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Professor Baik Awarded Sangsan Young Mathematician Prize
(Professor Hyungryul Baik) Professor Hyungryul Baik from the Department of Mathematical Sciences was honored as the recipient of the 2018 Sangsan Prize for Young Mathematicians by the Korean Mathematical Society (KMS). The Sangsan Prize recognizes young mathematicians who finished their degree within the previous five years and have begun an outstanding research career. Professor Baik was recognized for his studies in the fields of low-dimensional topology, geophysical mathematics, and geometric theory. In particular, his Ph.D. dissertation presented a new criterion that completely identifies the hyperbolic surface group, making an inference about the nature of the hyperbolic manifold group. Recently, Professor Baik co-published a paper entitled Spaces of Invariant Circular Orders of Groups with Professor Eric Samperton at the University of California Santa Barbara in the renowned academic journal Groups, Geometry, and Dynamics in 2018. Professor Baik earned his BS at KAIST and finished his MS and Ph.D. in mathematics in 2014 at Cornell University. He joined KAIST as a faculty member last year.
KAIST Launches Woorisae II
Professor Sejin Kwon from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and his team succeeded in launching a science rocket, named ‘Woorisae II’ at Saemanguem reclamation. This rocket was developed in collaboration with the Satellite Technology Research Lab (SaRTec). The test-firing was conducted at 10:43 am on Sunday October 28, 2018 (35°N 42’ 06” 126°E 33’ 36”, Radius of 0.6NM). This launch was the follow-up to the previous launch that was cancelled due to not gaining approval for using the airspace. Professor Kwon’s team put a great deal of effort into securing the land for the rocket launch. As a result, they got approval from the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency for the land and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for the use of the airspace. The Republic of Korea Air Force and United States Air Force also approved the use of the airspace for the launch of the science rocket for research purposes. Woorisae II is 2.2 meters long with a diameter of 20cm, and weighs 13kg without a payload. The rocket is powered by a hybrid rocket with hydrogen peroxide oxidizer producing 100 kg of force. The Woorisae II sounding rocket was designed to burn for five seconds and then continue inertial flight for 20 seconds. The target altitude of Woorisae II was set at 3,300 feet to comply with the airspace approval. The team developed the core components, including a hybrid rocket propulsion system, flight computer and parachute recovery system, as well as a ground control station. The flight data was transmitted to the ground station and recorded to onboard computer memory. When a malfunction occurs during the flight, Woorisae II was designed to terminate the power flight for safety by shutting the propellant valve and deploying the recovery parachute. All the rocket subsystems and components were developed and supplied by domestic startup companies such as INOCOM and NARA SPACE TEHCNOLOGY. Generally, sounding rockets reach an altitude beyond 30km and are widely used for testing rocket engines and reentry materials as well as for conducting microgravity experiments. Instruments for atmospheric science can also be installed to measure fine dust and high altitude atmosphere. Besides these science and technology purposes, most advanced spacefaring countries have sounding rocket programs to train and educate young people in the field of space science. Professor Kwon said, “We will plan to launch upgraded rockets on November 4 and December 6 because we already received approval from the related agencies for using this land and airspace. Based on the experiment, we are planning to develop a cost-efficient small launch vehicle that is capable of delivering a cube satellite into Earth’s orbit.” (Photos of preparing the rocket launch)
Skin Hardness to Estimate Better Human Thermal Status
(Professor Young-Ho Cho and Researcher Sunghyun Yoon) Under the same temperature and humidity, human thermal status may vary due to individual body constitution and climatic environment. A KAIST research team previously developed a wearable sweat rate sensor for human thermal comfort monitoring. Furthering the development, this time they proposed skin hardness as an additional, independent physiological sign to estimate human thermal status more accurately. This novel approach can be applied to developing systems incorporating human-machine interaction, which requires accurate information about human thermal status. Professor Young-Ho Cho and his team from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering had