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NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference Held
< Photo 1. Opening of NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference > In attendance of the Minister of Science and ICT Jong-ho Lee, NYU President Linda G. Mills, and KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee, KAIST co-hosted the NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference at the Paulson Center of New York University (NYU) in New York City, USA on September 21st, 9:30 pm. At the conference, KAIST and NYU discussed the direction and policies for ‘global AI and digital governance’ with participants of upto 300 people which includes scholars, professors, and students involved in the academic field of AI and digitalization from both Korea and the United States and other international backgrounds. This conference was a forum of an international discussion that sought new directions for AI and digital technology take in the future and gathered consensus on regulations. Following a welcoming address by KAIST President, Kwang Hyung Lee and a congratulatory message from the Minister of Science and ICT, Jong-ho Lee, a panel discussion was held, moderated by Professor Matthew Liao, a graduate of Princeton and Oxford University, currently serving as a professor at NYU and the director at the Center for Bioethics of the NYU School of Global Public Health. Six prominent scholars took part in the panel discussion. Prof. Kyung-hyun Cho of NYU Applied Mathematics and Data Science Center, a KAIST graduate who has joined the ranks of the world-class in AI language models and Professor Jong Chul Ye, the Director of Promotion Council for Digital Health at KAIST, who is leading innovative research in the field of medical AI working in collaboration with major hospitals at home and abroad was on the panel. Additionally, Professor Luciano Floridi, a founding member of the Yale University Center for Digital Ethics, Professor Shannon Vallor, the Baillie Gifford Professor in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh of the UK, Professor Stefaan Verhulst, a Co-Founder and the DIrector of GovLab‘s Data Program at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and Professor Urs Gasser, who is in charge of public policy, governance and innovative technology at the Technical University of Munich, also participated. Professor Matthew Liao from NYU led the discussion on various topics such as the ways to to regulate AI and digital technologies; the concerns about how deep learning technology being developed in medicinal purposes could be used in warfare; the scope of responsibilities Al scientists' responsibility should carry in ensuring the usage of AI are limited to benign purposes only; the effects of external regulation on the AI model developers and the research they pursue; and on the lessons that can be learned from the regulations in other fields. During the panel discussion, there was an exchange of ideas about a system of standards that could harmonize digital development and regulatory and social ethics in today’s situation in which digital transformation accelerates technological development at a global level, there is a looming concern that while such advancements are bringing economic vitality it may create digital divides and probles like manipulation of public opinion. Professor Jong-cheol Ye of KAIST (Director of the Promotion Council for Digital Health), in particular, emphasized that it is important to find a point of balance that does not hinder the advancements rather than opting to enforcing strict regulations. < Photo 2. Panel Discussion in Session at NYU-KAIST Global AI & Digital Governance Conference > KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee explained, “At the Digital Governance Forum we had last October, we focused on exploring new governance to solve digital challenges in the time of global digital transition, and this year’s main focus was on regulations.” “This conference served as an opportunity of immense value as we came to understand that appropriate regulations can be a motivation to spur further developments rather than a hurdle when it comes to technological advancements, and that it is important for us to clearly understand artificial intelligence and consider what should and can be regulated when we are to set regulations on artificial intelligence,” he continued. Earlier, KAIST signed a cooperation agreement with NYU to build a joint campus, June last year and held a plaque presentation ceremony for the KAIST NYU Joint Campus last September to promote joint research between the two universities. KAIST is currently conducting joint research with NYU in nine fields, including AI and digital research. The KAIST-NYU Joint Campus was conceived with the goal of building an innovative sandbox campus centering aroung science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) combining NYU's excellent humanities and arts as well as basic science and convergence research capabilities with KAIST's science and technology. KAIST has contributed to the development of Korea's industry and economy through technological innovation aiding in the nation’s transformation into an innovative nation with scientific and technological prowess. KAIST will now pursue an anchor/base strategy to raise KAIST's awareness in New York through the NYU Joint Campus by establishing a KAIST campus within the campus of NYU, the heart of New York.
