KAIST became the first Korean university to have one of the world’s top 20 Computer Graphics research institutes, based on the number of papers published in the last 2 years in the top 3 CG conferences. KAIST School of Computing undergraduate CG lecture professors (CS380, by professors Min H. Kim, Jinah Park, and Sungeui Yoon) participated in a survey to mark this occasion. The survey was presented at Eurographics 2017, one of the top 3 graphics conferences alongside ACM SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. The presentation contained content from Prof. Kim’s undergraduate level lecture, which can be found at http://vclab.kaist.ac.kr/cs380/. We extend our most sincere congratulations. [Reference] [Reference] “What we are teaching in Introduction to Computer Graphics”, Balreira, Dennis G.; Walter, Marcelo; Fellner, Dieter W., Proc. Eurographics 2017, The Eurographics Association, http://diglib.eg.org/handle/10.2312/eged20171019 [Eurographics Presentation] http://wiki.inf.ufrgs.br/What_we_are_Teaching_in_Introduction_to_Computer_Graphics
Linked is a 2017 June 26th Monday Korean article published by the Electronic Times on KAIST School of Computing Professor Sungeui Yoon’s lab and their work on automatic routing generation based on task scheduling, a part of action intelligence technology, which is in turn an essential part of smart robot development. http://www.etnews.com/20170623000120
The Electronic Times published a Korean article on 2017 May 14th on KAIST School of Computing Professor Sungeui Yoon’s lab and their work on “web-scale image search technology”, which introduced deep learning to big data. http://www.etnews.com/20170512000216
Linked is a 2017 July 10 article published by the Electronic Times (in Korean). http://www.etnews.com/20170710000276?SNS=00002&rccode=lvRc
Linked is a 2017 July 10 article published by the Electronic Times (in Korean). http://www.etnews.com/20170710000277
Linked is a 2017 July 10th Electronic Times article on the School of Computing. Article in Korean: http://www.etnews.com/20170710000278?SNS=00002&dable=10.1.4
KAIST School of Computing Professor Sungwon Kang published a book on “Systematic Software Product Line Development” last June via Hongrung Publishing (475 pages). Prof. Kang’s previous works include “Invitation to Software Architecture; Principles and Fundamentals of Software Architecture Design” (also Hongrung, first print 2012, 2nd edition 2015, 271 pages), the first Korean scholarly journal in the field of software architecture. “Systemic Software Product Line Development” is also a first, being the first Korean scholarly journal in the field of software product line. The work presents a coherent and comprehensive approach to software product line development superior to existing journals, both inside and outside Korea. The book defines the fundamental principles, and offers case studies to demonstrate the principles. Software product line development is a development paradigm on developing multiple similar products simultaneously. The paradigm analyzes and maximizes the utilization of the common features within a product set to best utilize the similarities to produce high quality products with a low cost within a short time. The technique is indispensable in today’s software development, where the customers’ various needs must be addressed as quickly as possible. Prof. Kang is serving as the chair of the Korean Institute of Information Scientists and Engineers (KIISE) Software Engineering Society and the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing’s Software Architecture Track.
Our very own KAIST School of Computing Ph.D. course students Youngsun Kwon and Taeyoung Kim (both under advisor Prof. Sungeui Yoon) won the Microsoft Research Award and first prize, respectively, at the KCC 2017 SW development / demo contest held last June 20th. The event, held in Jeju Island by the Korea Computer Congress, awarded their presentations of “Real-time updates for occupancy maps”, and “Illumination invariant color space computation using principal component analysis”, respectively. Mr. Kwon, who won the MS Research Award, won 2,000,000 KRW as a member of the Robotics-SGLab Team, and also won an internship at MS Research. Mr. Kim, the winner of the first prize, won 1,000,000 KRW as a member of the SGLab Imaging / Vision Team. We extend our congratulations on their success.