previously studied skin temperature and sweat rate to determine human thermal comfort, and developed a watch-type sweat rate sensor that accurately and steadily detects thermal comfort last February (title: Wearable Sweat Rate Sensors for Human Thermal Comfort Monitoring ). However, skin temperature and sweat rate are still not enough to estimate exact human thermal comfort. Hence, an additional indicator is required for enhancing the accuracy and reliability of the estimation and the team selected skin hardness. When people feel hot or cold, arrector pili muscles connected to hair follicles contract and expand, and skin hardness comes from this contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Based on the phenomenon of changing skin hardness, the team proposed skin hardness as a new indicator for measuring human thermal sensation. With this new estimation model using three physiological signs for estimating human thermal status, the team conducted human experiments and verified that skin hardness is effective and independent from the two conventional physiological signs. Adding skin hardness to the conventional model can reduce errors by 23.5%, which makes its estimation more reliable. The team will develop a sensor that detects skin hardness and applies it to cognitive air-conditioning and heating systems that better interact with humans than existing systems. Professor Cho said, “Introducing this new indicator, skin hardness, elevates the reliability of measuring human thermal comfort regardless of individual body constitution and climatic environment. Based on this method, we can develop a personalized air conditioning and heating system that will allow affective interaction between humans and machines by sharing both physical and mental health conditions and emotions.” This research, led by researchers Sunghyun Yoon and Jai Kyoung Sim, was published in Scientific Reports, Vol.8, Article No.12027 on August 13, 2018. (pp.1-6) Figure 1. Measuring human thermal status through skin hardness Figure 2. The instrument used for measuring human thermal status through skin hardness
Scientist of October, Professor Haeshin Lee
(Professor Haeshin Lee from the Department of Chemistry) Professor Haeshin Lee from the Department of Chemistry received the ‘Science and Technology Award of October’ from the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea for his contribution to developing an antibleeding injection needle. This novel outcome will fundamentally prevent the problem of secondary infections of AIDS, Ebola and Hepatitis viruses transmitting from patients to medical teams. This needle’s surface is coated with hemostatic materials. Its concept is simple and the key to this technology is to make materials that are firmly coated on the needle so that they can endure frictional force when being injected into skin and blood vessels. Moreover, the materials should be adhesive to skin and the interior of blood vessels, but harmless to humans. Professor Lee found a solution from natural polymer ingredients. Catecholamine can be found in mussels. Professor Lee conjugated catechol groups on the chitosan backbone. He applied this mussel-inspired adhesive polymer Chitosan-catechol, which immediately forms an adhesive layer with blood, as a bioadhesion for the antibleeding injection needle. Professor Lee said, “Chitosan-catechol, which copies the adhesive mechanism of mussels, shows high solubility in physiological saline as well as great mucoadhesion. Hence, it is perfectly suitable for coating the injection needle. Combining it with proteins allows for efficient drug delivery to the heart, which is a challenging injection location, so it will be also useful for treating incurable heart disease.”
The 1st Korea Toray Science and Technology Awardee, Prof. Sukbok Chang
(Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry) The Korea Toray Science Foundation (KTSF) awarded the first Korea Toray Science Technology Award in basic science to Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry on September 19. KTSF was established in January 2018, and its award goes to researchers who have significantly contributed to the development of chemistry and materials research with funds to support research projects. Distinguished Professor Chang has devoted himself in organocatalysis research; in particular, his work on catalysts for effective lactam formation, which was an intricate problem, received great attention. The award ceremony will take place in The Federation of Korean Industries Hall on October 31. KTFS board members, judges, and the CEO of Toray Industries Akihiro Nikkaku will attend the ceremony. Also, Dr. Ryoji Noyori, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will give a talk on the role of chemistry and creative challenges as a researcher.