MVITRO Co., Ltd. Signs to Donate KRW 1 Billion as Development Fund toward KAIST-NYU Joint Campus
KAIST (President Kwang Hyung Lee) announced on the 29th that it has solicited a development fund of KRW 1 billion from MVITRO (CEO Young Woo Lee) for joint research at the KAIST-NYU Joint Campus, which is being pursued to be KAIST's first campus on the United States. KAIST plans to use this development fund for research and development of various solutions in the field of 'Healthcare at Home' among several joint researches being conducted with New York University (hereinafter referred to as NYU). Young Woo Lee, the CEO of MVITRO, said, "We decided to make the donation with the hope that the KAIST-NYU Joint Campus will become an ecosystem that would help with Korean companies’ advancement into the US." After announcing its plans to enter New York in 2021, KAIST has formed partnerships with NYU and New York City last year. Currently, NYU and KAIST are devising plans for mid- to long-term joint research in nine fields of studies including AI and bio-medicine and technology, and are promoting cooperation in the field of education, including exchange students, minors, double majors, and joint degrees under the joint campus agreement, The ceremony for the consigning of MVITRO Co., Ltd.’s donation was held at the main campus of KAIST in the afternoon of the 29th and was attended by KAIST officials such as President Kwang Hyung Lee and Jae-Hung Han, the executive director of KAIST Development Foundation, along with the NYU President-Designate Linda G. Mills, and the CEO of MVITRO, Young Woo Lee. < Photo. (from left) Kwang Hyung Lee, the President of KAIST, Linda G. Mills, the President-Designate of NYU, and Young Woo Lee, the CEO of MVITRO, pose for the photo with the signed letter of donation on May 29, 2023 at KAIST > Linda Mills, the nominee designated to be NYU president next term said, “I am proud to join our colleagues in celebrating this important gift from MVITRO, which will help support the partnership between KAIST and NYU. This global partnership leverages the distinctive strengths of both universities to drive advances in research poised to deliver profound impact, such as the intersections of healthcare, technology, and AI." President Kwang Hyung Lee said, "The KAIST-NYU Joint Campus will be the first step in extending KAIST's excellent science and technology capabilities to the international stage and will serve as a bridgehead to help excellent technological advancements venture into the United States." Then, President Lee added, "I would like to express my gratitude to MVITRO for sympathizing with this vision. I will work with NYU to lead the creation of global values.” On a different note, MVITRO Co., Ltd., is a home medical device maker that collaborated with Hyundai Futurenet Co., Ltd. to develop an IoT product that combined a painless laser lancet (blood collector) and a blood glucose meter into one for a convenient at-home health support, which received favorable reviews from overseas buyers at CES 2023.
KAIST gearing up to train physician-scientists and BT Professionals joining hands with Boston-based organizations
KAIST (President Kwang Hyung Lee) announced on the 29th that it has signed MOUs with Massachusetts General Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham health care system and a world-class research-oriented hospital, and Moderna, a biotechnology company that developed a COVID-19 vaccine at the Langham Hotel in Boston, MA, USA on the morning of April 28th (local time). The signing ceremony was attended by officials from each institution joined by others headed by Minister LEE Young of the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), and Commissioner LEE Insil of the Korean Intellectual Property Office. < Photo 1. Photo from the Signing of MOU between KAIST-Harvard University Massachusetts General Hospital and KAIST-Moderna > Mass General is the first and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, and it is one of the most innovative hospitals in the world being the alma mater of more than 13 Nobel Prize winners and the home of the Mass General Research Institute, the world’s largest hospital-based research program that utilizes an annual research budget of more than $1.3 billion. KAIST signed a general agreement to explore research and academic exchange with Mass General in September of last year and this MOU is a part of its follow-ups. Mass General works with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as local hospitals, to support students learn the theories of medicine and engineering, and gain rich clinical research experience. Through this MOU, KAIST will explore cooperation with an innovative ecosystem created through the convergence of medicine and engineering. In particular, KAIST’s goal is to develop a Korean-style training program and implement a differentiated educational program when establishing the science and technology-oriented medical school in the future by further strengthening the science and engineering part of the training including a curriculum on artificial intelligence (AI) and the likes there of. Also, in order to foster innovative physician-scientists, KAIST plans to pursue cooperation to develop programs for exchange of academic and human resources including programs for student and research exchanges