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World Research University Heads To Discuss Global Networking at KAIST Symposium
About 70 leaders of the world"s major research universities will discuss how to strengthen and operate global networks to share faculty, students, facilities and other resources for common advancement at a symposium Monday, Sept. 8, at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul organized by KAIST, Korea"s foremost institute of science and technology education and research. Participants of the 1st International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities are from 39 universities in 20 countries. They include nine presidents of Korean universities. The international symposium, the first such event to be held in Korea, will proceed in five panel sessions. The subjects of each session and their keynote speakers are: -- "Roaming Professorships: To Whose Benefit?" by Dr. John Anderson, president of the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA,-- "Dual Degree Programs: Future Potential and Challenges" by Dr. Paul Greenfield, president of the University of Queensland, Australia, -- "Sharing Facilities and Expertise" by KAIST President Nam Pyo Suh,-- "An Approach to Joint Research Ventures with NASA" by Yvonne Pendleton, NASA, and-- "Globalization through Interfacing with Existing Networking" by Dr. Lars Pallesen, rector of the Technical University of Denmark. KAIST President Suh said of the purpose of the conference: "Research universities have become global enterprises. Collaborations that were once primarily between individual researchers are now increasingly occurring at institutional and international levels. Similarly, educating students which used to be the responsibility of a single university has now become a multi-institutional undertaking, involving many universities in different countries. "Now leading research universities in many countries depend on the continuous supply of outstanding graduate students from the "feeder" schools of developing nations. There are concerns that the current system may not be serving the interest and need of some institutions, especially those in developing nations. This should be examined and understood to devise international mechanisms that can accentuate the positive aspects of globalization. "Through this forum, we hope to forge an international network of universities that will strengthen the effort of individual universities and create alliance for research and education that can become a new paradigm for global collaboration." Prime Minister Han Seung-soo will give a speech at a dinner after the conclusion of the symposium. President of the Korea International Traders Association Lee Hee-beom will make a welcoming address at the start of the conference. Co-sponsors of the international university presidents" forum include the Dong-a Ilbo, a major national daily, and the Dong-a Science magazine. The research universities presidential forum will be followed on Sept. 9 by an international academic workshop at KAIST"s Daejeon campus on EEWS (Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability). Under the theme of "Challenges as Opportunities," research teams from MIT, CalTech, the Korean Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, KAIST Institute and KAIST EEWS team will present their research results at the workshop. Major Korean businesses, including SK Energy, GS Caltex and the Samsung Group will also introduce their research programs concerning EEWS, the most pressing prblems of today"s world. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the KAIST campus in the afternoon of the same day for the construction of the KI Building, which will house all the eight research institutes of KAIST. The KI for Bio Century, KI for IT Convergence, KI for Design of Complex Systems, KI for Entertainment Engineering, KI for Eco-Energy, KI for Urban Space and Systems, and the KI for Optical Science and Technology were established between 2006 and 2008. More than 230 professors from 18 departments have actively engaged in research activities in their respective fields. KAIST will start construction of the Pappalardo Medical Center in a ceremony on Wednesday with the attendance of Mr. Neil Pappalardo, chairman-CEO of Meditech Inc. of the United States who donated $2.5 million for the project. The medical facility for KAIST students, faculty and the residents of the university area will be completed in September 2009. The President"s Advisory Council (PAC) for KAIST will hold its 3rd general meeting on Sept. 10 to discuss KAIST"s short- and long-term strategies to become the world"s top-ranked research university. The PAC was formed in 2006 with 11 foreign and 14 domestic figures from the business and academic circles. Foreign PAC members include John Holzrichter, president of Fannie and John Hertz Foundation; Donald C. W. Kim, chairman of AMKOR A&E, Inc.; Chong-Moon Lee, chairman of AmBex Venture Group; Byung-Joon Park, founder of Bureau Veritas CPS, Inc.; Lars Pallesen, rector of the Technical University of Denmark. PAC members have advised the KAIST president on international publicity on KAIST"s academic excellence, fund-raising, and promotion of cooperative relations with overseas institutions.
2008 Commencement Ceremony Held
The 2008 KAIST Commencement Ceremony was held on Feb. 29 at the KAIST Amphitheater in the presence of KAIST President Nam Pyo Suh, U.S. Ambassador to Korea Alexander Vershbow, alumni representatives and parents. Other dignitaries on hand included National Assemblymen Sang-Kee Suh, Chang-Sun Hong and Sang-Min Lee; and Daejoen City Major Sung-Hyo Park. President Suh and Vice President Soon-Heung Chang presented degrees to each of the 1,321 graduates (200 doctors, 725 masters and 396 bachelors) instead of just to representatives. Since its inception in 1971, KAIST has produced 7,067 Ph.D. graduates, 18,636 master"s degree holders and 8,998 bachelor"s degree holders. This year, 40 percent of the Ph.D. graduates, 79, were in their twenties upon graduation. President Suh called on the graduates to return the favor they received from society by making their share of contributions to humanity. "You were chosen to be students of this unique university because the Korean people -- not only KAIST professors and staff, but also ordinary taxpayers -- believe that outstanding young people like you can change the world in which we live for the better. Now it is time for you to pay back their support," he said. Notable graduates of this year include So-Yeon Yi, 29, the first Korean female astronaut candidate, who earned her doctorate degree in bio and brain engineering. She was granted a special award in recognition of her role in advancing space science in Korea but she could not attend the graduation ceremony due to her training schedule in Russia which will continue until April. Eun-Gyu Oh, 26, was the youngest doctorate recipient in the ceremony and Won Hye-jeong, 21, recorded the top undergraduate GPA with a score of 4.20 over 4.3. Civil and environmental engineering major Seung-Hee Park, 28, published a total of eight papers in major international journals while attending KAIST and two more papers are currently under review. So-Yeon Yi said: ``I frequently stayed up all night to research and write the paper. It was tough experience for me. Thanks to ceaseless support from professors and colleagues, however, I was able to complete the task,"" she said. ``I have done my best in studying, exercising and so on. I"m sure that my active, participatory attitude brought about this honorable moment."" She is now training at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow as a replacement astronaut in case Koh San, 31, who is to be the first Korean astronaut, is unable to go into orbit. Koh and Yi were selected from more than 36,000 applicants last year. Koh was finally picked as the primary candidate last September. The two are serving as space ambassadors appointed by the Ministry of Science & Technology.
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