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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)
Provost Kwang Hyung Lee Elected as the 17th President of KAIST
Provost and Executive Vice President Kwang Hyung Lee was selected as the 17th president of KAIST during a vote of the KAIST Board of Trustees on February 18. He will succeed President Sung-Chul Shin, whose four-year term concludes on February 22. President-elect Lee, 67, was among the three final candidates who were nominated by the Presidential Search Committee. Upon the selection, President-elect Lee said he will take up new challenges to transform KAIST into the most relevant research university in the world, fostering talents who can work with emerging technologies while pushing for innovative R&D initiatives that will benefit all of humanity. President-elect Lee is a futurologist who pioneered multidisciplinary studies and research at KAIST. He advocated that the convergence of information, biology, and nano-technologies would be critical for future industries, playing a crucial role in establishing the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2001 and the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy in 2013. He then served as the inaugural head of both faculties. President-elect Lee has extensive administrative experience at KAIST, serving as Associate Vice President of the International Office, and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs since early 2001. He is also serving as a member of the Korea Presidential Education Committee. An ardent champion of entrepreneurship and startups, he has advised the first generations of KAIST startup entrepreneurs such as Nexon, Idis, Neowiz, and Olaworks. President-elect Lee, drawn to creative thinking and flipped learning, is famous for watching TV upside down. Such pioneering ideas and his unusual thinking style were modeled in the ‘eccentric professor’ role featured on the TV hit drama of ‘KAIST’ from 1999 to 2000. An alumnus who earned his MS in industrial engineering at KAIST in 1980 after completing his undergraduate studies at Seoul National University, President-elect Lee joined the KAIST faculty in 1985 upon receiving his PhD in computer science from INSA de Lyon in France. A computer scientist as well as fuzzy theorist whose research area extends to AI, bioinformatics, fuzzy intelligent systems, and foresight methods, Professor Lee has published more than 70 papers in international journals and textbooks on system programming, fuzzy set theory and its applications, and three-dimensional creativity. He also invented a fuzzy elevator, subway operation controller, and AI transportation controller. A fellow at the Korea Academy of Science and Technology and the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, he was decorated by the Korean government and the French government in recognition of the innovative education and research initiatives he has pursued.
Ushering in a New Era at the 50th Innoversary Ceremony
President Moon Jae-In declares KAIST the future of Korea KAIST reaffirmed its goal of becoming an institute that can serve the world for the next century, marking its 50th anniversary on February 16. The KAIST community and distinguished guests gathered online during the official ceremony to commemorate KAIST’s anniversary and envisioned ways to serve the world, a major shift from its founding mission focusing on national growth. The ceremony celebrated the legacy of KAIST, which has become a trailblazer by fostering the most competent scientists and engineers and making breakthroughs which led to the nation becoming a global high-tech leader. President Moon Jae-In applauded KAIST as “the future of Korea” in his online congratulatory message, saying that “KAIST has made us feel proud when the nation stays ahead in science and technology. The dream of KAIST has been the dream of Korea. The passion of KAIST has been the passion of Korea. KAIST is the future of Korea.” “KAIST has overcome challenges and created innovations for advancing the nation, from the first internet network to launching our first satellite in the early 80s to the Mobile Clinic Module (MCM), a negative pressure ward module in response to COVID-19. Whenever the nation faced a challenge, KAIST was there.” President Moon also asked KAIST researchers to find sustainable ways to balance nature and humanity in this time of climate change and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Dr.Klaus Schwab also congratulated, saying "KAIST is a leader in ensuring social inclusion. Founded with the support of USAID, today it is paying it forward and sharing the same support through the Kenya-KAIST project." The ceremony first brought Dr. KunMo Chung to the stage, the man who proposed the idea of founding the first advanced science and technology institute in Korea. His proposal to the then administrator of USAID John Hannah resulted in the Korean government meriting a 6 million USD loan for to start KAIST. He was the only Korean member of the USAID feasibility study team led by Dr. Frederick Terman, the former vice president of Stanford University. Dr. Chung wrote the Terman Report, which gave a green light to the establishment of KAIST in Korea in 1970. Dr. Chung said the nation’s strong desire to escape from poverty through the advancement of science and technology was thoroughly realized by KAIST. “The Terman Report’s vision was perfectly realized. Now it’s time to envision the next dream of KAIST