and a program for students of the science and technology-oriented medical school at KAIST to have a chance to take part in practical training at Mass General. David F.M. Brown, MD, Mass General President, said, “The collaboration with KAIST has a wide range of potentials, including advice on training of physician-scientists, academic and human resource exchanges, and vitalization of joint research by faculty from both institutions. Through this agreement, we will be able to actively contribute to global cooperation and achieve mutual goals.” Meanwhile, an MOU between KAIST and Moderna was also held on the same day. Its main focus is to foster medical experts in cooperation with KAIST Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering (GSMSE), and plans to cooperate in various ways in the future, including collaborating for development of vaccine and new drugs, virus research, joint mRNA research, and facilitation of technology commercialization. In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities. The Company has 48 programs in development across 45 development candidates, of which 38 are currently in active clinical trials. “We are grateful to have laid a foundation for collaboration to foster industry experts with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a leader of science and technology innovation in Korea,” said Arpa Garay, Chief Commercial Officer, Moderna. “Based on our leadership and expertise in developing innovative mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, we hope to contribute to educating and collaborating with professionals in the bio-health field of Korea.“ President Kwang Hyung Lee of KAIST, said, “We deem this occasion to be of grave significance to be able to work closely with Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the world's best research-oriented hospitals, and Moderna, one of the most influential biomedical companies.” President Lee continued, "On the basis of the collaboration with the two institutions, we will be able to bring up qualified physician-scientists and global leaders of the biomedical business who will solve problems of human health and their progress will in turn, accelerate the national R&D efforts in general and diversify the industry."
KAIST Holds 2023 Commencement Ceremony
< Photo 1. On the 17th, KAIST held the 2023 Commencement Ceremony for a total of 2,870 students, including 691 doctors. > KAIST held its 2023 commencement ceremony at the Sports Complex of its main campus in Daejeon at 2 p.m. on February 27. It was the first commencement ceremony to invite all its graduates since the start of COVID-19 quarantine measures. KAIST awarded a total of 2,870 degrees including 691 PhD degrees, 1,464 master’s degrees, and 715 bachelor’s degrees, which adds to the total of 74,999 degrees KAIST has conferred since its foundation in 1971, which includes 15,772 PhD, 38,360 master’s and 20,867 bachelor’s degrees. This year’s Cum Laude, Gabin Ryu, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering received the Minister of Science and ICT Award. Seung-ju Lee from the School of Computing received the Chairman of the KAIST Board of Trustees Award, while Jantakan Nedsaengtip, an international student from Thailand received the KAIST Presidential Award, and Jaeyong Hwang from the Department of Physics and Junmo Lee from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering each received the President of the Alumni Association Award and the Chairman of the KAIST Development Foundation Award, respectively. Minister Jong-ho Lee of the Ministry of Science and ICT awarded the recipients of the academic awards and delivered a congratulatory speech. Yujin Cha from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, who received a PhD degree after 19 years since his entrance to KAIST as an undergraduate student in 2004 gave a speech on behalf of the graduates to move and inspire the graduates and the guests. After Cha received a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, he entered a medical graduate school and became a radiation oncology specialist. But after experiencing the death of a young patient who suffered from osteosarcoma, he returned to his alma mater to become a scientist. As he believes that science and technology is the ultimate solution to the limitations of modern medicine, he started as a PhD student at the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering in 2018, hoping to find such solutions. During his course, he identified the characteristics of the decision-making process of doctors during diagnosis, and developed a brain-inspired AI algorithm. It is an original and challenging study that attempted to develop a fundamental machine learning theory from the data he collected from 200 doctors of different specialties. Cha said, “Humans and AI can cooperate by humans utilizing the unique learning abilities of AI to develop our expertise, while AIs can mimic us humans’ learning abilities to improve.” He added, “My ultimate goal is to develop technology to a level at which humans and machines influence each other and ‘coevolve’, and applying it not only to medicine, but in all areas.” Cha, who is currently an assistant professor at the KAIST Biomedical Research Center, has also written Artificial Intelligence for Doctors in 2017 to help medical personnel use AI in clinical fields, and the book was selected as one of the 2018 Sejong Books in the academic category. During his speech at this year’s commencement ceremony, he shared that “there are so many things in the world that are difficult to solve and many things to solve them with, but I believe the things that can really broaden the horizons of the world and find fundamental solutions to the problems at hand are science and technology.” Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Sae Byul Park who studied at the KAIST Graduate School of Culture Technology will also receive her PhD degree. Natural language processing (NLP) is a field in AI that teaches a computer to understand and analyze human language that is actively being studied. An example of NLP is ChatGTP, which recently received a lot of attention. For her research, Park analyzed music rather than language using NLP technology. To analyze music, which is in the form of sound, using the methods for NLP, it is necessary to rebuild notes and beats into a form of words or sentences as in a language. For this, Park designed an algorithm called Mel2Word and applied it to her research. She also suggested that by converting melodies into texts for analysis, one would be able to quantitatively express music as sentences or words with meaning and context rather than as simple sounds representing a certain note. Park said, “music has always been considered as a product of subjective emotion, but this research provides a framework that can calculate and analyze music.” Park’s study can later be developed into a tool to measure the similarities between musical work, as well as a piece’s originality, artistry and popularity, and it can be used as a clue to explore the fundamental principles of how humans respond to music from a cognitive science perspective. Park began her Ph.D. program in 2014, while carrying on with her musical activities as well as public and university lectures alongside, and dealing with personally major events including marriage and childbirth during the course of years. She already met the requirements to receive her degree in 2019, but delayed her graduation in order to improve the level of completion of her research, and finally graduated with her current achievements after nine years. Professor Juhan Nam, who supervised Park’s research, said, “Park, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, later learned to code for graduate school, and has complete high-quality research in the field of artificial intelligence.” He added, “Though it took a long time, her attitude of not giving up until the end as a researcher is also excellent.” Sae Byul Park is currently lecturing courses entitled Culture Technology and Music Information Retrieval at the Underwood International College of Yonsei University. Park said, “the 10 or so years I’ve spent at KAIST as a graduate student was a time I could learn and prosper not only academically but from all angles of life.” She added, “having received a doctorate degree is not the end, but a ‘commencement’. Therefore, I will start to root deeper from the seeds I sowed and work harder as a both a scholar and an artist.” < Photo 2. From left) Yujin Cha (Valedictorian, Medical-Scientist Program Ph.D. graduate), Saebyeol Park (a singer-songwriter, Ph.D. graduate from the Graduate School of Culture and Technology), Junseok Moon and Inah Seo (the two highlighted CEO graduates from the Department of Management Engineering's master’s program) > Young entrepreneurs who dream of solving social problems will also be wearing their graduation caps. Two such graduates are Jun-seok Moon and Inah Seo, receiving their master’s degrees in social entrepreneurship MBA from the KAIST College of Business. Before entrance, Moon ran a café helping African refugees stand on their own feet. Then, he entered KAIST to later expand his business and learn social entrepreneurship in order to sustainably help refugees in the blind spots of human rights and welfare. During his master’s course, Moon realized that he could achieve active carbon reduction by changing the coffee alone, and switched his business field and founded Equal Table. The amount of carbon an individual can reduce by refraining from using a single paper cup is 10g, while changing the coffee itself can reduce it by 300g. 1kg of coffee emits 15kg of carbon over the course of its production, distribution, processing, and consumption, but Moon produces nearly carbon-neutral coffee beans by having innovated the entire process. In particular, the company-to-company ESG business solution is Moon’s new start-up area. It provides companies with carbon-reduced coffee made by roasting raw beans from carbon-neutral certified farms with 100% renewable energy, and shows how much carbon has been reduced in its making. Equal Table will launch the service this month in collaboration with SK Telecom, its first partner. Inah Seo, who also graduated with Moon, founded Conscious Wear to start a fashion business reducing environmental pollution. In order to realize her mission, she felt the need to gain the appropriate expertise in management, and enrolled for the social entrepreneurship MBA. Out of the various fashion industries, Seo focused on the leather market, which is worth 80 trillion won. Due to thickness or contamination issues, only about 60% of animal skin