This article is on our very own Professor Emeritus Kyu-Young Whang winning Korea’s Best Scientist / Technician Award. http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/it/2017/07/03/2408000000AKR20170703049900017.HTML The award recognizes Koreans for outstanding, globally influential R&D achievements or technical innovations. The award acknowledged Prof. Whang’s accomplishments in developing technologies in the Korean computer science and software industries’ development and promoting information culture. Prof. Whang’s work in the field of database systems led to innovative theories and techniques in probabilistic statistics and close coupling. Probabilistic statistics deals with fast extraction of desired data, and close coupling leads to better performance in databases by deeply embedding information searching and spatial database functionalities in the engine. We would like to congratulate him on his success..
The Electronic Times published an article on Professor Sungho Jo’s research on deep learning based intelligent robot vision technology. Article in Korean http://www.etnews.com/20170625000027
Pictured: KAIST SoC Prof. Sungho Jo (Left), and Ph.D. Student Soohwan Song (Right) Electronic Times published an article on research developed at our very own School of Computing Professor Sungho Jo’s lab. The article is on the development of a technology for rapid collection of a 3-dimensional model of a large structure and construction of a drone routing information using the data. Article in Korean http://www.etnews.com/20170614000297
School of Computing Industry – Academia Cooperation Consortium (CCC) held a meetup last June 15 at the EL Tower Convention Center, Yangjae-dong, Seoul, with the topic “Software Vision for the 4th Industrial Revolution”. The event, hosted by our very own SW Education Center, aimed to develop closer ties between the SoC and the Consortium members via continued cooperation and the maintenance of the industry – academia cooperation system. Around 30 attended the event, including KAIST SoC professors and students attended the event, as well as executives from the Consortium member companies, including Naver, Hancom, and Golfzon. They presented recent trends in the field, and their analysis of them. The event was a good opportunity for professors, students, and industry to share ideas.
HCI＠KAIST Group held a reception at the AC CHI 2017 conference last May 10 in Denver, Colorado. The event aimed to increase interaction between HCI researchers. The School of Computing sponsored event hosted by HCI＠KAIST Group, looked to expand international HCI researcher networks, attracting outstanding HCI faculty, garner more opportunities for student internships, among others. Around 180 HCI researchers attended the event, from over 13 foreign universities including MIT, CMU, Stanford, as well as from the industry including Microsoft Research, Apple, and Google, who came together and mingled until late. HCI＠KAIST Group also performed admirably at the main event, with 7 presentations, 8 poster sessions, and 6 exhibitions at CHI 2017.
School of Computing Professor DooHwan Bae attended the Steering Committee of the 39th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), and confirmed the 2020 event will be at Seoul. The conference lasted from last May 20 to 28 at Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 2020 late May ICSE at Seoul will be the 42nd event, and will be held jointly by the ACM/IEEE and the KIISE (Korean Institute of Information Scientists and Engineers), a departure from previous ICSE events. The event is expected to contribute to the globalization of Korean software engineering search, engineers, and researcher, as well as their research and development talents. ICSE normally hosts 1400 – 1500 researchers and practitioners as the world’s foremost conference in the field of software engineering. The event includes 7 other collocated conferences in addition to the main conference, as well as approximately 20 workshops. A combined total of around a 1000 papers are submitted, of which the main conference’s research track receives 500 to 600, of which around 70 are and presented. We congratulate the successful attraction of the largest SE conference in 2020.