for another century.” President Sung-Chul Shin said in his anniversary speech that KAIST has now transformed into a university that will serve the all of humanity by advancing science and technology while fostering new talents best fit for the new global environment. President Shin said that to fulfill KAIST’s second dream, the university will drive innovation in the five major areas of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future strategy, under the C3 spirit of a Challenging spirit, Creativity, and Caring minds. “In the next 50 years, KAIST hopes to fulfill the 10-10-10 Dream, that is, to have 10 Singularity Professors who have produced world-class achievements, 10 Decacorn startups valued at 10 trillion won, and global campuses in 10 countries.” Then, four young KAIST professors who are conducting research in the flagship fields of mobility, new materials, post-AI, and bio-medicine presented their research vision and gave speeches. Professor Hae-Won Park from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor Jihyeon Yeom from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering said the advent of new mobility combined with robotics and new nano-materials scaled down into spintronics, ‘KAISTronic materials’, will provide new momentum for the industry and the wellbeing of humanity. Professor Kijung Shin from the Graduate School of AI spoke on the new future transformed by quantum computers. Professor Young Seok Ju from the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering predicted a future in which cancer will no longer be a terminal disease and digital cells and the digitization of bio-medicine will significantly improve our quality of life. He said the combination of anti-aging and reverse aging studies will make a difference in our lives. After the official ceremony, KAIST’s administrative leadership including President Shin and Dr. Kun-Mo Chung attended a ceremony to dedicate the sky lounge at the Academic Cultural Complex as the John Hannah Hall. Terman Hall, located in the Creative Learning Building, was dedicated in 2004 in honor of Dr. Frederick Terman.
Life After COVID-19: Big Questions on Medical and Bio-Engineering
KAIST GSI forum explores big questions in the medical and bio-engineering revolution caused by the COVID-19 in fight against infectious diseases and life quality On September 9, the Global Strategy Institute at KAIST will delve into innovative future strategies for the medical and bio-engineering sectors that have been disrupted by COVID-19. The forum will live stream via YouTube, KTV, and Naver TV from 9:00 am Korean time. The online forum features a speaker lineup of world-renowned scholars who will discuss an array of bio-engineering technologies that will improve our quality of life and even extend our life span. This is the GSI’s third online forum since the first one in April that covered the socio-economic implications of the global pandemic and the second one in June focusing on the education sector. In hosting the third round of the GSI Forum series, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin stressed the power of science and technology saying, “In this world full of uncertainties, one thing for sure is that only the advancement of science and technology will deliver us from this crisis.” Korean Prime Minister Sye-Kyun Chung will also deliver a speech explaining the government’s response to COVID-19 and vaccine development strategies. The President of the National Academy of Medicine in the US will share ideal policies to back up the bio-engineering and medical sectors and Futurist Thomas Frey from the Davinci Institute will present his distinct perspectives on our future lives after COVID-19. His thought-provoking insights on advancements in the bioengineering sector will examine whether humanity can put an end to infectious diseases and find new ways to lengthen our lives. Two distinguished professors in the field of genetic engineering technology will share their latest breakthroughs. Professor George McDonald Church from Harvard Medical School who developed genome sequencing will deliver a keynote speech on how the advancement of gene editing and genome technology will overcome diseases and contribute to extending human life spans. Professor Kwang-Soo Kim, a KAIST alumnus from Harvard Medical School who recently reported new discoveries for Parkinson’s disease treatment by reprogramming a patient’s own skin cells to replace cells in the brain, will introduce the latest clinical cell treatment technologies based on personalized therapeutics. Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer of Illumina Susan Tousi, a leading genome sequencing solution provider, will describe genome analysis technology and explore the potential for disease prevention. KAIST medical scientist Jeong Ho Lee, who was the first to identify the causes of intractable epilepsies and has identified the genes responsible for several developmental brain disorders. Professor Jin-Hyung Lee from Stanford University and Dr. David B. Resnik from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science will also join the speaker lineup to discuss genetics-based personalized solutions to extend human life spans. The forum will also invite about 50 young scientists and medical researchers from around the world to participate in an online panel session. They will engage in a Q&A session and a discussion with the speakers. (END)
Professor Youngchul Kim Joins Presidential Commission on Architecture Policy
