have been a tremendous number of studies trying to find therapeutic targets for treating basal-like breast cancer patients,” says Cho. “But clinical trials have failed due to the complex and dynamic nature of cancer. To overcome this issue, we looked at breast cancer cells as a complex network system and implemented a systems biological approach to unravel the underlying mechanisms that would allow us to reprogram basal-like into luminal-A breast cancer cells.” Using this approach, followed by experimental validation on real breast cancer cells, the team found that turning off two key gene regulators, called BCL11A and HDAC1/2, switched a basal-like cancer signalling pathway into a different one used by luminal-A cancer cells. The switch reprograms the cancer cells and makes them more responsive to drugs that target ERα receptors. However, further tests will be needed to confirm that this also works in animal models and eventually humans. “Our study demonstrates that the systems biological approach can be useful for identifying novel therapeutic targets,” says Cho. The researchers are now expanding its breast cancer network model to include all breast cancer subtypes. Their ultimate aim is to identify more drug targets and to understand the mechanisms that could drive drug-resistant cells to turn into drug-sensitive ones. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Ministry of Science and ICT, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, and the KAIST Grand Challenge 30 Project. -Publication Sea R. Choi, Chae Young Hwang, Jonghoon Lee, and Kwang-Hyun Cho, “Network Analysis Identifies Regulators of Basal-like Breast Cancer Reprogramming and Endocrine TherapyVulnerability,” Cancer Research, November 30. (doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-0621) -ProfileProfessor Kwang-Hyun ChoLaboratory for Systems Biology and Bio-Inspired EngineeringDepartment of Bio and Brain EngineeringKAIST
KI-Robotics Wins the 2021 Hyundai Motor Autonomous Driving Challenge
Professor Hyunchul Shim’s autonomous driving team topped the challenge KI-Robotics, a KAIST autonomous driving research team led by Professor Hyunchul Shim from the School of Electric Engineering won the 2021 Hyundai Motor Autonomous Driving Challenge held in Seoul on November 29. The KI-Robotics team received 100 million won in prize money and a field trip to the US. Out of total 23 teams, the six teams competed in the finals by simultaneously driving through a 4km section within the test operation region, where other traffic was constrained. The challenge included avoiding and overtaking vehicles, crossing intersections, and keeping to traffic laws including traffic lights, lanes, speed limit, and school zones. The contestants were ranked by their order of course completion, but points were deducted every time they violated a traffic rule. A driver and an invigilator rode in each car in case of an emergency, and the race was broadcasted live on a large screen on stage and via YouTube. In the first round, KI-Robotics came in first with a score of 11 minutes and 27 seconds after a tight race with Incheon University. Although the team’s result in the second round exceeded 16 minutes due to traffic conditions like traffic lights, the 11 minutes and 27 seconds ultimately ranked first out of the six universities. It is worth noting that KI-Robotics focused on its vehicle’s perception and judgement rather than speed when building its algorithm. Out of the six universities that made it to the final round, KI-Robotics was the only team that excluded GPS from the vehicle to minimize its risk. The team considered the fact that GPS signals are not accurate in urban settings, meaning location errors can cause problems while driving. As an alternative, the team added three radar sensors and cameras in the front and the back of the vehicle. They also used the urban-specific SLAM technology they developed to construct a precise map and were more successful in location determination. As opposed to other teams that focused on speed, the KAIST team also developed overtaking route construction technology, taking into consideration the locations of surrounding cars, which gave them an advantage in responding to obstacles while keeping to real urban traffic rules. Through this, the KAIST team could score highest in rounds one and two combined. Professor Shim said, “I am very glad that the autonomous driving technology our research team has been developing over the last ten years has borne fruit. I would like to thank the leader, Daegyu Lee, and all the students that participated in the development, as they did more than their best under difficult conditions.” Dae-Gyu Lee, the leader of KI-Robotics and a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Electrical Engineering, explained, “Since we came in fourth in the preliminary round, we were further behind than we expected. But we were able to overtake the cars ahead of us and shorten our record.”