Center for Industrial Future Strategy Takes Off at KAIST
Electron Heating in Weakly Ionized Collisional Plasmas
(from left: Professor Wonho Choe and Research Professor Sanghoo Park) A KAIST research team successfully identified the underlying principles behind electron heating, which is one of the most important phenomena in plasmas. As the electric heating determines wide range of physical and chemical properties of plasmas, this outcome will allow relevant industries to extend and effectively customize a range of plasma characteristics for their specific needs. Plasma, frequently called the fourth state of matter, can be mostly formed by artificially energizing gases in standard temperature (25°C) and pressure (1 atm) range. Among the many types of plasma, atmospheric-pressure plasmas have been gaining a great deal of attention due to their unique features and applicability in various scientific and industrial fields. Because plasma characteristics strongly depends on gas pressure in the sub-atmospheric to atmospheric pressure range, characterizing the plasma at different pressures is a prerequisite for understanding the fundamental principles of plasmas and for their industrial applications. In that sense, information on the spatio-temporal evolution in the electron density and temperature is very important because various physical and chemical reactions within a plasma arise from electrons. Hence, electron heating has been an interesting topic in the field of plasma. Because collisions between free electrons and neutral gases are frequent under atmospheric-pressure conditions, there are physical limits to measuring the electron density and temperature in plasmas using conventional diagnostic tools, thus the principles behind free electron heating could not be experimentally revealed. Moreover, lacking information on a key parameter of electron heating and its controlling methods is troublesome and limit improving the reactivity and applicability of such plasmas. To address these issues, Professor Wonho Choe and his team from the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering employed neutral bremsstrahlung-based electron diagnostics in order to accurately examine the electron density and temperature in target plasmas. In addition, a novel imaging diagnostics for two dimensional distribution of electron information was developed. Using the diagnostic technique they developed, the team measured the nanosecond-resolved electron temperature in weakly ionized collisional plasmas, and they succeeded in revealing the spatiotemporal distribution and the fundamental principle involved in the electron heating process. The team successfully revealed the fundamental principle of the electron heating process under atmospheric to sub-atmospheric pressure (0.25-1atm) conditions through conducting the experiment on the spatiotemporal evolution of electron temperature. Their findings of the underlying research data on free electrons in weakly ionized collisional plasmas will contribute to enhancing the field of plasma science and their commercial applications. Professor Choe said, “The results of this study provide a clear picture of electron heating in weakly ionized plasmas under conditions where collisions between free electrons and neutral particles are frequent. We hope this study will be informative and helpful in utilizing and commercializing atmospheric-pressure plasma sources in the near future.” Articles related to this research, led by Research Professor Sanghoo Park, were published in Scientific Reports on May 14 and July 5. Figure 1. Nanosecond-resolved visualization of the electron heating structure. Spatiotemporal evolution of 514.5-nm continuum radiation,Te, Ar I emission Figure 2. Nanosecond-resolved visualization of electron heating. Spatiotemporal evolution of neutral bremsstrahlung at 514.5 nm
There Won't Be a Singularity: Professor Jerry Kaplan
(Professor Jerry Kaplan gave a lecture titled, Artificial Intelligence: Think Again at KAIST) “People are so concerned about super intelligence, but the singularity will not happen,” said Professor Jerry Kaplan at Stanford University, an AI guru and Silicon Valley entrepreneur during a lecture at KAIST. He visited KAIST to give a lecture on Artificial Intelligence: Think Again on September 6. Professor Kaplan said that some people argue that Korea’s AI research is behind the US and China but he doesn’t agree with that. “Korea is the most digitally connected one and has the world’s best engineers in the field. Korean companies are building products the consumers really like at reasonable prices. Those are attracting global consumers,” he added. Instead of investing loads of money on AI research, he suggested three tasks for Korea taking a better position in the field of AI: Collecting and saving lots of data; training engineers, not the research talents in AI; and investing in AI infrastructure and relieving regulations by the government. Referring to AI hype, Professor Kaplan argued that machines are intelligent, but they do not think in the way humans can, and assured the audience that the singularity some futurists predict will not be coming. He said, “Machine learning is a tool extracting useful information, but it does not mean they are so smart that they are taking over the world.” (Professor Jerry Kaplan gave a lecture titled, Artificial Intelligence: Think Again at KAIST) But what has made us believing AI myths? He first began pointing out how AI has been mythicized by three major drivers. Those are the entertainment industry, the popular media, and the AI community all wanting to attract more public attention and prestige. The abovementioned drivers are falsely making robots more human and are adding human characteristics. Instead of being captivated by those AI myths and thinking about how to save the world from robots, he strongly argued, “We need to develop standards for the unintended side effects from AI.” To provide machines socially and ethically mingling with the human world, he believed principles should be set as follows: Define the Safe Operating Envelope (SOE), “safe modes” when out of bounds, study human behavior programmatically, certification and licensing standards, limitations on machine “agency,” and basic computational ethics such as when it is okay to break the law. Professor Kaplan gave a positive view of AI for humans. “The future will be bright, thanks to AI. They do difficult work and help us and that will drive wealth and quality of life. The rich might get richer, but the benefits will spread throughout the people. It is time to think of innovative ways for using AI for building better world,” he concluded.
