KAIST Commencement 2015
KAIST Commencement 2015 KAIST’s 10,000th Ph.D. Holder and Twin Brothers Receiving Degrees Together KAIST Has Produced 51,412 S&T Professionals over the Past 44 Years
Since its establishment in 1971, KAIST has produced a total of 51,412 highly capable scientists and engineers, with 10,403 doctoral, 26,402 master’s, and 14,607 bachelor’s degrees.
Dr. Sun-Mi Cho, 10,000th Ph.D. Holder from KAIST with Aspirations for Brain Science
Dr. Sun-Mi Cho of the Department of Biological Sciences received the 10,000th doctoral degree.
A graduate of Jeonnam Science High School, Dr. Cho also received her Bachelor of Science degree from KAIST. Dr. Cho wrote a dissertation entitled “GABA from reactive astrocytes impairs learning and memory in Alzheimer disease.” Her dissertation adviser was Professor Daesoo Kim of the Department of Biological Sciences.
▲Dr. Sun-Mi Cho in biological sciences (Photo courtesy of KAIST)
Dr. Cho, who will work as a post-doctorate researcher in the Biological Sciences Department, said, “It was my childhood dream to receive a doctorate from KAIST. I cannot believe that I’m the ten-thousandth doctoral graduate. I’m very grateful.” She continued, “I hope to become a neuroscientist, a field in which I can be of help to the sick.”
In 1978, KAIST only had two doctoral graduates, but after 1987 there were more than one hundred graduates each year; after 1994 there over were two hundred; and since 2002 there have been over four hundred graduates per year. In 2015, 522 doctoral students graduated.
One of the first doctoral graduates, Dong-Yol Yang, became a professor in the same department at KAIST. Professor Yang expressed his thoughts: “There was a trend in Korea in the early 1970s to go overseas for Ph.D. degrees, but it changed when KAIST began to select candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees. Talented Korean students came to KAIST laboratories, and the school’s graduates were known for their knowledge and skills. Now, we see that the talent is coming from overseas.”
Twin Brothers Say “We Overcame Difficulties Together”
The older brother, Dr. Dae-Ok Kim received both his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master’s degrees from KAIST’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and later was admitted to the EEWS Graduate School for his doctorate. His dissertation was an “Investigation on the behaviors of gas molecules in water-filled nanopores: Applications to energy and environmental technology.” Professor Huen Lee of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering was his faculty adviser.
The younger brother, Dr. Dae-Woo Kim received his B.S. from KAIST’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and was admitted to the Master of Science-Ph.D. Integrated Degree Program in the same department. His doctoral thesis was on “Direct visualization of large-area domains of two dimensional materials by using optical birefringency.” His faculty adviser was Professor Hee Tae Jung of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Dr. Dae-Woo Kim said, “During my time at the graduate school, I could overcome my difficulties by talking frankly to my brother. Our relationship deepened as we reached our academic goals together at KAIST.”
Dr. Dae-Woo Kim, who published more than 25 papers in international journals such as Nature and Nanotechnology, received the Silver Prize in the Human Tech Paper Awards sponsored by Samsung Electronics Corp. in 2011. After graduating, Dr. Kim will research graphene and 2D material structure control at KAIST’s Organic Opto-Electronic Materials Lab for a year and take up further research on their applications in the United States.
10,000 Ph.D. Holders from KAIST Work in Various Areas —Industrial Sectors, Universities, Government-Funded Research Institutes, Public Institutions, and Overseas Institutions
Marking its 10,000 Ph.D. Holder, KAIST conducted its first analysis of the professional activities of the school’s doctoral graduates and released the results. Using the entire data set managed by the KAIST Alumni Association as of the end of January 2015, the survey covered over 7,400 people with verifiable employment status.
The results suggest that some 3,300 doctoral graduates are currently employed in industrial fields, followed by about 2,300 who work at universities either in Korea or in other countries, 1,600 people who work at government-funded research institutes and public institutions, and 200 graduates working overseas.
Among those working in industrial fields, 48 percent are employed by Korea’s ten largest companies; the remaining 52 percent work in new companies and mid-sized businesses.
The number of Ph.D. holders working at domestic or foreign universities accounts for 31 percent of those surveyed; three out of ten are working as faculty members or researchers, contributing to research and education in the applied sciences.
Over 1,600 graduates are working at government-funded research institutes and public institutions, with the highest number employed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, followed by the Agency for Defense Development, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
“This analysis is of significance in that we can understand the degree of contribution made by KAIST’s outstanding doctoral degree holders to Korea’s industrialization and national development,” President Sung-Mo Kang noted. “We will not remain content with the achievements of the past 44 years; KAIST is committed to pursuing innovation in science and engineering education and producing creative and talented researchers who will realize a creative economy.”
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