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KAA Recognizes 4 Distinguished Alumni of the Year
The KAIST Alumni Association (KAA) recognized four distinguished alumni of the year during a ceremony on February 25 in Seoul. The four Distinguished Alumni Awardees are Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the KAIST Department of Chemistry, Hyunshil Ahn, head of the AI Economy Institute and an editorial writer at The Korea Economic Daily, CEO Hwan-ho Sung of PSTech, and President Hark Kyu Park of Samsung Electronics. Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang who received his MS from the Department of Chemistry in 1985 has been a pioneer in the novel field of ‘carbon-hydrogen bond activation reactions’. He has significantly contributed to raising Korea’s international reputation in natural sciences and received the Kyungam Academic Award in 2013, the 14th Korea Science Award in 2015, the 1st Science and Technology Prize of Korea Toray in 2018, and the Best Scientist/Engineer Award Korea in 2019. Furthermore, he was named as a Highly Cited Researcher who ranked in the top 1% of citations by field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index for seven consecutive years from 2015 to 2021, demonstrating his leadership as a global scholar. Hyunshil Ahn, a graduate of the School of Business and Technology Management with an MS in 1985 and a PhD in 1987, was appointed as the first head of the AI Economy Institute when The Korea Economic Daily was the first Korean media outlet to establish an AI economy lab. He has contributed to creating new roles for the press and media in the 4th industrial revolution, and added to the popularization of AI technology through regulation reform and consulting on industrial policies. PSTech CEO Hwan-ho Sung is a graduate of the School of Electrical Engineering where he received an MS in 1988 and a PhD in EMBA in 2008. He has run the electronics company PSTech for over 20 years and successfully localized the production of power equipment, which previously depended on foreign technology. His development of the world’s first power equipment that can be applied to new industries including semiconductors and displays was recognized through this award. Samsung Electronics President Hark Kyu Park graduated from the School of Business and Technology Management with an MS in 1986. He not only enhanced Korea’s national competitiveness by expanding the semiconductor industry, but also established contract-based semiconductor departments at Korean universities including KAIST, Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University, and Postech, and semiconductor track courses at KAIST, Sogang University, Seoul National University, and Postech to nurture professional talents. He also led the national semiconductor coexistence system by leading private sector-government-academia collaborations to strengthen competence in semiconductors, and continues to make unconditional investments in strong small businesses. KAA President Chilhee Chung said, “Thanks to our alumni contributing at the highest levels of our society, the name of our alma mater shines brighter. As role models for our younger alumni, I hope greater honours will follow our awardees in the future.”
Commencement Ceremony Honors the Class of 2022
Third online commencement ceremony since the pandemic outbreak celebrates 2741 graduates The 2022 commencement ceremony convened online on February 18 to celebrate and award degrees to the Class of 2022. The graduating class of 2022 included 663 PhDs, 1,383 Masters, and 695 Bachelors. The limited number of attendees included 86 graduate representatives and approximately 20 faculty members in senior leadership, as well as Korea’s Minister of Science and ICT Hyesook Lim. The ceremony was livestreamed on KAIST’s YouTube channel. Valedictorian Ji-Young Lee from the Department of Physics received the Minister of Science and ICT’s Award. Yu-Jin Bang from the School of Business and Technology Management was the Awardee of the Chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees and the KAIST Presidential Awardee was Jong-Hwan Lee from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. KAIST conferred honorary doctorates to Honorary Chairman Jae-Chul Kim of Dongwon Group and Chairman Sung-Hwan Chang of Samsung Brush. Chairman Kim, whose donation funded the establishment of the Kim Jae-Chul Graduate School of AI, was awarded an honorary doctorate of science technology. Chairman Chang was awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration in recognition of his funding in the fields of medical science and engineering at KAIST. This year’s undergraduate commencement speaker was Hye-Lin Park from the School of Computing. She has severe cerebral palsy and was the first student admitted to KAIST with a severe physical handicap. “I loved mathematics and wanted to become a mathematician. When I learned programming in my second year, I was so mesmerized by it that I transferred to the School of Computing,” said Park, who plans to continue studying programming languages in graduate school at KAIST. “I spent my entire life of 24 years in this beautiful wheelchair. Without the support and help of my parents, friends, and my special teachers who helped me move and study at the campus, I would not have made it this far,” said Park. For easier access to classrooms and facilities, KAIST started to remodel its facilities to make the entrance of buildings more wheelchair-friendly. Park made many suggestions to the Office of Student Life and the Facilities Management Office on how to ease mobility for handicapped people on campus. The physical education course that was required for graduation was also revised to stipulate exceptions. Minister Lim stressed the role of young scientists and researchers in these times of digital transformation dominated by AI and the metaverse. She encouraged the graduates to carry out their dreams with warm hearts and challenging spirits. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee also stressed the power of dreams, calling for graduates to dream big even in times of uncertainty. “Humanity stands at an inflection point in history. The fourth industrial revolution and outbreak of Covid-19 have unfolded the grand global transformation. Although the future gives us new opportunities, it also comes with anxiety regarding the uncertainties ahead.” “Dreams make your heart race and push us to live life to the fullest. Dreams will help you keep moving forward even in the face of adversity,” he said.