fabric is used, and the rest is discarded. Heavy metals are used during such processes, which also directly affects the environment. During the social entrepreneurship MBA course, Seo collaborated with SK Chemicals, which had links through the program, and launched eco-friendly leather bags. The bags used discarded leather that was recycled by grinding and reprocessing into a biomaterial called PO3G. It was the first case in which PO3G that is over 90% biodegradable was applied to regenerated leather. In other words, it can reduce environmental pollution in the processing and disposal stages, while also reducing carbon emissions and water usage by one-tenth compared to existing cowhide products. The social entrepreneurship MBA course, from which Moon and Seo graduated, will run in integration with the Graduate School of Green Growth as an Impact MBA program starting this year. KAIST plans to steadily foster entrepreneurs who will lead meaningful changes in the environment and society as well as economic values through innovative technologies and ideas. < Photo 3. NYU President Emeritus John Sexton (left), who received this year's honorary doctorate of science, poses with President Kwang Hyung Lee > Meanwhile, during this day’s commencement ceremony, KAIST also presented President Emeritus John Sexton of New York University with an honorary doctorate in science. He was recognized for laying the foundation for the cooperation between KAIST and New York University, such as promoting joint campuses. < Photo 4. At the commencement ceremony of KAIST held on the 17th, President Kwang Hyung Lee is encouraging the graduates with his commencement address. > President Kwang Hyung Lee emphasized in his commencement speech that, “if you can draw up the future and work hard toward your goal, the future can become a work of art that you create with your own hands,” and added, “Never stop on the journey toward your dreams, and do not give up even when you are met with failure. Failure happens to everyone, all the time. The important thing is to know 'why you failed', and to use those elements of failure as the driving force for the next try.”
NYC-KAIST Cooperation Agreement Signed in New York for KAIST NYU Joint Campus
A ceremony was held to celebrate the signing of the Cooperative Agreement between NYC and KAIST and the presentation of the signage for KAIST NYU Joint Campus at NYU’s Kimmel Center in Manhattan. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee (left) and NYU President Andrew Hamilton (right) KAIST (President Kwang Hyung Lee) signed a cooperative agreement with the City of New York and had an official showing of the signage for the Joint Campus of KAIST and New York University (NYU) on September 21 at 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time) at NYU’s Kimmel Center in New York City with the NYC Mayor Eric Adams, the Korean Minister of Science and ICT Dr. Lee Jong-ho, NYU Chairman William Berkley, NYU President Andrew Hamilton, and other distinguished guests in attendance. KAIST and NYU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June about building a joint campus in an effort to educate global talent. As a follow-up measure, NYU has provided KAIST with space to begin joint research programs and held a ceremony to present the signage designed for the future KAIST NYU Campus. In line with these efforts, KAIST has also signed an agreement with New York City, the administrative authority in charge of the establishment of the campus, for mutual cooperation. NYU is a prestigious university headquartered in Manhattan, New York. It has nurtured outstanding talents in the humanities, art, and basic sciences, including 38 Nobel Prize winners, 5 Fields Prize winners, 26 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 38 Academy Award winners to be deserving of the evaluation. The proposed joint campus is to be centered on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by combining NYU's excellent basic sciences and convergence research capabilities with KAIST's globally renowned science and technology capabilities. The joint initiative is expected to launch in 2023; its programs will focus on areas such as AI Basic Science, AI Convergence Brain Science, AI-Applied Cyber Security, Cyber Security, and Sustainable High-Tech Smart City/Climate Change in order to lead the Digital Era and to solve the problems that surfaced following the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, in order to prepare for the Post-AI Era, it was decided to create the “New Engineering” program for undergraduate program that employs a hyper-convergence learning model that combines project-based, problem-solving learning (PBL, PSL) pedagogy. ▲ Biomedical Engineering- Research and development of technology to respond to the entire cycle (prevention-treatment-diagnosis-prediction) for a new infectious disease (Disease X) by converging new technologies such as IT and NT with biomedical technologies ▲ AI Convergence Neuroscience- Research on brain-machine interaction and brain-based machine learning through AI technology convergence ▲ AI Science- Algorithm development and in-depth research in preparation for the post AI era ▲ Sustainability and Climate Change- R&DB for advanced smart cities, sustainability for the global environment and carbon zero ▲ Next-generation Wireless