The Electronic Times published an article on our very own School of Computing Professor Sungho Jo’s Research on AI and drones, which led to a variety of ways to control equipment. Article in Korean. http://www.etnews.com/20170602000166
The following are news (in Korean) on elice, a start up by School of Computing Ph.D student Jaewon Kim (Advisor: Prof. Alice Oh). Via Maeil Business Newspaper: http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&oid=009&aid=0003940349&sid1=001& On TJB: https://youtu.be/zVr_TjTnLKg
The 41st ACM ICPC World Finals was held on May 25th, 9 AM Korean time, at Rapid City, South Dakota. The KAIST team won 9th place, winning a bronze and also scoring the First Problem Solver Award, given to the first team to solve a problem. ACM-ICPC, sponsored by IBM, is an international university level coding competition where the Korean representatives are selected after a Daejeon regional qualifier, followed by a Korean national qualifier, where teams of three solve 12 questions. Our very own KAIST team was coached by Prof. Sung Yong Shin (Professor Emeritus, School of Computing), with Prof. Taisook Han (School of Computing) providing on-site coaching. The team members were School of Computing undergraduates Jihoon Ko and Hanpil Kang, joined by Department of Mathematical Sciences undergraduate Jongwon Lee. The three students achieved excellent results in the competition. More information on the competition is available on the official website at https://icpc.baylor.edu/worldfinals/results
Professor Min H. Kim of School of Computing won a Top 10 Distinguished Research Achievements of KAIST award during the 2017 KAIST Research Day, held Tuesday morning at KI building’s Fusion Hall. The award recognized his contributions to KAIST, citing his research in “birefractive stereo imaging for single-shot depth acquisition”. We sincerely congratulate him on his accomplishment.
Below is an article about School of Computing’s Cyber Security Research Center (in Korean) http://www.etnews.com/20170507000056
Below is an article on School of Computing Professor Kwangjo Kim’s efforts on developing ‘fully homomorphic crypto-signature’ to prepare us for the age of quantum computing. (in Korean) http://www.etnews.com/20170509000056
Following is a link to the ET News article on Professor Kwangjo Kim, the first Korean International Association for Cryptologic Research Fellow. http://www.etnews.com/20170501000100
Our very own School of Computing Professor Insik Shin was awarded Samsung Future Technology Promotion Project, Creative ICT Component. The project launched in 2013 to provide support for basic research, material science, and ICT, with 1.5 trillion won of funding for 10 years. Prof. Shin was awarded the project for: “SecureBox: development of a TEE-based secure system in a cloud / machine learning service environment for user privacy protection”. We congratulate him on the selection. http://www.ebn.co.kr/news/view/885637
ACM Distinguished Members can be either a Distinguished Engineer, Distinguished Educator, or a Distinguished Scientist. The title of Distinguished Scientist is awarded to an expert with over 15 years of experience in the field, over 5 years of consistent ACM activities, and a significant contribution or influence to the field of computing. Less than 10％ of ACM members are Distinguished Members, and Prof. Cheong was among the 45 selected this year, the only Distinguished Scientist in Korea. Reference: http://awards.acm.org/distinguished_member/year.cfm Prof. Otfried Cheong received his Ph.D. from Freie Universitaet Berlin in 1992, and enjoyed successful careers at Utrecht, POSTECH, HKUST, and TU Eindhoven before settling in KAIST in 2005. His research group explores discrete geometry and computational geometry.
Our very own Professor Jaehyuk Huh’s lab was selected as a SW Star Lab, and will receive additional funding associated with the project. We congratulate the lab’s success. Related article (Korean): http://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=105&oid=029&aid=0002396402
The following is a contribution from our very own School of Computing Professor Kwangjo Kim. (Article in Korea) http://www.boannews.com/media/view.asp?idx=53946
Following is an article on how our very own Prof. Kwangjo Kim became the first Korean to become an International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) Fellow. Since 2004, the IACR has selected 2 to 6 members a year as IACR Fellows for their major contributions to and the promotion of scholarly activities in the field of cryptologic research. Prof. Kwangjo Kim is the first Korean to receive such an honor We most sincerely congratulate him on his success. Article (in Korean): http://www.zdnet.co.kr/news/news_view.asp?artice_id=20170313102345&type=det&re=#csidx2f36e03266f76a9bcd32fe513302471
Our very own School of Computing graduate Jae-Pil Heo, Ph.D. (2015, advisor: Prof. Sung-Eui Yoon) was appointed an Assistant Professor at Sungkyunkwan University. Dr. Jae-Pil Heo researched image signature compression and indexing techniques for large-scale image search, and worked as an Adobe intern, and a researcher in ETRI. Dr. Heo’s main areas of interest include: large-scale image search, scalable nearest neighbor search, compact data representation for high dimensional data collision detection, and geometric data structures and algorithms. His principal research achievements are as follows: Shortlist Selection with Residual-Aware Distance Estimator for K-Nearest Neighbor Search Jae-Pil Heo, Zhe Lin, Xiaohui Shen, Jonathan Brandt, and Sung-eui Yoon IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2016 Distance Encoded Product Quantization Jae-Pil Heo, Zhe Lin, and Sung-Eui Yoon IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2014 VLSH: Voronoi-based Locality Sensitive Hashing Tieu Lin Loi, Jae-Pil Heo, Junghwan Lee, and Sung-Eui Yoon IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013 We congratulate his appointment as Assistant Professor.