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.
Jungheung to Donate 30B KRW for Semiconductor Research and Education
Jungheung Group, a construction company in Korea, made a pledge to donate 30 billion KRW for semiconductor research and education at KAIST. Junghueng will spend 20 billion KRW to construct the semiconductor education and research facilities that will be established in Pyeongtaek City in collaboration with Samsung Electronics, and 10 billion will go for supporting the educational training program. The pledge ceremony was held at the Daejeon campus with Jungheung Group Chairman Chang-Sun Jung, KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee, and Pyeongtaek City Mayor Jang-Seon Jung in attendance. Chairman said, “The only way to earn a competitive edge in this era of technology hegemony is to invest in young talents in the science and technology fields. They will grow up to be excellent experts who will feed tens of thousands of people.” He added, “Donating to nurture future talents is the most rewarding investment we can make for the future.” President Lee said, “Jungheung’s donation is an investment in the semiconductor industry in Korea, which will be the growth engine for the nation. We will make every effort to foster the world’s best workforce in the semiconductor sector.” Mayor Jung also expressed high hopes for the advancement of KAIST into ‘Brain City,’ a complex designated with Samsung Electronics for the semiconductor industry. “The city government will fully support the semiconductor industry and KAIST. In doing so, we look forward to becoming the center of the semiconductor industry in the nation,” announced Mayor Jung.
KAIST-Pyeongtaek City-Samsung Join Hands to Foster Seasoned Semiconductor Workforce
KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee agreed to establish the ‘Department of Samsung Semiconductors’ in collaboration with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and the City of Pyeongtaek in Kyonggi-do. The three parties, including Pyeongtaek City Mayor Jang-Seon Jung and President of Samsung Electronics Hark-Kyu Park, signed the MOU on July 13 during an online ceremony. President Lee said that the collaboration will help spur Korea’ semiconductor industry forward. “We will spare no effort to foster seasoned semiconductor personnel who will carve out our competitive edge in the global market,” he explained. While Samsung will sponsor the Department of Semiconductors on the Daejeon campus, Pyeongtaek City will provide 460,000 m2 of land for establishing the KAIST Semiconductor R&D Center. Samsung Electronics has run two massive semiconductor complexes in the city. The triangle of collaboration is expected to bring about synergy by generating field-based education and R&D. KAIST also announced plans to work closely with the local government of Pyeongtaek City to create startup towns and quality jobs in the region by providing software education and technology as well as cultural spaces for local citizens. Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT Hong-Taek Yong and National Assemblymen Jaeill Byun and Eui-dong Yu, who represent the ruling and opposition parties on the Semiconductor Special Committee, joined the online ceremony and praised the collaboration.
New KAA President Chilhee Chung Calls Alumni Engagement a Top Priority
The KAIST Alumni Association (KAA) inaugurated Advisor Chilhee Chung of Samsung Electronics as its new president. President Chung was preceded by Ki-Chul Cha, the CEO of Inbody Co. Ltd. His term as the 25th president starts from February 2020 and ends in January 2022. President Chung received his master’s degree from KAIST's Department of Physics in 1979 and joined Samsung Electronics the same year. He also holds a doctorate in physics from Michigan State University in the United States. President Chung devoted himself to helping Samsung Electronics and Korea's system semiconductor and memory device technologies achieve global dominance for more than 40 years. He led future technology development at Samsung Electronics in the fields of quantum dot and neural processing from various leadership positions, including the head of the Semiconductor R&D Center, and the president of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT). President Chung is currently an advisor to SAIT, a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology (PACST), and the chairman of the 2045 National Future Strategy Committee and the Nano Technology Research Association (NTRA). President Chung said, “KAIST, throughout its history of half a century, has been working tirelessly to become the world’s best, beyond being the best in Korea. We, the alumni of KAIST, have the commensurate duty as well as the privilege of being proud members of KAIST, as the university's global stature grows.” “Recently, 46 alumni made 535 million won in donations, and established a scholarship to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in members of the KAIST community. This fund was dedicated to supporting 30 alumni entrepreneurs and students participating in the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 that was held in Las Vegas last month. Moreover, another alumnus of ours Byeong-Gyu Chang, the CSO of the KRAFTON Inc., donated 10 billion won to KAIST in hopes of opening up more opportunities that may lead KAIST students to success. Mr. Chang’s donation is by far the largest that has been made by KAIST alumni. I feel grateful to see more alumni getting involved in shaping the future of KAIST these days, and my top priority as the new president of the KAA will be to stimulate the alumni association and engagement in the spirit of ‘Team KAIST’,” he added. More than 900 alumni, including President Sung-Chul Shin who is also an alumnus of KAIST, gathered in Seoul on January 18 to celebrate the New Year and the newly-elected leadership of the KAA. (END)
KAIST Alumnus NYU Professor Supports Female AI Researchers
