KAIST - COMPUTER SCIENCE

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  • Gyeongyeop Lee, MSc. Student Spotlight

    1) How did you get to join the Computer Science (CS) department? I joined the CS department in Fall 2012 as a graduate student. 2) What was your academic path like up until joining the CS department? I majored in electrical engineering and minored in management science at KAIST. 3) What was your childhood dream? What are you doing now to achieve that dream? When I was in high school, my dream was to become a math teacher. I eventually chose to major in electrical engineering, because I wanted to work with mobile phones. It sounds abstract, but I have always wanted to do something that directly influences people in a close manner. While keeping that in mind, I worked on developing an English education product for smartphones at a small company named Today’s Word. My job as a project manager at that company involved some programming, which I personally enjoyed a lot. Ultimately, I realized that smartphones are products with strong influence on people’s lives, and I decided to study CS with an aim to maximize the positive side of that influence. 4) What are your strengths? I love working with kids. There are three ways in which I am still like a kid. First, I am never calculating when I interact with people. Also, I do not worry about things too much, because I have faith that God is always looking out for me in my life. Lastly, there are so many things that I do not know about yet, so I am open to learning new things. 5) What are you passionately working on in the field of CS these days? I am currently working in the IR&NLP lab and my research involves human languages in the form of text data. More specifically, my research is about searching for bias or falsifications in documents, such as online fake reviews. I have done research which applied past research results from psychology to develop a computer science algorithm. I am working to extend that research, and it is definitely an interesting research experience. 6) What values and future prospects do you see in your current work? Online reviews are known to heavily influence how people make their purchases. Fake reviews can lead to unfair online transactions which result hurt the customers as well as sellers. Therefore, I believe identifying fake reviews can contribute to the online community by providing a better experience for online shoppers and sellers. In this way, my research dealing with natural language can have positive effects on people in practical ways. 7) What were your happiest and most disappointing moments, respectively, in the CS department? I enjoy the moments which I am inspired by new ideas for research. Of course, the ideas may get rejected in the end, but I enjoy the whole process of exploring them with my advisor and lab members. I feel more excited when my ideas appear to be clever and actually get implemented to show promising effects. I remember that my first year as a graduate student had some disappointing moments, when I felt that my CS knowledge was not strong enough due to my background as an EE major. 8) What do you think is the best thing about studying CS? In my field of study, it is possible to implement new ideas and evaluate them with empirical studies without hardware constraints. I feel lucky to be researching in CS, whenever I hear that experiments take months to do in other departments. Studying CS strengthens problem-solving skills, as we search for better efficiency or effectiveness in our solution. Moreover, CS is attractive in the way that sometimes simple solutions, such as brute-force or rule-based methods, work the best, rather than some complex algorithms. 9) What would you like to say to those interested in joining the CS department? Many people believe that one must be excellent in programming in order to study CS, but that is not the complete truth. As long as one is passionate about studying CS, programming is something that can be learned over time. Research in CS evolves fast. In order to keep up with the fast pace, it is important to take the coursework seriously and maintain a proactive attitude about learning new things. I recommend to communicate often and effectively with one’s advisor. Lastly, one must be open to use interdisciplinary or integrated approaches when solving a problem in CS. 10) What are your future plans? I plan to continue my research in fake review and information identification as a Ph.D. student. I am also interested in providing information to users based on their personal text data on websites such as SNS. Another idea that interests me is developing an English writing assistant application for people whose first language is not English. After earning my Ph.D., I would like to become a professor and do research as well as teaching.

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  • Minjeong Yoo, BSc. Student Spotlight

    1) How did you get to join the Computer Science (CS) department? I had my first encounter with CS in the introduction to programming course during my freshman year of university. I found it fascinating to see robots move on the screen exactly according to the code that I wrote. I especially enjoyed the logical thinking involved in every step of the programming experience, so I chose to major in CS. 2) What was your academic path like up until joining the CS department? I enjoyed studying mathematics when I was in middle school, so I attended a science high school afterwards and participated in math clubs for several years. 3) What was your childhood dream? What are you doing now to achieve that dream? It may sound a bit too abstract, but my dream was to become a great leader. I have not achieved that dream in significant ways yet. However, I believe that studying and working diligently in my field of choice, CS, will lead to making that dream come true eventually. 4) What are your strengths? My strength is that when I set a goal, I am very persistent in making sure that I achieve it. 5) What are you passionately working on in the field of CS these days? 6) What values and future prospects do you see in your current work? Currently, there is a shortage of people with science and technology background in the area of national policy making. Thus, I would like to utilize my CS background to create effective policies for advancement of science and technology in Korea. 7) What were your happiest and most disappointing moments, respectively, in the CS department? My happiest moment is when I finished my first project. It gave me the confidence that I much needed at the time, when I had just joined the CS department and was worried about my lack of skills. After finishing that project perfectly by myself, however, I was simply happy and felt more confident about my potential to excel in this field. 8) What do you think is the best thing about studying CS? Studying CS develops logical thinking skills, and putting new ideas into action is possible by writing code and implementing prototypes. 9) What would you like to say to those interested in joining the CS department? People tend to be shy about not knowing enough when they come to the CS department and begin learning CS in depth for the first time. I would tell them not to be shy about asking questions to friends or upperclassmen whenever they feel stuck on something. Asking questions and discussing problems will surely lead to better thinking and programming skills. 10) What are your future plans? After earning my degree, I would like to work for a government agency and work hard to make national policies that foster science and technology advancement in Korea.