Our very own School of Computing, Graduate School of Information Security’s first Ph.D. graduate Il Gu Lee (advisor: Prof. Myungchul Kim) was appointed an Assistant Professor at Sungshin Women’s University, College of Knowledge-Based Services Engineering, Department of Convergence Security Engineering, as of March, 2017. Dr. Lee graduated with his paper: Interference-Aware Secure Communications for Wireless LANs. He researched 5G giga-scale wireless communication systems and wireless LAN for 9 years at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), and recently spent 3 years researching wireless LAN based low energy long range IoT chipsets at Newratek, a lab based startup. Dr. Lee presented at various internationally renowned conferences and journals during his graduate school years in KAIST, researching wireless communication system security, performance, and energy efficiency as a masters and doctorate student. He plans to continue his research in IoT sensors & communication, and convergent security
Three papers by KAIST SoC students Jung Guk Park (Doctorate, advisor: Prof. Alice Oh), Chunjong Park (M.S., advisor: Prof. Sung-Ju Lee), and Bumsoo Kang (Doctorate, advisor: Prof. Junehwa Song) were presented at CSCW 2017. The 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, held from last Feb. 25th to Mar. 1st, is one of the best conferences in HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and Social Computing. CSCW focuses on research on designing and utilizing technologies for groups and communities, and has a long history of being considered one of the best conferences for HCI and Social Computing. KAIST School of Computing led global research efforts in said fields, presenting three papers this year. The paper from Prof. Alice Oh’s lab was by Jung Guk Park, presenting a system that shows how a piece of code was written, letter by letter, for students that have problems understanding others’ code during SoC class peer assessments. The paper received an Honorable Mention Award. Alumnus Chunjong Park presented a technology to detect breaks between social activities via various smartphone sensors, and notify the user of such events. This was in an effort to prevent smartphones from becoming inconveniences hampering social interaction. The paper was a collaboration between the labs of Professors Sung-Ju Lee, Dongman Lee, and Juho Kim. Bumsoo Kang presented a mobile app that reads books to babies in their parent’s voice, using the small bits of unused time during a working day. This paper was a collaboration between the labs of Professors Junehwa Song, Sung-Ju Lee, and an IBM lab in the US. Eliph: Effective Visualization of Code History for Peer Assessment in Programming Education Jungkook Park, Yeong Hoon Park, Suin Kim, and Alice Oh “Don’t Bother Me. I’m Socializing！”: A Breakpoint-Based Smartphone Notification System Chunjong Park, Junsung Lim, Juho Kim, Sung-Ju Lee, and Dongman Lee Zaturi: We Put Together the 25th Hour for You. Create a Book for Your Baby Bumsoo Kang, Chulhong Min, Wonjung Kim, Inseok Hwang, Chunjong Park, Seungchul Lee, Sung Ju Lee, and Junehwa Song
The celebrations for the 2017 46th Anniversary of KAIST was held at the KAIST Auditorium on Jan. 16th. Our very own School of Computing Professor Sukyoung Ryu received the Best Lecture Award, undergraduate Soyun Park (Advisor: Prof. DooHwan Bae) received the Creative Activities Award, and School of Computing staff member Mikyung Kim received the Service Award. We congratulate them on their achievements.
