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Education, a Silver Lining in the Dark COVID-19 Cloud
If there is a silver lining behind the COVID-19 pandemic clouds engulfing the world in darkness, it would be ‘education’. The disruption caused by the pandemic has reminded us of the skills that students need in this unpredictable world and raised public awareness of guaranteeing continuous, fair, and quality learning opportunities. Educational innovation can become a positive and powerful catalyst to transform the world for a better future in the post-COVID era. According to the speakers at the virtual forum co-hosted by the Global Strategy Institute (GSI) and Korea Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (KPC4IR) at KAIST on June 24, the recent transition to remote education amplifies the existing socio-economic disparities between the haves and the have-nots, and narrowing the digital divide is the most urgent challenge that should be addressed in this ever-evolving technology-dominating era. They also called for students to be resilient despite the numerous uncertainties ahead of them and prepare new skill sets to better adjust to new environments. KAIST launched the GSI as its think tank in February of this year. The GSI aims to identify global issues proactively and help make breakthroughs well aligned with solid science and technology-based policies. The second forum of the KAIST GSI, following its inaugural forum in April, was held under the theme “Envisioning the Future of Education for a Non-Contact Society in the Post-Coronavirus Era”. In his opening remarks, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin stressed that “distance teaching and learning will eventually become integral components of our future education system”. He then called for close collaboration between the public and private sectors to better shape the future of digital education. President Shin said that global cooperation is also needed to continue offering inclusive, quality education that can equally benefit every student around the world. “We should never let a crisis go to waste, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” he added. CEO of Minerva Schools Ben Nelson described the current coronavirus crisis as “an earthquake happening deep down on the ocean floor – we don’t feel it, but it can cause a devastating tsunami.” He continued, “Online learning can totally change the current education system forever.” Saying that blended education, which combines online and offline classes, will be the new norm in the post-coronavirus era, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda anticipates that institutions will have to offer more and more online courses and credentials, and should at the same time prepare to drive down the cost of education as students expect to pay much less in tuition and fees for online learning options. “With the economy slumping and unemployment soaring, job-relevant education will also be a must,” Maggioncalda said. National University of Singapore President Tan Eng Chye further pointed out that future education systems should prepare students to be creative lifelong learners. President Tan encouraged students to be able to integrate knowledge and technical skills from multiple disciplines for complex problem solving, and be adaptable and resilient with bigger appetites for risks and a higher tolerance for failures. He also mentioned digital competency, empathy, and social responsibility as virtues that students in the post-coronavirus era should possess. Rebecca Winthrop, Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, raised concerns over the ever-growing digital disparities caused by the recent shift to online teaching and learning, claiming that insufficient infrastructures for low-income families in developing nations are already causing added educational disparities and provoking the inequity issue around the world. “New approaches to leapfrog inequality and provide quality education equally through faster and more effective means should be studied,” she said. In response to this, Vice President of Microsoft Anthony Salcito introduced the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework, which provides practical advice to develop strategies for digital education transformation with a holistic, long-term view implemented in discrete phases that the global community can begin today. The Framework reportedly shows how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, support new approaches to building efficient and effective physical and digital infrastructure, modernizing teaching and learning, empowering research, and managing student success. The GSI will host two more forums in September and November. (END)
LG's Woo Jong Lee Named the Alumnus of College of Engineering
The College of Engineering at KAIST selected Woo Jong Lee, President and Head of the VC Business Division at LG Electronics Inc., as the 2017 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Engineering. ‘Alumnus of the Year’ is an award given to a distinguished alumnus who has contributed to the development of industrial technology or made outstanding academic achievements. Lee graduated from KAIST with the master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering. He also worked at Daewoo Motors as an executive member in the development division. He has been a crucial human resource for LG since he joined the company in 2000. While leading the VC business Division, which was established in 2013, Lee is recognized as a creative engineer as well as a leader in the automotive industry. Focusing on autonomous driving and eco-friendliness, he has been engaged in the production of major projects from the beginning to the end. Since 2014, outstanding alumni whose achievements have represented KAIST at the highest level have received the award. The first recipient was Tae-Kyung Yoo, an executive at Lumens Co., Ltd., and the second recipient was Jung-Ju Kim, the founder of NXC. In 2016, the award was not given because an appropriate candidate could not be identified. The award was held in the Industrial Engineering & Management Building (E2) on November 8. Faculty members including the dean of the College of Engineering Jong-Hwan Kim, the vice dean Hyochoong Bang, the head of Industrial & Systems Engineering Taesik Lee, and the dean of the KAIST Academy Tae-Eog Lee attended the ceremony. After the ceremony, Lee delivered a lecture on ‘Auto-components Business of LG Electronics’ to KAIST students.
Dr. Dong-Hee Chung Honored with OYRA by Korean Physicists in America
Dr. Dong-Hee Chung, a KAIST alumnus (class of 2002) who is currently a professor of the Physics Department at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), received the 2015 Outstanding Young Researcher Award (OYRA) by the Association of Korean Physicists in America (AKPA). The award ceremony was held on March 3, 2015 at AKPA’s annual conference. According to AKPA, Dr. Chung was recognized for his research achievements in the fields of the early universe, dark energy, and galaxy formation. Dr. Chung finished both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at KAIST and received his doctorate in 2004 from the University of Texas at Austin. He was appointed a professor at Penn State in 2014.
KAIST Research Team Unveils Method to Fabricate Photonic Janus Balls
A research team led by Prof. Seung-Man Yang of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has found a method to fabricate photonic Janus balls with isotropic structural colors. The finding draws attention since the newly-fabricated photonic balls may prove useful pigments for the realization of e-paper or flexible electronic displays. The breakthrough was published in the Nov. 3 edition of the science journal "Advanced Materials." The Nov. 6 issue of "Nature" also featured it as one of the research highlights under the title of "Future Pixels." Prof. Yang"s research team found that tiny marbles, black on one side and colored on the other, can be made by "curing" suspensions of silica particles with an ultraviolet lamp. When an electric field is applied, the marbles line up so that the black sides all face upwards, which suggests they may prove useful pigments for flexible electronic displays. The researchers suspended a flow of carbon-black particles mixed with silica and a transparent or colored silica flow in a resin that polymerizes under ultraviolet light. They then passed the mixture through a tiny see-through tube. The light solidified the silica and resin as balls with differently colored regions, each about 200 micrometers in diameter. Over the last decades, the development of industrial platforms to artificially fabricate structural color pigments has been a pressing issue in the research areas of materials science and optics. Prof. Yang, who is also the director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Integrated Optofluidic Systems, has led the researches focused on fabrication of functional nano-materials through the process of assembling nano-building blocks into designed patterns. The "complementary hybridization of optical and fluidic devices for integrated optofluidic systems" research was supported by a grant from the Creative Research Initiative Program of the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology.
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