A KAIST alumnus and an associate professor at New York University (NYU), Dr. Kyunghyun Cho donated 3,000 USD to the KAIST Graduate School of AI to support female AI researchers. Professor Cho spoke as a guest lecturer at the 2019 Samsung AI Forum on November 4 and received 3,000 USD as an honorarium. He donated this honorarium to the KAIST Graduate School of AI with a special request to support the school’s female PhD students attending the 2020 International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), where he serves as a program co-chair. Professor Cho received his BS degree from KAIST’s School of Computing in 2009 and is now serving as an associate professor at NYU’s Computer Science Department and Center for Data Science. His research mainly covers machine learning and natural language processing. Professor Cho said that he decided to make this donation because “In Korea and even in the US, women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lack opportunities and environments that allow them to excel.” Professor Song Chong, the Head of the KAIST Graduate School of AI, responded, “We are so grateful for Professor Kyunghyun Cho’s contribution and we will also use funds from the school in addition to the donation to support our female PhD students who will attend the ICLR.” (END)
Algorithm Identifies Optimal Pairs for Composing Metal-Organic Frameworks
The integration of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and other metal nanoparticles has increasingly led to the creation of new multifunctional materials. Many researchers have integrated MOFs with other classes of materials to produce new structures with synergetic properties. Despite there being over 70,000 collections of synthesized MOFs that can be used as building blocks, the precise nature of the interaction and the bonding at the interface between the two materials still remains unknown. The question is how to sort out the right matching pairs out of 70,000 MOFs. An algorithmic study published in Nature Communications by a KAIST research team presents a clue for finding the perfect pairs. The team, led by Professor Ji-Han Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, developed a joint computational and experimental approach to rationally design MOF@MOFs, a composite of MOFs where an MOF is grown on a different MOF. Professor Kim’s team, in collaboration with UNIST, noted that the metal node of one MOF can coordinately bond with the linker of a different MOF and the precisely matched interface configurations at atomic and molecular levels can enhance the likelihood of synthesizing MOF@MOFs. They screened thousands of MOFs and identified optimal MOF pairs that can seamlessly connect to one another by taking advantage of the fact that the metal node of one MOF can form coordination bonds with the linkers of the second MOF. Six pairs predicted from the computational algorithm successfully grew into single crystals. This computational workflow can readily extend into other classes of materials and can lead to the rapid exploration of the composite MOFs arena for accelerated materials development. Even more, the workflow can enhance the likelihood of synthesizing MOF@MOFs in the form of large single crystals, and thereby demonstrated the utility of rationally designing the MOF@MOFs. This study is the first algorithm for predicting the synthesis of composite MOFs, to the best of their knowledge. Professor Kim said, “The number of predicted pairs can increase even more with the more general 2D lattice matching, and it is worth investigating in the future.” This study was supported by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics. (Figure: An example of a rationally synthesized MOF@MOFs (cubic HKUST-1@MOF-5 ))
Two Alumni Win the Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Awards
Vice Chairman Ki-Nam Kim (Left) and Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang (Right) <ⓒ Photo by MSIT and KOFST> Distinguished KAIST Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry and Vice Chairman Ki-Nam Kim of Samsung Electronics were selected as the winners of the “2019 Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Awards” by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST). The awards, which were first handed out in 2003, are the highest honor bestowed to the two most outstanding scientists in Korea every year, and this year’s awardees are of greater significance as they are both KAIST alumni. Professor Chang was recognized for his pioneering achievements and lifetime contributions to the development of carbon-hydrogen activation strategies, especially for carbon-carbon, carbon-nitrogen, and carbon-oxygen formations. His research group has also been actively involved in the development of highly selective catalytic systems allowing the controlled defunctionalization of bio-derived platform substrates under mild conditions, and opening a new avenue for the utilization of biomass-derived platform chemicals. The results of his study have been introduced worldwide through many prestigious journals including Science, Nature Chemistry, and Nature Catalysis, making him one of the world's top 1% researchers by the number of references made to his papers by his peers over four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018. Vice Chairman Kim, who received his M.E. degree from KAIST’s School of Electrical Engineering in 1983, has been credited with playing a leading role in the development of system semiconductors. The awards were conferred on July 4 at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Korea Science and Technology Annual Meeting. (END)
KAIST Develops Analog Memristive Synapses for Neuromorphic Chips