The aging seminar rooms were undergoing renovation from Jan. 20th to Feb. 15th in order to provide the SoC with a better environment for education and research. Six seminar rooms were renovated, all of them at E3: rooms 1408, 2401, 2450, 2452, 3420, and 3431.
SIGPL Winter School 2017, chaired by Professor Sukyoung Ryu, was held from February 8 to 10 at the 1st Common Lecture Hall, School of Computing, KAIST. SIGPL hosts Summer/Winter School every year giving lectures on programming languages from the fundamental research topics to the latest research topics. A total of 120 participants including students, professors, researchers etc. were at the winter school which was sponsored by KAIST SW Oriented University.
Our very own Professor Dae Young Kim and his research team launched a joint research with the European Union (EU) on developing and establishing an open standard and architecture for an integrated Internet of Things (IoT) global produce business ecosystem as a part of The Internet of Food & Farm 2020 (IoF2020). Article (in Korean): http://www.sedaily.com/NewsView/1OAURXDKKL
School of Computing graduate Young-Seob Jeong, Ph.D, (Advisor: Prof. Ho-Jin Choi) was appointed Assistant Professor at Soon Chun Hyang University’s Big Data Engineering Department as of 2017 Jan. 2nd. Dr. Jeong graduated 2016 Feb with his paper “한국어 문서로부터의 시간 정보 추출” (Extracting time data from documents in Korean), after which he joined Naver Labs to research conversational AI. From this year onwards, he will continue his research in AI and data mining at Soon Shun Hyang University’s Big Data Engineering Department. Having graduated from KAIST’s School of Computing for both his Master’s and Doctorate, his fields of interest included topic modeling, text summarization via deep learning techniques, time dependent trend analysis, smartphone usage analysis, image segmentation, and time data extraction. He has published on internationally renowned journals such as Soft Computing, Sensors, IET Computer Vision, presented multiple of his research papers in internationally renowned academic conferences such as AAAI, CoNLL, COLING, PAKDD, and continues to do research in topic modeling, usage pattern analysis using deep learning techniques, and data extraction from text.
Our very own Seunggeun Baek (Undergraduate, guidance professor: Moonzoo Kim) was awarded the grand prize in IITP’s 6th TOPCIT Regular Scheduled Evaluation, held at the Seoul Palace Hotel last Dec 22nd. We extend our most sincere congratulations. ＊＊Article (in Korean): http://www.ajunews.com/view/20161223160755505. ＊ TOPCIT is a test to diagnose and evaluate a person’s core abilities to successfully perform in the Software (SW) industry.
Our very own School of Computing Professor Dongman Lee was awarded the Individual Contribution Award at the 11th Korea Internet Award, an event held by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning last Dec. 13th at the Gyounggi Creative Economy Innovation Center. The ceremony awards corporations, institutes, organizations, and individuals that made contributions to the Internet industry and social development in Korea. Prof. Lee has been appointed as the Chair of the Korea Internet Governance Alliance (KIGA), which has contributed to strengthening Korea’s international influence by participating in various domestic and international Internet governance activities, such as researching Internet governance policies, holding the Asia-Pacific regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), among others. Furthermore, KIGA is contributing to laying the foundation for an IoT ecosystem by pushing for research, such as the research on a connected objects platform for personalized services in an IoT environment. Prof. Lee has continued to do research in the Internet of Things (IoT) platform since 2010, publishing 5 papers in SCI-tier journals, over 30 papers in recognized international conferences, over 10 papers in domestic publications, and applied for over 11 patents. In addition, he has established a working Internet of Things testbed environment on the 8th floor of the IT Convergence Center (N1). This allows various experiments to collect data, acting as a foundation for research on a global scale.