Communications- From ICT to AIT: Research on 6G/7G related technologies, new communications theories, and etc. ▲ Cyber Security- Advanced research on protection of digital information and information safety/reliability KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee (left) and NYC Mayor Eric Adams (right) The KAIST NYU Joint Campus has started enlisting professors and researchers from both institutions to participate in the collaboration. The campus will also function as the headquarter that will oversee the operation of the joint research program. At Daejeon, KAIST is also setting up a location for NYU on its main campus to provide space for NYU researchers upon their visit to KAIST. The KAIST NYU Joint Campus, which has begun to take basic shape with the space for collaboration rendered this time, is to be upgraded to “KAIST New York Campus” in the future to function also as an industry-academic cooperation campus in which that promotes strategic cooperation with industries and expands start-up opportunities. To this end, the related procedures from the detailing of the establishment plans through a preliminary feasibility studies, to deliberation and decision on whether to proceed with the establishment by the KAIST Board of Trustees, will be taken. The KAIST NYU Campus is expected to serve as a stepping stone for the outstanding talents of KAIST to pursue their dreams in the global market and research environment while seizing the attention of the world-class talents drawn to New York at the same time. In addition, by combining NYU's strong basic academic capabilities with KAIST’s strengths, it is expected to contribute to achieving 'global innovation' by creating synergies in various fields such as education, research, and entrepreneurship. The future KAIST-NYU Campus is also expected to encompass an industry-academic cooperation campus with industrial partners and startups. Meanwhile, KAIST is planning to expand its excellent scientific and technological capabilities to the global stage through the cooperative agreement with New York City, and to prepare a pathway for KAIST students, faculty, and startups to enter their respective fields in the global markets. In the future, KAIST plans to explore areas of cooperation in different fields, such as education, economy, society, and culture, to prepare and implement detailed cooperation plans. < KAIST-New York City Cooperation Items (Example) > ▲ Education: Joint degree program with a university in New York City, training of key talents in the field of artificial intelligence, etc. ▲ Economy: A hub for technology startups, job creation in the tech sector, etc. ▲ Society: Economics, finance, media-related engineering research, etc. ▲ Culture: Diversity-based culture and art-tech research, etc.▲ Etc: Joint research in the field of artificial intelligence healthcare, etc. As a global mecca for startups, education, and investment, New York has a well-developed global network for cultural diversity and successful career development, and has great power to attract various resources including funds and talented individuals. Based on this, it has established itself as a mecca of global tech companies and global top media groups, and is building the reputation as 'Silicon Alley' in addition to its legends of the ‘Wall Street'. Dr. Andrew Hamilton, the president of NYU, said, “We’re delighted by our newly established partnership with KAIST. We see great potential in the opportunities to collaborate on development of courses, research, cutting edge technologies, university-level courses, degrees, entrepreneurship initiatives and industrial partnerships, and exchanges. We believe this partnership is very much in line with NYU’s commitment to global engagement and will make important contributions to New York’s tech sector. It’s exciting to think how much NYU and KAIST have much to learn from one another, and how much we may accomplish together.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “We’re proud to have helped facilitate this partnership between KAIST and New York University, which will be a real win for students and help drive continued innovation in our city.” He added, “From the time that senior members of our administration learned about this opportunity during a recent trip to South Korea, we have worked closely with KAIST to develop strategies for increasing their presence and investments in New York. This is the start of a relationship that I am confident will bring even more academic, business, and technological opportunities to the five boroughs.” Dr. Kwang Hyung Lee, the president of KAIST, urged, “Based on the KAIST-NYU partnership, we must create an interdisciplinary hyper-convergence model of collaboration and use cutting-edge tools to create an innovative model for new type of problem-solving engineering education to prepare to solve the challenges facing the world.” He went on to stress, “The new fusion engineering degree program will leverage the unique strengths of the two institutions to provide a uniquely colored education not found anywhere else.” In addition, he added, “KAIST will utilize the advantages that are unique to the global city of New York to contribute to advancing the science and technology research in New York City and creating jobs in the tech sector to lead the renaissance of Silicon Alley.”