(Professor Sung-Yool Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering) A KAIST research team developed a technology that makes a transition of the operation mode of flexible memristors to synaptic analog switching by reducing the size of the formed filament. Through this technology, memristors can extend their role to memristive synapses for neuromorphic chips, which will lead to developing soft neuromorphic intelligent systems. Brain-inspired neuromorphic chips have been gaining a great deal of attention for reducing the power consumption and integrating data processing, compared to conventional semiconductor chips. Similarly, memristors are known to be the most suitable candidate for making a crossbar array which is the most efficient architecture for realizing hardware-based artificial neural network (ANN) inside a neuromorphic chip. A hardware-based ANN consists of a neuron circuit and synapse elements, the connecting pieces. In the neuromorphic system, the synaptic weight, which represents the connection strength between neurons, should be stored and updated as the type of analog data at each synapse. However, most memristors have digital characteristics suitable for nonvolatile memory. These characteristics put a limitation on the analog operation of the memristors, which makes it difficult to apply them to synaptic devices. Professor Sung-Yool Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering and his team fabricated a flexible polymer memristor on a plastic substrate, and found that changing the size of the conductive metal filaments formed inside the device on the scale of metal atoms can make a transition of the memristor behavior from digital to analog. Using this phenomenon, the team developed flexible memristor-based electronic synapses, which can continuously and linearly update synaptic weight, and operate under mechanical deformations such as bending. The team confirmed that the ANN based on these memristor synapses can effectively classify person’s facial images even when they were damaged. This research demonstrated the possibility of a neuromorphic chip that can efficiently recognize faces, numbers, and objects. Professor Choi said, “We found the principles underlying the transition from digital to analog operation of the memristors. I believe that this research paves the way for applying various memristors to either digital memory or electronic synapses, and will accelerate the development of a high-performing neuromorphic chip.” In a joint research project with Professor Sung Gap Im (KAIST) and Professor V. P. Dravid (Northwestern University), this study was led by Dr. Byung Chul Jang (Samsung Electronics), Dr. Sungkyu Kim (Northwestern University) and Dr. Sang Yoon Yang (KAIST), and was published online in Nano Letters (10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b04023) on January 4, 2019. Figure 1. a) Schematic illustration of a flexible pV3D3 memristor-based electronic synapse array. b) Cross-sectional TEM image of the flexible pV3D3 memristor
First Female Grand Prize Awardee of Samsung Humantech
Yeunhee Huh, PhD candidate (Professor Gyu-Hyeong Cho) from the School of Electrical Engineering received the grand prize of the 24th Humantech Paper Award. She is the first female recipient of this prize since its establishment in 1994. The Humantech Paper Award is hosted by Samsung Electronics and sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT with JoongAng Daily Newspaper. Her paper is titled, ‘A Hybrid Structure Dual-Path Step-Down Converter with 96.2％ Peak Efficiency using 250mΩ Large-DCR Inductor’. Electronic devices require numerous chips and have a power converter to supply energy adequately. She proposed a new structure to enhance energy efficiency by combining inductors and capacitors. Enhancing energy efficiency can reduce energy loss, which prolongs battery hours and solves overheating of devices; for instance, energy loss leads to the overheating issue affecting phone chargers. This technology can be applied to various electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptops, and drones. Huh said, “Power has to go up in order to meet customers’ needs; however the overheating problem emerges during this process. This problem affects surrounding circuits and causes other issues, such as malfunctions of electronic devices. This technology may vary according to the conditions, but it can enhance energy efficiency up to 4%.”During the ceremony, about eight hundred million KRW worth cash prizes was conferred to 119 papers. KAIST (44 papers) and Gyeonggi Science High School (6 papers) received special awards given to the schools.
KAIST Researchers Receive the 2016 IEEE William R. Bennett Prize
A research team led by Professors Yung Yi and Song Chong from the Electrical Engineering Department at KAIST has been awarded the 2016 William R. Bennett Prize of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the most prestigious award in the field of communications network. The IEEE bestows the honor annually and selects winning papers from among those published in the past three years for its quality, originality, scientific citation index, and peer reviews. The IEEE award ceremony will take place on May 24, 2016 at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team members include Dr. Kyoung-Han Lee, a KAIST graduate, who is currently a professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea, Dr. Joo-Hyun Lee, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University in the United States, and In-Jong Rhee, a vice president of the Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. The same KAIST team previously received the award back in 2013, making them the second recipient ever to win the IEEE William R. Bennett Prize twice. Past winners include Professors Robert Gallager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sachin Katti of Stanford University, and Ion Stoica of the University of California at Berkeley. The research team received the Bennett award for their work on “Mobile Data Offloading: How Much Can WiFi Deliver?” Their research paper has been cited more than 500 times since its publication in 2013. They proposed an original method to effectively offload the cellular network and maximize the Wi-Fi network usage by analyzing the pattern of individual human mobility in daily life.
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