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  • Huiseok Son, PhD Student Spotlight

    1) How did you get to join the Computer Science (CS) department? My choice to join the CS department was, to be sure, a surprising one. When I was in high school, I was just a regular student who liked math and chemistry and knew nothing about programming. That was probably the reason why I did not receive a good grade from the required programming course here at KAIST. It left me feeling that my programming skills are rather inferior compared to those of my peers. On a fateful Teacher Appreciation Day, however, the adviser of my club told me something that changed my perspective. He encouraged me to apply to the Department if what I want to do in my future career is closely related to computer science. This advice motivated me to study harder during summer breaks, and when the time to apply for the Department came, I took the chance and chose the CS department. 2) What was your academic path like up until joining the CS department? I did not have any special academic path until I came to the Department. As I said above, I was just a regular high school student who studied hard according to the given curriculum, and after I came to university, I actively participated in the campus life. I motivated myself to work harder in order to stay competitive amongst my bright peers. As a result, my grades improved quite a lot during those times. 3) What was your childhood dream? What are you doing now to achieve that dream? My early childhood dream was to go to Harvard University, which is a very simple-minded and wistful dream in retrospect. I did not even know what I wanted to major in but just wanted to go the world’s best university. But, as I grew up, I found myself to be the happiest and passionate when I was passing on my knowledge to others. It led me to consider a teaching profession, so I now want to become a university professor. Since that dream took place within my mind, I have always asked myself if I will ever be knowledgeable enough to teach people at university level. That question humbles me and motivates me to work harder in my studies and research. I am also open to meeting and learning from people of diverse backgrounds. 4) What are your strengths? My strengths are my optimistic personality and healthy body. I never let go of optimistic thinking regardless of what circumstances I may find myself in. Such optimism has helped me reduce stress even at times of heavy workloads. I also believe that optimistic thinking often leads to wisdom that allows me to overcome the present hardship. My healthy body is a result of the regular exercise I have enjoyed doing since I was a child. Even now, when I feel stressed out, I would go out to exercise with my friends. Physical strength is an essential factor in one’s ability to do research. 5) What are you passionately working on in the field of CS these days? I am currently working at a laboratory, so I am working hard on the given projects as well as my individual research. I am eager to produce good results with my research soon and go to top conferences and get published on journals. What I really like about going to conferences is talking to researchers from other countries. I find such conversations to be academically enriching and fun! 6) What values and future prospects do you see in your current work? My current research has to do with smartphones and their user experiences. Thus, if I can produce good results, it would help to alleviate some of the inconveniences that people feel while using their smartphones. Furthermore, if I can pass on the lessons from my current research experience to the future generation, that would be even more valuable of a contribution. 7) What were your happiest and most disappointing moments, respectively, in the CS department? Like most of the CS students, I had my happiest moment when I see that my program is working correctly after locating and fixing a bug after countless hours. Nothing can really compare to that moment of joy, which usually leads me to shout out “Hurray!” The most disappointing moment was when I got my conference paper rejected. Receiving cold reviews on a paper that I carefully composed can be hard to take. It is a humbling experience, but it also strengthens my desire to write better papers and get accepted to top conferences. 8) What do you think is the best thing about studying CS? The best thing is that the people I meet in this field tend to be very open-mined and practical. It is hard to find working environments that are freer than they are for CS-related jobs. People who study CS are always open to learning new things. The fact that computers are ubiquitous in today’s world means that there is more need for people who study CS like me. I find it highly attractive that CS is a field with a vast amount of opportunity to make a difference in the world. 9) What would you like to say to those interested in joining the CS department? I am sure that you are making a great choice for the present as well as the future! This is a field that never gets boring and always presents new challenges. I would also like to tell those who are afraid of joining the CS department, that it may very well be worth a try. CS is a field of study with a relatively high learning curve at first, but after you open your eyes to all that it has to offer, it is truly an amazing experience. I am personally an example of someone who could not even program to print out “Hello World” during my freshman year, but now happily working on my Ph.D.. So, can your program print out “Hello World?” Then, I would say that you are at a better starting position than where I was. 10) What are your future plans? I want to publish outstanding papers and earn my Ph.D. degree. Although I am not sure where I will be working at afterwards, I do want to spend some time studying in the United States. I want to study in the States, where the best of minds in CS gather to develop and share their ideas, so that I could become a great researcher and professor myself. It is okay if I end up doing with a job other than being a professor, though, as long as I am always learning and improving myself as a person.

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  • Our Ph.D Graduate Appointed as an assistant profes..

    Our Ph.D Graduate Appointed as an assistant professor to Michigan State University Dr. Taiwoo Park, who recently graduated with a Ph.D under the co-advisement of Professor Junehwa Song and Professor Uichin Lee, has been appointed as an assistant professor to Michigan State University, located in East Lancing, MI, USA. Dr. Park’s primary research interests are Ubiquitous Game Design and Supporting System, Mobile User Interaction, Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing, Sensor Network and Data Stream Processing System. As a Ph.D student, he was recognized for his outstanding research with an award from the ACM’s CHI conference, which is considered to be the top in the Human-Computer Interaction field In the coming August, Dr. Park will continue his work in the research area of game design, research, and development at the Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media department in the College of Communication Arts and Science. Congratulations on your appointment to an assistant professorship at Michigan State University!

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  • Taiwoo Park Won ACM CHI 2014 Honorable Mention Awa..

    Taiwoo Park and his five co-authors including his advisor, Professor Junehwa Song, won this year’s ACM CHI Honorable Mention Award for their paper, “Human Factors of Speed-based Exergame Controllers.” The CHI conference is a highly prestigious conference, ranked at the very top of the MS Academic Search list for Human-Computer Interaction conferences. Congratulations on your award!

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