NEREC Summer Program Keeps Fellows Thinking, Engaged in Nuclear Nonproliferation
Nuclear technology is more than just technology. It is the fruit of the most advanced science and technology. It also requires high standards of policymaking and global cooperation for benefiting the technology. As part of the fifth annual Nuclear Nonproliferation Education and Research Center (NEREC) Summer Fellows Program at KAIST, 24 students from 15 countries participated in six-week intensive education and training program. NEREC is the only university-based center dedicated to nuclear nonproliferation education and research established in 2014. The program, which provides multidisciplinary lectures and seminars on nuclear technology and policy as well as international relations, was designed to nurture global nuclear technology experts well equipped in three areas: in-depth knowledge of technology, applicability gained from sound policy building, and negotiating for international cooperation. It now has grown into the most popular summer program at KAIST. During the program from July 6 to August 18, participants were able to engage in enriching and stimulating learning experiences in tandem with policies and technology for the utilization and provision of peaceful and safe nuclear technology. Participating fellows also had to conduct a group research project on a given topic. This year, they explored nuclear nonproliferation issues in relation to nuclear exports and brainstormed some recommendations for current policy. They presented their outcomes at the 2018 NEREC Conference on Nuclear Nonproliferation. After intensive lecture sessions and group research work, the fellows went off to key policy think-tanks, nuclear research institutes, and research power facilities in Korea, Japan, and China. “NEREC emphasizes nuclear nonproliferation issues related to civilian nuclear power and the associated nuclear fuel cycle development from the point of technology users. I am very glad that the number of participants are increasing year by year,” said the Director of NEREC Man-Sung Yim, a professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering. Participants’ majors vary from nuclear engineering to international relations to economics. The fellows divided into two groups of graduate and undergraduate courses. They expressed their deep satisfactory in the multidisciplinary lectures by scholars from KAIST, Seoul National University, and Korea National Defense University. Many participants reported that they learned a lot, not only about policy and international relations but on the research they are conducting and what the key issues will be in dealing for producing meaningful research work. Moad Aldbissi from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology is one of the students who shared the same view. He said, “Coming from a technical background in nuclear engineering, I managed to learn a lot about nuclear policy and international relations. The importance of integrating the technical and political fields became even clearer.” Most students concurred that they recognized how important it was to make international collaboration in this powerful field for each country through this program. “As an engineering student, I just approached this program like an empty glass in policy areas. While working with colleagues during the program, I came to understand how important it is to make cooperation in these fields for the better result of national development and international relations,” said Thanataon Pornphatdetaudom from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. To Director Yim, this program is becoming well positioned to educate nuclear policy experts in a number of countries of strategic importance. He believes the continuous supply of these experts will contribute to promoting global nuclear nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy while the use of nuclear technology continues.
Adding Smart to Science Museum
KAIST and the National Science Museum (NSM) created an Exhibition Research Center for Smart Science to launch exhibitions that integrate emerging technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoTs), and artificial intelligence (AI). There has been a great demand for a novel technology for better, user-oriented exhibition services. The NSM continuously faces the problem of not having enough professional guides. Additionally, there have been constant complaints about its current mobile application for exhibitions not being very effective. To tackle these problems, the new center was founded, involving 11 institutes and universities. Sponsored by the National Research Foundation, it will oversee 15 projects in three areas: exhibition-based technology, exhibition operational technology, and exhibition content. The group first aims to provide a location-based exhibition guide system service, which allows it to incorporate various technological services, such as AR/VR to visitors. An indoor locating system named KAILOS, which was developed by KAIST, will be applied to this service. They will also launch a mobile application service that provides audio-based exhibition guides. To further cater to visitors’ needs, the group plans to apply a user-centered ecosystem, a living lab concept to create pleasant environment for visitors. “Every year, hundred thousands of young people visit the National Science Museum. I believe that the exhibition guide system has to be innovative, using cutting-edge IT technology in order to help them cherish their dreams and inspirations through science,” Jeong Heoi Bae, President of Exhibition and Research Bureau of NSM, emphasized. Professor Dong Soo Han from the School of Computing, who took the position of research head of the group, said, “We will systematically develop exhibition technology and contents for the science museum to create a platform for smart science museums. It will be the first time to provide an exhibition guide system that integrates AR/VR with an indoor location system.” The center will first apply the new system to the NSM and then expand it to 167 science museums and other regional museums.