Professor Youngchul Kim from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who is also the Director of the Smart City Research Center at KAIST, was appointed as a commissioner of the 6th Presidential Commission on Architecture Policy on May 19. Professor Kim will contribute to coordinating and deliberating national architecture and urban development policies. He will serve a two-year term beginning this month. The Presidential Commission on Architecture Policy is made up of 30 commissioners. Nineteen members, including Professor Kim, are experts from the private sector, and the rest include the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, the Minister for Environment, and other government officials. The non-governmental commissioners represent a diverse mixture of genders, ages, and regions for the balanced development of the nation. (END)
Professor Sukyung Park Named Presidential Science and Technology Adviser
Professor Sukyung Park from the Department of Mechanical Engineering was appointed as the science and technology adviser to the President Jae-in Moon on May 4. Professor Park, at the age of 47, became the youngest member of the president’s senior aide team at Chong Wa Dae. A Chong Wa Dae spokesman said on May 4 while announcing the appointment, “Professor Park, a talent with a great deal of policymaking participation in science and technology, will contribute to accelerating the government’s push for science and technology innovation, especially in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.” Professor Park joined KAIST in 2004 as the first female professor of mechanical engineering. She is a biomechanics expert who has conducted extensive research on biometric mechanical behaviors. Professor Park is also a member of the KAIST Board of Trustees. Before that, she served as a senior researcher at the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) as well as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology. After graduating from Seoul Science High School as the first ever two-year graduate, Professor Park earned a bachelor and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at KAIST. She then finished her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. (END)
Former Minister of Science and Technology Woo Sik Kim Elected as New Chairman of Board of Trustees
Dr. Woo Sik Kim, former Minister of Science and Technology and Deputy Prime Minister, was elected as the new chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees on March 26. Dr. Kim will succeed Chairman Jang-Mu Lee, whose three-year term expired last month. Dr. Kim is a chemical engineering professor who spent most of his academic career at Yonsei University from 1968. In 2000, he held the office of president of Yonsei University for four years before moving to the Presidential Office of President Roh Moo-Hyun as his chief of staff in 2004. After serving in the Blue House for two years, he served as the Minister of Science and Technology from 2006 to 2008. An emeritus fellow of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK), Chairman Kim also taught at KAIST as an invited distinguished professor from 2008 to 2010. He is currently the chairman of the Creativity Engineering Institute (CEI). (END)
KAIST 2019 Commencement at a Glance
(KAIST 2019 Commencement Ceremony) This year, KAIST awarded a total of 2,705 degrees: 654 PhD degrees, 1,255 master’s degrees, and 796 bachelor’s degrees. Including this year’s numbers, KAIST has conferred a total of 63,830 degrees since its foundation in 1971. Parents, family, and friends came to campus to congratulate the graduates with big smiles and hugs. Faculty and staff members also attended the ceremony to celebrate their graduation. This year, distinguished guests including National Assembly Member Kyung-Jin Kim and Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dae-sik came to celebrate the day with the KAIST community. During the commencement, KAIST also announced the recipients of its undergraduate academic awards. The Minister of Science and ICT Award was won by Do-Yoon Kim from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, the KAIST Board of Trustee Chairperson Award went to Se-rin Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the KAIST Presidential Award was won by Hee-Ju Kim from the Department of Physics, the KAIST Alumni Association President Award went to Hyeon-Seong Park from the School of Electrical Engineering, and finally the KAIST Development Foundation Chairperson Award was won by Gyeong-Hoon Lee from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. This year’s valedictorian Eun-Seok Jeong from the School of Computing said, “I believe that we are able to stand here today because we challenged ourselves to confront our shortcomings and our uncertainty. If we continue to develop, we will become a better person than we were yesterday.” (KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Woo-Seok Jeong, '19 PhD in Aerospace Engineering) As a KAIST alumnus and fellow scientist, President Sung-Chul Shin offered his congratulations and emphasized that graduates should continue to pursue the C³ spirit. “In this age of great transformation, embrace challenges and exercise creativity as you have learnt through your education and research at KAIST. And keep in mind the importance of caring for others. Please remember that challenge and creativity will have more meaning if rendered with a caring spirit,” he said.