KAIST Teams Up with Yozma Group to Nurture Startups
KAIST has joined hands with Israeli venture capital investor Yozma Group to help campus-based startups grow and build success. The two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint technology value creation initiatives at the signing ceremony that was held at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon on April 8. Under the MOU, Yozma Group will make investments and implement acceleration programs for startups established by KAIST professors, graduates, and students, as well as those invested in by the university. Yozma Group already launched a $70 million fund to help grow companies in Korea and Israel. Yozma Group will use the fund as well as its global acceleration know-how and network of over 400 R&D centers across Israel to help promising KAIST startups enter overseas markets. Moreover, Yozma Group also plans to discover and support KAIST startups that need technology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institution in natural and exact sciences. KAIST is also in talks to locate Yozma Group’s branch office on the university’s campus to ensure seamless collaborations. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee explained to Yozma Group’s Founder and Chairman Yigal Erlich and Head of Asia Pacific Won-Jae Lee at the MOU signing ceremony that “startup and technology commercialization are the crucial areas where KAIST will make innovations.” “Cooperation with Yozma Group will help KAIST startups transform their ideas and technologies into real businesses and build a global presence,” he added. Yozma Group started as Yozma Fund, created in conjunction with the Israeli government in 1993 to support the globalization of Israeli startups and to foster the growth of Israel’s venture capital industry. The Fund, which was privatized in 1998, has supported 97 Israeli tech ventures joining the Nasdaq, leading Israel to become a global innovation hub that has the third-most companies listed on the Nasdaq. (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)
FIRIC-EU JRC Joint Workshop on Smart Specialization
The Fourth Industrial Revolution Intelligence Center (FIRIC) at KAIST discussed ‘Smart Specialization’ for regional innovation and economic growth in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution during the workshop with the EU Joint Research Center (EU-JRC) in Seville, Spain last week. The two sides also agreed to sign an MOU to expand mutual collaboration. KAIST’s FIRIC was founded in cooperation with the World Economic Forum in July 2017 to carry out policy research for the promotion of science and technology-based inclusive growth and innovation and to lead related global efforts. The EU-JRC has committed to developing cohesive policies that aim to narrow regional gaps within the European Union. Founded in 1958 in Brussels, the EU-JRC has long been in charge of EU strategies for regional innovation based on emerging technologies. The workshop also covered issues related to public-private partnerships and innovation clusters from the perspective of the EU and Asia, such as the global value chain and the implementation of industrial clusters policy amid the changes in the industrial ecosystem due to digitalization, automation, and the utilization of robotics during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, the session included discussions on inclusive growth and job market changes in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, addressing how Smart Specialization and the outcomes of the 4IR will shift the paradigm of current job and technology capabilities, as well as employment issues in many relevant industries. In particular, the actual case studies and their related policies and regulatory trends regarding the potential risks and ethical issues of artificial intelligence were introduced. Regarding the financial services that utilize blockchain technologies and the establishment of public sector governance for such technologies, the participating experts noted difficulties in the diffusion of blockchain-based local currencies or public services, which call for a sophisticated analytical and practical framework for innovative and transparent governance. Dr. Mark Boden, the Team Leader of the EU-JRC, introduced the EU’s initiatives to promote Smart Specialization, such as its policy process, governance design, vision sharing, and priority setting, with particular emphasis on targeted support for Smart Specialization in lagging regions. Professor So Young Kim, who is the dean of the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy and FIRIC’s Deputy Director said, “KAIST’s global role regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be expanded in the process of exploring and developing innovative models of technology-policy governance while working jointly with the EU-JRC.”
KAIST-KU Joint Research Center Opens
The Joint Research Center partnering KAIST and Khalifa University has been completed and the opening of the KAIST center was held on July 5, 2019, following the opening at Khalifa in April. The joint research center will explore the most impactful technologies that will change people’s lives in the face of the new industrial environment brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The breakthroughs include smart transportation and smart healthcare such as wireless electric vehicles, unmanned vehicles, and wearable healthcare devices. The two institutions signed an MOU on the Joint Research Agreement on the Technology Development for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2018. This is the second phase of collaboration following the partnership agreement that was signed in 2010 between the two institutions, which aimed to provide the best science and technology education as well as develop nuclear energy in the UAE. The Khalifa University delegation, headed by Executive Vice President Arif Sultan Al Hammadi and Senior Vice President of Research and Development Steven Griffiths, flew in to attend the ceremony at KAIST. President Sung-Chul Shin, Vice President for Research Hyun Wook Park, Vice President for Planning and Budget Su-chan Chae, Associate Vice President of the International Office Man-Sung Yim joined and Co-Directors of the Joint Research Center Daniel Choi from Khalifa and Jong-Hyun Kim from KAIST also participated in the opening ceremony.