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.
KAIST Plans to Open a New York Campus
President Lee signs an MOU with New York-based Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae on funding the New York campus President Kwang Hyung Lee announced a plan to open a KAIST campus in New York with funding from New York-based entrepreneur Hee-Nam Bae. President Lee and Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae signed the MOU last week for the funding to open the campus in New York. President Lee said it will take years to open up a campus in New York in order to conform with both Korean and US legal procedures. However, during a news conference in New York following the signing of the MOU with Chairman Bae, President Lee said this is the first step toward realizing KAIST’s new vision of a ‘Global Twin Strategy’ by making New York KAIST’s newest stronghold to target both domestic and global markets. “New York is the center of the world’s commerce, culture, and new technologies. If we want to grow big, we should go to one of the biggest cities in the world and New York is the place. I highly encourage our students and faculty go into the world and never be satisfied enjoying the top position in Korea. The next place to investigate will be Silicon Valley,” said President Lee. “We still have many issues to resolve domestically. We need to discuss more details first with the Board of Trustees and the Korean government,” he added. The New York campus will aim to become an enterprise-type university to help KAIST create global value. "Our goal is to make sure that Korean businesses gain competitiveness in the global market and can become listed on the NASDAQ. We plan to open majors related to AI, financial engineering, and cultural technologies. We will recruit students from both the US and KAIST to study at our New York campus.” President Lee said. Chairman Bae, a self-made entrepreneur who immigrated to the US in 1981, also leads the Global Leadership Foundation in the US. “President Lee and I have already toured several candidate sites for the campus in the New York region and we will make a final decision on the best site to purchase,” said Chairman Bae. Chairman Bae added that he has always dreamed of fostering young global talents who will take on global challenges with pioneering minds. He believes KAIST shares this global vision. The New York campus will be the first KAIST campus for global students funded by someone from the private sector. This is also a major step forward for KAIST, which was founded by a six million dollar USAID loan in 1971. KAIST announced its plans to establish Kenya KAIST in 2018 with funding from the Korea Eximbank’s 95 million USD development cooperation fund loan to the Kenyan government. KAIST will provide turn-key-based education consultancy featuring curriculum design and the construction of facilities for Kenya’s first advanced science and technology institute. The campus will be located in the Konza Techno City near Nairobi and plans to open in 2023.
The Educational ‘Metaverse’ Is Coming
The universities best equipped with digital infrastructure and savvy human resources will emerge as the new leaders − no matter where they are, says Kwang Hyung Lee It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the education sector. Approximately 1.6 billion students from 192 countries, or 91 per cent of the world’s student population, have experienced educational disruptions. As we all know, this disruption led to online education hastily emerging as an important new platform. However, approximately 29 percent of young people worldwide, about 364 million individuals, are not online. In many ways, the digital divide is now wider than ever. We do, however, have an opportunity to ensure that the integration of emerging technologies is further accelerated and that online delivery becomes an integral component of education. This should, in theory, lead to more inclusive and creative pedagogical solutions. The entire world has effectively taken part in an educational experiment, and at KAIST we were able to confirm that blended education worked effectively for our students. It made up for the long-standing pedagogical shortfalls of the one-way delivery of knowledge and made it possible to shift to a learner-centric model, giving us a great opportunity to unlock the creativity and collaborative minds of our students. Education tailored to students’ individual levels will not only help them accumulate knowledge but improve their ability to use it. A recent survey in South Korea found that 96 per cent of Seoul citizens believed that the pandemic widened the existing learning gap, but 74 per cent said that schools should carry out a blended form of education using both remote and in-person classes. The feedback from KAIST students on our online classes gives us a glimpse into the new paths we need to take. From last March, we offered 60 per cent real-time classes via Zoom and 40 per cent through our pre-recorded learning management system. Our students were satisfied with the real-time classes in which they could interact face to face with professors. The blended class format combining real-time and pre-recorded content received very satisfactory evaluations. The problem, however, came with lab classes via Zoom. Students expressed their dissatisfaction with the passive and indirect learning experiences. Developing online tools or technologies that can enable scientific experiments, engineering prototyping and other hands-on activities remains a challenge. However, we can begin to address these issues using complementary technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, image recognition and eye-tracking technologies. The barriers to access to these new experiences are both complex and pervasive, yet there are ways we can pull together to disrupt these barriers at a global level in the hope of fostering inclusive growth. For instance, the virtual campus will become a reality at the Kenya-KAIST campus, which will open by September 2023 in the Konza Technopolis, 60km outside Nairobi. There, we aim to go beyond online education by creating a “metaverse” that provides assistance for running classes and creates an immersive learning experience that runs the gamut of campus activities while utilising the latest digital technologies. Following a feasibility study of the Kenya campus that took place five years ago, we planned to utilise Mooc courses created by KAIST professors. Using online content there will help mitigate the educational gap between the two institutions, plus it will reduce the need for many students and faculty to make the long commute from the capital to the campus. Although students are expected to live on campus, they will probably engage in other activities in Nairobi and want to take classes wherever they are. Since it will take some time to select and recruit an excellent group of faculty members, we feel it will be more effective to use online lecture platforms to deliver standardised and qualified content. It has been posited that the fast adoption of online education will affect international students’ enrolment in universities, which will lead to reductions in revenue. However, we expect that students will choose a university that offers more diverse and interactive metaverse experiences on top of academic and global experiences. The time has come to rebuild the curriculum and infrastructure for the world of the metaverse. We can’t go back to the way things were before. Universities around the world are now on the same starting line. They need to innovate and pioneer new approaches and tools that can enable all sorts of campus activities online. They should carve out their own distinct metaverse that is viable for human interaction and diverse technological experiences that promote students’ creativity and collaborative minds. The universities best equipped with digital infrastructure and savvy human resources will emerge as the new leaders − no matter where they are. Successful education needs the full support of communities and equal access to opportunities. Technological breakthroughs must be used to benefit everyone. To this end, the private and public sectors need to collaborate to bring about inclusive learning opportunities and help shore up global resilience against this and any future pandemics. The hope is that such disruption will bring about new technology and knowledge that we can leverage to reshape the future of education. ⓒ Source: Times Higher Education (THE)
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.
COVID-19 Update: Fall Semester to Continue Offering Classes Online
KAIST announced that the university would continue online classes through the fall semester. However, the university will conduct additional in-person classes for upper-level undergraduate lab classes and some graduate courses where on-site interaction was deemed to be highly necessary. Some 600-level graduate courses at the Daejeon campus and graduate courses at the Seoul campus will carry out both in-person and online classes. The fall semester will start from August 31. Provost and Executive Vice President Kwang Hyung Lee announced the fall semester plan in his letter to the entire student body on July 9. He said that the university decided to continue with online classes in consideration of the safety of KAIST community members and the current status of the COVID-19 spread. However, he said the new plan will help students choose class options between in-person and online classes. “Although the number of classes with two versions is limited, we believe this will help many students continue learning without the sustained face-to-face contact that is inherent in residential education,” Provost Lee said. In-person classes conducted in the fall semester will also be provided online for students who are not available for in-person classes. Students may choose the type of the classes they prefer according to their situation, among only the courses that will offer two versions. Professors will decide if they will conduct two versions of their classes. The Office of Academic Affairs is collecting the professors’ applications for conducting both versions until July 24. KAIST offered real-time online classes and pre-recorded KLMS (KAIST Learning Management System) classes during the spring semester with a very limited number of in-person lab classes for graduate courses and these two versions of online class will continue for fall semester. Provost Lee asked the students who will take the in-person classes to strictly observe all precaution measures as the university will do its best to abide by the government guidelines against the Covid-19 in preparation for the fall semester. “We will continue to make appropriate and safe accommodations for them,” said Provost Lee. Those who need to reside in on-campus dormitories are required to be approved for moving. The applications will open after all the in-person class schedules are fixed next month. However, students who were approved for staying in the dormitories last semester can move in without additional approval procedures for the fall semester. (END)
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