The MSE/CBE Int'l Workshop Explores Big Ideas in Emerging Materials
(KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin with scholars participated in the workshop) The MSE/CBE International Workshop brought together editors from key academic journals in multidisciplinary materials science and scholars from leading universities at KAIST on Aug. 7. The workshop hosted ten distinguished speakers in the fields of nanostructures for next-generation emerging applications, chemical and bio-engineering, and materials innovation for functional applications. They explored opportunities and challenges for reinventing novel materials that will solve complex problems. (From left: Professor Buriak, Professor Swager and Professor Il-Doo Kim) Speakers included: Chief Editor of Nature Materials Vincent Dusastre; Editor-in- Chief of ACS NANO and professor at UCLA Paul S. Weiss; Jillian M. Buriak, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials; Associate Editor of Macromolecules and professor at MIT Timothy M. Swager; Coordinating Editor of Acta Materialia and Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT Christopher A. Schuh; Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology Journal and Metabolic Engineering and Distinguished Professor at KAIST Sang-Yup Lee; Associate Editor of Energy Storage Materials and professor at KAIST Sang Ouk Kim; Professor Jeffrey C. Grossman at MIT; Professor Zhenan Bao at Stanford University; and Professor Hyuck Mo Lee, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST. Interdisciplinary materials research holds the key to building technological competitiveness in many industrial sectors extending from energy, environment, and health care to medicine and beyond. It has also been the bedrock of KAIST’s scholarship and research innovation. More than 200 faculty members in the field of materials science produce about 800 SCI papers every year. The two departments of materials science and chemical biomolecular engineering are leading KAIST’s global reputation, as they were both ranked 13th and 14th in the QS World University Ranking by Subject this year. (Professor Il-Doo Kim fromt he Department of Materials Science Engineering) Professor Il-Doo Kim from the Department of Materials Science Engineering has been the chair of this workshop from 2016. In hosting the second one this year, he said that he hopes this year’s workshop will inspire many materials scientists to have big ideas and work to make those big ideas get noticed in order to have a real impact. (KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin) President Sung-Chul Shin, who is a physicist specializing in materials physics, expressed his keen interest in the workshop, saying innovative materials made of unthinkable and noble combinations will be the key factor in determining the competitiveness of new technology and new industries. He lauded international collaborations for making new materials and the scholarly passion to evaluate the materials’ characteristics that made this significant progress possible. Dr. Vincent Dusastre, chief editor of Nature Materials, presented recent trends in materials for energy. He described how the rational design and improvement of materials’ properties can lead to energy alternatives which will compete with existing technologies. He pointed out that given the dramatic fundamental and practical breakthroughs that are taking place in the realization of solar cells with high energy-conversion efficiency, the improvement of batteries for electric vehicles and the grid is also a major challenge. He stressed, “Key advances in sustainable approaches beyond Li-ion batteries and control of redox processes are also greatly needed.” Meanwhile, ACS NANO Editor-in-Chief Paul S. Weiss spoke on the importance of heterogeneity in the structure and function of molecules and nanoscale assemblies. He stressed that such extensiveness of multi-interdisciplinary research will accelerate a greater impact as indicated when the fields of neuroscience and microbiome converged with nanoscience and nanotechnology. Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials Professor Jillian M. Buriak from the University of Alberta described how predictive models and machine learning can replace time consuming empirical device production and screening. By understanding and pinpointing the frustrating bottlenecks in the design of stable and efficient organic photovoltaics, much faster throughput can be obtained to enable a more direct pathway to stability, efficiency, and finally commercialization.
The Center for Anthropocene Studies (CAS) Opens
KAIST will start Anthropocene research, a convergence field of study, to address issues related to the commencement of human activities that have had scientific, industrial, and economic impacts on the Earth’s ecosystem. The National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea endorsed the KAIST Center for Anthropocene Studies as its Convergence Research Center project. Anthropocene refers to a new geological age in which various polluting materials that humans have made during the post-industrial revolution era have made a significant impact on the Earth and the lives of humankind. The studies expand the diverse socio-economic and environmental sectors for responding to climate change, natural disasters, ecological destruction, the polarization of the inequality and wealth, and many others. The KAIST research group at the center, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy, the Graduate School of Culture Technology, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, the Department of Industrial Design, the School of Electrical Engineering, the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaRTec), and the KAIST Initiative for Disaster Studies will conduct multidisciplinary research to address intriguing challenges with complex but creative approaches incorporating the fields of engineering, socioeconomics, and art. The group will investigate topics such as▲ surface and marine changes to the Earth by applying satellite data ▲disaster prediction and governance system building through AI modeling ▲sustainable housing, transportation, and lifestyles ▲ engineering and artistic approaches for envisioning a new future for humankind and the Earth. Professor Buhm Soon Park, who is in charge of the center, said, “This pioneering research work will inspire the re-creation of a new paradigm of convergence studies in science, engineering, humanities, and social science. We will contribute to making the world better by designing new technologies and social policies.
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