KAIST-KU Joint Research Center for Smart Healthcare & Transportation
(President Shin shakes hands with KU acting Presidedent Arif Al Hammdi at the KAIST-KU Joint Research Center opening ceremony on April 8.) KAIST opened the KAIST-Khalifa University Joint Research Center with Khalifa University on April 8. The opening ceremony was held at Khalifa University and was attended by President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University Acting President Arif Al Hammadi. The new research center reflects the evolution of the long-established partnership between the two institutions. The two universities have already made very close collaborations in research and education in the fields of nuclear and quantum engineering. The launch of this center expanded their fields of collaboration to smart healthcare and smart transportation, key emerging sectors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin signed an MOU with the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Science Sarah Amiri and Khalifa University to expand mutual collaboration in technology development and fostering human capital last year. The center will conduct research and education on autonomous vehicles, infrastructure for autonomous vehicle operation, wireless charging for electric vehicles, and infrastructure for electric autonomous vehicles. As for smart healthcare, the center will focus on healthcare robotics as well as sensors and wearable devices for personal healthcare services. President Shin, who accompanied a research team from the Graduate School of Green Transportation, said, “We are very delighted to enter into this expanded collaboration with KU. This partnership justifies our long-standing collaboration in the areas of emerging technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution while fostering human capital.” KU Acting President Arif Al Hammadi added, “The outcome of these research projects will establish the status of both institutions as champions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing benefits to our communities. We believe the new research center will further consolidate our status as a globally active, research-intensive academic institution, developing international collaborations that benefit the community in general.”
Team KAT Wins the Autonomous Car Challenge
(Team KAT receiving the Presidential Award) A KAIST team won the 2018 International Autonomous Car Challenge for University Students held in Daegu on November 2. Professor Seung-Hyun Kong from the ChoChunShik Graduate School of Green Transportation and his team participated in this contest with the team named KAT (KAIST Autonomous Technologies). The team received the Presidential Award with a fifty million won cash prize and an opportunity for a field trip abroad. The competition was conducted on actual roads with Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), which incorporate autonomous driving technologies and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system. In this contest, the autonomous vehicles were given a mission to pick up passengers or parcels. Through the V2X communication, the contest gave current location of the passengers or parcels, their destination, and service profitability according to distance and level of service difficulty. The participating vehicles had to be equipped very accurate and robust navigation system since they had to drive on narrow roads as well as go through tunnels where GPS was not available. Moreover, they had to use camera-based recognition technology that was invulnerable to backlight as the contest was in the late afternoon. The contest scored the mission in the following way: the vehicles get points if they pick up passengers and safely drop them off at their destination; on the other hand, points are deducted when they violate lanes or traffic lights. It will be a major black mark if a participant sitting in the driver’s seat needs to get involved in driving due to a technical issue. Youngbo Shim of KAT said, “We believe that we got major points for technical superiority in autonomous driving and our algorithm for passenger selection.” This contest, hosted by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, was the first international competition for autonomous driving on actual roads. A total of nine teams participated in the final contest, four domestic teams and five teams allied with overseas universities such as Tsinghua University, Waseda University, and Nanyang Technological University. Professor Kong said, “There is still a long way to go for fully autonomous vehicles that drive flexibly under congested traffic conditions. However, we will continue to our research in order to achieve high-quality autonomous driving technology.” (Team KAT getting ready for the challenge)
Open Online Course in Science and Technology, STAR-MOOC
Four universities specializing in science and technology, along with POSTECH and UST, teamed up to establish programs for innovation in education programs, responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. KAIST held an opening ceremony for the Science & Technology Advanced Research - Massive Open Online Course (STAR-MOOC) and signed an MoU with GIST, DGIST, UNIST, POSTECH, and UST. STAR-MOOC was launched on February 26 to provide educational service to the public. It is a joint platform where people can take courses featuring lectures from professors from universities specializing in science and technology as well as national research universities. It offers 15 courses covering basics, majors, and electives related to science and technology developed by the STAR-MOOC committee. Students can take a variety of courses. At the opening ceremony, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, DGIST President Sang Hyuk Son, UST President Kil Choo Moon, POSTECH Vice President Wankyun Chung, UNIST Vice President Jae Sung Lee, GIST Vice President of Public Affairs Pil-hwan Park came to sign the MoU for provising educational services for the public. During the ceremony, there was also time to introduce a technical agreement with a non-profit organization founded by NAVER, the CONNECT Foundation, for its courses and platform. Universities participating in STAR-MOOC will put effort into capacity building in response to changes driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin said, “STAR-MOOC is a platform that provides science and technology courses from basics to electives and major courses. It will become a leading educational platform.” Students can register and choose courses from the website (http://starmooc.kr).
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