KAIST ACM Student Chapter’s 1st newsletter presents an interview with Prof. Sukyoung Ryu. Every quarter, the ACM Student Chapter newsletter brings you an interview with a professor willing to be a mentor for students. The star of our first newsletter, Prof. Sukyoung Ryu, shares tips for future researchers, and advices for female scientists. You’re well known among the undergraduates for being very interested in them. Is there a reason you’re so attentive towards undergraduates? First, I’m interested in students. I even studied psychology because I wasn’t sure if I was counseling them correctly. I had to give up for various reasons, but I frequently ask for advice from the school’s counsellors. I feel like I can be a mediator between the school and the students. Also, a big part of it is I was a KAIST undergraduate myself. I want to share so many things I wish I knew. I was lucky in that I wasn’t a sensitive sort, and was happy with my time here, but I later found out many students did not feel the same. Many students worry about finding a research area that fits them. What led you to choose your current research area? I’m the kind of person that stumbles around, trying out many different things. I enrolled as a graduate student thinking I’ll work on databases or networks, fields that were popular at the time. However, the selection process at the time was even more professor friendly, and students didn’t have any say in what lab they joined. So I ended up in a PL (Programming Language) lab, an area I wasn’t interested in at all. I’m probably not a good role model, (laughs) but the story definitely fits me. For the School of Computing students: to be a developer or an engineer? First, how comfortable are you with studying things with no real answers? Those with faith and persistence should chose research, and those with talent that feel the joy of programming belong in industry. Secondly, you need experience to know what area you want to be in. There are lots of opportunities: URP, individual research, internships, exchange programs, etc. You’ll never know unless you try for yourself. Of course, you also need to stick with it for some time to really know. For those who want to go for research, how should you choose a research topic? Usually, you know what you don’t like by the junior year. Filtering them out makes it a bit easier. For me, it was architecture, parallel processing, OS and the like. Computer science can be split in to two broad categories, and finding which one you like can be of great help too. As long as you’re in the right half, you should be fine. The details can change later, and research is always about coming up with a problem you like. Any tips for undergraduates looking at graduate school? First, take compiler, networks, and DB. We look at what you took, not the grades you got. A student with lots of major courses will always win over a student with lots of liberal arts courses, even with a poor GPA. The best would be grades that keep climbing. All you need is an answer why. For example, getting lovesick, serving as a club president, just wanted to enjoy college life. Anything works. What do you look for in a graduate student? Depends on the field. For DB and networks, you need diligence, since you’re building large projects. For architecture, experiments can take a while so they want people that enjoy the work in and of itself. How new the lab is is also an important factor. For the first few years, the professor and the students’ chemistry is important. The few students decide how the lab will be. For our lab, we want students with the ability to survive as individuals. We don’t want people with inferiority complexes, or people that feel sorry for themselves. We want people with the nerve to look at an older student in the eye and say “No, that’s probably wrong.” It doesn’t matter how much you know. As a female scientist yourself, you’re also working in many different ways to encourage female students. Do you have any advice for KAIST’s female students? KAIST has so few females that I feel like a black sheep a lot of the times. Even when you’re wronged, it can feel like you were the one that made a mistake. You have to remember it’s not your fault. It’s draining to keep reminding yourself, so it’s also important to be selective about what you focus on. Also, this kind of sensitive issues are better voiced by our male students. Generally, when students see something wrong, they don’t speak out. Our male students should voice their concerns too. If you find yourself discriminated against for being female, or find yourself being sexually harassed, what should you do? First, make yourself heard. If you try to keep it under wraps instead of going public, the experience can stick with you. Find the courage instead of being sorry for yourself. If you can’t, find someone to speak for you. A few years ago, the school instituted the ombudsperson program. We have two really good natured retiree professors as ombudspersons. I think this kind of problem is best solved via ombudspersons. That’s what they’re for, a neutral party to speak on