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)
The 2018 Commencement of KAIST at a Glance
KAIST awarded a total of 2, 736 degrees at the 2018 commencement ceremony on February 23. Among the honorees, Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) Oh-Hyun Kwon was recognized as the first alumnus honorary doctorate recipient of KAIST. More than 5,000 family, friends, and graduates including distinguished guests of Minister of Science and ICT Young-Min Yu, the Member of National Assembly Kyung-Jin Kim, Chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees Jang-Moo Lee, and the Chairperson of the KAIST Development Foundation Soo-Young Lee attended to celebrate the graduates. During the commencement, a total of 2,736 students earned degrees: 644 PhD degrees, 1,352 master’s degrees, and 740 bachelor’s degrees. (Minister of Science and ICT Young-Min Yu) (The Member of National Assembly Kyung-Jin Kim) This year, Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics and SAIT Kwon shared the spotlight with many other graduates. Kwon received his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from KAIST in 1977 and completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1985. During his more than 33-year career at Samsung, he has made significant contribution to the development of 4M DRAM and the world’s first 64M DRAM. The success of 4M DRAM and 64 DRAM led Samsung to clinch the top position in the DRAM and NAND flash business around the world. This helped Samsung emerge as a global leader in the semiconductor industry. (From left: Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics and SAIT Oh-Hyun Kwon and KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin) During the commencement speech, Kwon and President Shin both highlighted the importance of collaboration instead of competition. Kwon encouraged the graduates to understand others to make wonderful synergy. “When you first notice the true value of another person and interact with them, the value of the individual will be doubled and will bring about a greater impact,” he said. Also, he stressed having a collaborative mindset by saying, “All of you here, including myself, are people who have benefited from society. We must cooperate with each other and give back to society for the vest results.” While highlighting the core values of KAIST, creativity, challenge and caring, President Shin also emphasized collaboration with others. He said, “In the future, expertise in a single discipline will not lead to new inventions or discoveries. This highlights the importance of multidisciplinary, convergence research. The key to success lies in the acknowledgement of your peers as partners for mutual growth. Your partners will make up your weak areas and become your most important asset. May you expand your personal network by finding valuable partners not only within your laboratory and workplace, but beyond Korea.” “Go out into the world and change it as a global shaper, global innovator, and global mover. I hope that each and every one of you will add benefits the world and your legacy will be remembered for generations to come. This is your obligation as a graduate of KAIST,” he said. Click here to view the full text of President Sung-Chul Shin’s address to the graduates + List of academically outstanding undergraduate degree recipients who received honors during the Commencement 2018 of KAIST Award Department Winner Minister of Science and ICT Award Dept. of Mathematical Sciences Seong-Hyeok Park KAIST Board Chairperson Award School of Computing Hyeong-Seok Kim KAIST President Award Dept. of Chemistry Hoi-Min Cheong KAIST Development Foundation Chairperson Award Dept. of Biological Sciences Gi-Song Kim Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering Seung-Hun Lee
Dr. Sung-Chul Shin Selected 16th President of KAIST
(President Sung-Chul Shin) The KAIST Board of Trustees elected Professor Sung-Chul Shin of the Department of Physics the 16th president of KAIST on February 21. Professor Shin succeeds President Sung-Mo Kang whose four-year term will end on February 23. He is the first KAIST alumnus to serve as its president. The Board of Trustees announced, “We believe that Professor Shin’s scientific achievement, outstanding leadership, and clear vision will serve KAIST faculty, students, and staff very well. He will be the best person to help KAIST leap forward in the four years ahead.” The newly-elected president said, “I am humbled and honored to have been elected to lead such a prestigious institute of Korea. Aiming to be one of the top ten global universities, KAIST will continue to innovate its systems.” Previously, Dr. Shin led the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) for six years as president since 2011. Professor