behalf of the wronged. Or, you could come to me. The student human right committee is also a good choice. If it can cause harm to you personally, it might be better for an impartial professor from a different department to be involved, instead of your guidance professor or someone else close to you. How should one solve these problems? Sexual harassment is not something you can solve by having smart people, it’s something you need to be taught. The society is full of sexual harassment we’re too used to to notice without looking for them. For example, an upperclassman at a welcoming party might say “who’s the prettiest freshman”. That’s not acceptable, but no one says anything. We need to educate people that this is wrong. Even the professors are being taught this now, but it’s hard to change things around with just taking a few online lectures. We need to be patient, and little by little be more mindful of our surroundings. That’s how you learn. Lastly, as an alumnus and a professor, what would you say to our undergraduates? First, leave your high school friends behind, and make more friends. If you look back, what high school you’re from is unimportant. When you first join, it feels like what school you’re from determines where you start off in the race, but after a while you realize everyone had a different starting point. You should forget about the unfairness of the starting point, and get many different friends. Second, health. Health is really important. In my 20’s, I exercised a lot, swimming and running. As a graduate student I went swimming with my friend almost daily, and that supported me in to my 30’s. Last, find a way to relieve your stress. Everyone’s different, and it’s up to you to find what works for you. As an undergraduate, I joined a music club and sang or cheered to relieve stress. It’s good to have a sustainable hobby to enjoy whenever things get rough. Credits available in the Korean article.
KAIST ACM Student Chapter’s 2nd newsletter presents an interview with the handsome Prof. Sung-Ju Lee. “You can learn so much just by talking” – An interview with Prof. Sung-Ju Lee IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the largest organization in the field of computer science and electrical engineering, evaluates its member scientists and engineers in to different ranks. From the bottom, you have Student member, Member, Senior member, and on the very top of the membership hierarchy, you have the Fellow. Only those with excellent and internationally renown research in the field qualify for the title. Prof. Sung-Ju Lee is one of the two IEEE Fellows at KAIST’s School of Computing. (Prof. Lee has since become the only Fellow, due to Prof. Kyu-Young Hwang’s retirement this year) What did you major? While studying abroad, wireless communication research was starting to get attention. Back then, we didn’t have Skype, and email was only just getting mainstream attention. I realized knowledge in networks would be crucial for helping people connect. The thought of exchanging information without any wires at all sounded amazing, something I wanted to be a part of; so I chose wireless networks as my major. But you’re not just working on networks. I was at a company for a long time after getting my degree. My work was in infrastructure, which doesn’t afford much people time, even when compared to other network work. As a professor, I want to do research I couldn’t before. My interest was always in connecting people, and mobile devices fit that goal perfectly. Back then, to explain my research to others, I had to be good at analogies. Now, I don’t have to do that anymore with the research I do. Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing, emotion analysis, Machine Learning, et cetera et cetera. They’re all so interesting, and I’m studying them all, albeit in a rather shallow fashion. Of course, research in Wi-Fi and infrastructure continues as well. Can you share one of your research with us? Smartphone application notifications interrupt people’s social interaction. People tend to ignore notifications when talking with their professors, but not when talking with their friends or family. It’s interesting and ironic that they feel it’s fine to be rude to those you care about the most. But most notifications are not urgent at all. We made an application that collects notifications until it finds a breakpoint between conversations, and only then alerts the user. For example, when people stop talking because someone went to use the bathroom. You were employed for quite some time I worked for HP (Hewlett-Packard Company) for 12 and a half years. It was mostly Wi-Fi work, which included the project with Shell, an oil company. It was the most fun I had, where I was charged with inventing a “next generation oil exploration system”. To find out where oil is, you need to dig, and that costs a lot. You dig holes to bury sensors, which geologists pore over for months, conducting seismology experiments. The research was on reinventing the wired system as a wireless system. It was a world first, and working from the beginning with the actual