Shin joined the KAIST faculty in 1989. He graduated from Seoul National University and then earned his MS degree in condensed matter physics at KAIST in 1977. After earning his Ph.D. in material physics at Northwestern University in 1984, he worked at Eastman Kodak Research Labs as a senior research scientist for five years. Before heading to DGIST, President Shin held key administrative positions at KAIST from the early 1990s including dean of planning, dean of the international office, and vice-dean of student affairs. During President Robert Laughlin’s tenure, the first foreign president at KAIST, he served as vice-president for two years from 2004. He also served on the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology of the Korean government as vice chairperson from 2015 to 2016. A renowned scholar in the field of nanoscience, President Shin’s research focuses on the artificial synthesis and characterization of nonmagnetic materials, magnetic anisotropy, and magneto-optical phenomena. He leads the Laboratory for Nanospinics of Spintronic Materials at KAIST and has published in 290 journals while holding 37 patents. A fellow in the American Physical Society (APS) since 2008, he was the president of the Korean Physical Society from 2011 to 2012. He has been on the editorial board of J. Magnetism and Magnetic Materials from 2009 and was the first Korean recipient of the Asian Union of Magnetics Societies (AUMS) Award, which recognizes outstanding scientists in the field of magnetics. President Shin envisions making KAIST’s research and education more competitive through continuing innovation. His innovation efforts will extend to the five key areas of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future planning. Among his priorities, he emphasizes multidisciplinary studies and leadership training for students. He plans to focus on undeclared major courses for undergraduates to help them expand their experience and exposure to diverse disciplines. This approach will help create well-rounded engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs by enabling them to develop skills while leveraging a strong connection to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. To better respond to Industry 4.0, which calls for convergence studies and collaborative work, he proposed establishing a ‘Convergence Innovation System’ by strategically selecting 10 flagship convergence research groups. In order to accelerate the technology commercialization and ecosystem of start-ups, he will strengthen entrepreneurship education, making it a prerequisite requirement for students. President Shin said he will spare no effort to incubate and spin-off ventures in which KAIST technology is being transferred. For globalization efforts, he plans to increase the ratio of foreign faculty from 9 percent to 15 percent, while doubling the current foreign student enrollment ratio of 5 percent. For future strategic innovation, he will implement a long-term innovation strategic plan dubbed ‘Vision 2031.’
KAIST Celebrates the 2017 Commencement
KAIST hosted its 2017 Commencement, awarding diplomas to 2,767 members of the Class of 2017 during a ceremony on February 17. President Sung-Mo Kang, Minister Yang-hee Choi of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, and Chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees Jang-Moo Lee joined the ceremony along with the graduates and their family and friends at the Ryu Keun Chul Sports Complex. The graduating class included 638 Ph.D. degrees, 1,335 Master’s degrees, and 794 Bachelor’s degrees being conferred. Among them, Young-Ki Song from the Department of Electric Engineering was honored to win the Minister’s Award, the highest award bestowed to an undergraduate. The KAIST Presidential Award went to Min-Jae Park of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the KAIST Board of Trustee Chairman’s Award was presented to Jae-Hyung Cho from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Including this year’s graduating class, KAIST has turned out more than 59,000 highly educated science and technology talents including 11,731 Ph.D.s since its foundation in 1971. This year, 24-year-old Seo-Hee Oh earned her Ph.D. in chemistry as the youngest Ph.D. of the year after completing her Master’s and Ph.D. combined course in three years. President Sung-Mo Kang praised the creativity of this graduating class and their excellent ability in his charge, saying, “As future leaders of our society, you are expected to develop a sense of compassion and outstanding professionalism to contribute to the advancement of not only Korea but also the whole world.’ For full text of President Kang’s charge to the graduates, please click.
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