producers was of great help, learning about them and how they think. Why did you decide to become a professor after 12 and a half years? The reason I chose industry over academia was mostly to get back at my father, who was also a professor. The reason I choose academia over industry now is to be a good son. (laughs) Honestly, I enjoyed working with the young 3 month interns. Although I wasn’t paid anything for it, mentoring them was what felt the most rewarding to me. It felt like that was what I was best at. Research was fun, guiding students was fun, and so I became a professor. Also, I’m making more of a difference when I’m internationalizing Korean students, than if I’m doing research in America. You love talking with people It’s important to share your experiences and knowledge with others in your community, and speaking and listening is much more helpful for learning. Compared to American students, Koreans don’t seem to understand this fact, something I find disappointing. Korea is always about generating results, and showing off the results. The why and how are absent; only the result pops up after working on it alone. In other countries, professors don’t like students that keep to themselves. Is that why you encourage asking questions? I absolutely do encourage asking questions. It’s obvious, but by asking something, students realize they don’t know something. At first they’re skittish, but after one or two students start off, the rest start asking questions as well. At first, you ask the question and let them voice their opinions. Of course, I don’t plan the lessons specifically to encourage questions. I was immersed in a culture that encouraged debates, and it feels like students feel encouraged even if I’m just being myself. I heard students say they didn’t want to speak since they weren’t good at English, but felt encouraged after seeing their friends join in. Everyone was doing it, and so there was nothing to be scared of. It sounds a bit unfair, but 10％ of the grade is participation points, and students with good grades usually have full points in that respect. You have so many papers and patents. How do come up with all the ideas? It’s not something that’s easy to explain. For starters, it’s important to know what the problem is. Sometimes, you get a breakthrough after reading a countless number of papers. Research from other fields is especially helpful. You can look at the other fields’ solutions and get inspiration from them. Students doing research for the first time might find it hard to decide on what papers to read. Do you have any advice for them? Start with the main conferences in the field you’re interested in. Good papers are normally published at good conferences. After reading a few papers, you will recognize a few papers that keep getting referenced. Reading those papers next can then broaden your horizon. Asking for advice from older graduate students can be helpful as well. If you have research you want to do, even if it’s only a vague idea, ask other students and your professor for similar work and researchers in the area. Any words for KAIST undergraduates First, get all you can from KAIST’s excellent faculty. This doesn’t happen in lecture halls. You need to talk with them outside the classrooms. Don’t be afraid of professors. Engage with the professors. Secondly, don’t worry too much about grades. Your skills are much more important than your GPA. Third, make as much friends as you can. You need so many friends on top of your high school friends. Fourth, leave your comfort zone. Get as much new experiences as you can. Do something new, something you’ve never done before. I very much recommend going on an exchange program. It will help overcome the fear of starting something new. Lastly, don’t be afraid of English. Credits available in the Korean version.
KAIST Center for Mobile Software Platform (Head: Prof. Seungryoul Maeng) developed “UX Centric Mobile SW Platform”, designed to assist the development of next generation UX service technologies. During the commissioned research project, the Center has applied for 37 patents, both foreign and domestic, out of which 15 have been granted, while winning the best paper awards 10 times from various international academic conferences, and publishing 133 papers in Korea and internationally. In recognition of such results, they were awarded the Minister of the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning Award during the 2016 SW R&D Research Results Conference (2016 Nov. 29, COEX Grand Ballroom 105), an event hosted by the Ministry and the Institute for Information & Communication Technology Promotion (IITP). “UX Centric Mobile SW Platform” was designed with the advent of new services with new UX, and SW talent education in mind, providing an extensible situation processing platform expected to conserve device power.
The following is a Korean article on the CEO of the developer of Line Kids Phone, Kiwi Plus: Sangwon Seo, a Ph.D student from the School of Computing (advisor: Prof. Seungryoul Maeng). http://www.hankyung.com/news/app/newsview.php?aid=2016110810471