Discovery of an Optimal Drug Combination： Overcomi..
A KAIST research team presented a novel method for improving medication treatment for liver cancer using Systems Biology, combining research from information technology and the life sciences. Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho in the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at KAIST conducted the research in collaboration with Professor Jung-Hwan Yoon in the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital. This research was published in Hepatology in September 2017 (available online from August 24, 2017). Liver cancer is the fifth and seventh most common cancer found in men and women throughout the world, which places it second in the cause of cancer deaths. In particular, Korea has 28.4 deaths from liver cancer per 100,000 persons, the highest death rate among OECD countries and twice that of Japan. Each year in Korea, 16,000 people get liver cancer on average, yet the five-year survival rate stands below 12％. According to the National Cancer Information Center, lung cancer (17,399) took the highest portion of cancer-related deaths, followed by liver cancer (11,311) based on last year data. Liver cancer is known to carry the highest social cost in comparison to other cancers and it causes the highest fatality in earlier age groups (40s-50s). In that sense, it is necessary to develop a new treatment that mitigates side effects yet elevates the survival rate. There are ways in which liver cancer can be cured, such as surgery, embolization, and medication treatments; however, the options become limited for curing progressive cancer, a stage in which surgical methods cannot be executed. Among anticancer medications, Sorafenib, a drug known for enhancing the survival rate of cancer patients, is a unique drug allowed for use as a targeted anticancer medication for progressive liver cancer patients. Its sales reached more than ten billion KRW annually in Korea, but its efficacy works on only about 20％ of the treated patients. Also, acquired resistance to Sorafenib is emerging. Additionally, the action mechanism and resistance mechanism of Sorafenib is only vaguely identified. Although Sorafenib only extends the survival rate of terminal cancer patients less than three months on average, it is widely being used because drugs developed by global pharmaceutical companies failed to outperform its effectiveness. Professor Cho’s research team analyzed the expression changes of genes in cell lines in response to Sorafenib in order to identify the effect and the resistance mechanism of Sorafenib. As a result, the team discovered the resistance mechanism of Sorafenib using Systems Biology analysis. By combining computer simulations and biological experiments, it was revealed that protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) plays a crucial role in the resistance mechanism of Sorafenib and that its efficacy can be improved significantly by blocking PDI. The research team used mice in the experiment and discovered the synergic effect of PDI inhibition with Sorafenib for reducing liver cancer cells, known as hepatocellular carcinoma. Also, more PDIs are shown in tissue from patients who possess a resistance to Sorafenib. From these findings, the team could identify the possibility of its clinical applications. The team also confirmed these findings from clinical data through a retrospective cohort study. “Molecules that play an important role in cell lines are mostly put under complex regulation. For this reason, the existing biological research has a fundamental limitations for discovering its underlying principles,” Professor Cho said. “This research is a representative case of overcoming this limitation of traditional life science research by using a Systems Biology approach, combining IT and life science. It suggests the possibility of developing a new method that overcomes drug resistance with a network analysis of the targeted drug action mechanism of cancer.” The research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. < Figure 1. Simulation results from cellular experiments using hepatocellular carcinoma > < Figure 2. Network analysis and computer simulation by using the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress network > < Figure 3. ER stress network model >
Solutal Marangoni Flows of Miscible Liquid Drive T..
< Professor Hyoungsoo Kim, Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST > A research team led by Hyoungsoo Kim, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST, succeeded in quantifying the phenomenon called, the Marangoni effect, which occurs at the interface between alcohol and water. It is expected that this finding will be a valuable resource used for effectively removing impurities from a surface fluid without any contamination, and developing materials that can replace surfactants. This research, co-conducted with a research team led by Professor Howard A. Stone at Princeton University, was published online in Nature Physics on July 31. The Marangoni effect, also known as tears of wine, is generated when two fluids having a different surface tension meet, causing finite mixing, spreading time and length scale. Typically, people believe that infinitely miscible liquids immediately mix together; however, it is not always true according to this paper. The typical surface tension of alcohol is three times lower than that of water, and this different surface tension generates the Marangoni-driven convection flow at the interface of the two liquids. In addition, there is a certain amount of time required for them to mix. This phenomenon has been discussed many times since it was discovered in early the 20th century, yet there was a limit to quantifying and explaining it. Professor Kim, considering the mixing and spreading mechanism, used various flow visualization techniques and equipment for capturing high speed images in his experiment. Through the flow visualization methods, the team succeeded in quantifying and explaining the complex, physicochemical phenomenon generated between water and alcohol. Moreover, they developed a theoretical model to predict the physicochemical hydrodynamic phenomena. The theoretical model can predict the speed of Marangoni-driven convection flow, the area of a drop of alcohol and the time required to develop the flow field. Hence, this model can map out types of materials (e.g., alcohol) and the volume of a drop of liquid as applicable to target a specific situation. Moreover, the research team believes that the interfacial flow enables the driving of bulk flows and that it can be a source of technology for effectively delivering drugs and removing impurities from a surface of substance without causing secondary contamination. Above all, the results show a possibility for replacing surfactant with alcohol as a material used for delivering drugs. In the case of the drug delivery, some drugs are encapsulated with a surfactant in order to be effectively transported in vivo; however, the surfactant accumulates in the body, which can cause various side effects, such as heart disease. Therefore, using new materials like alcohol for drug delivery will contribute to preventing the side effects caused by the surfactant. “The surfactant is used for delivering drugs, but it is difficult to be expelled from the body. This will cause various side effects, such as heart diseases in asthmatic patients,” said Professor Kim. “I hope that using new materials, like alcohol, will free people from these side effects.” (Marangoni-driven convection flow generated at the interface between water and alcohol, and the flow visualization results) < A drop of alcohol on a water surface > < Comparison of mixing structures on the surface > < Marangoni mixing flow under the free surface >
Students from Science Academies Shed a Light on KA..
Recent KAIST statistics show that graduates from science academies distinguish themselves not only by their academic performance at KAIST but also in various professional careers after graduation. Every year, approximately 20％ of newly-enrolled students of KAIST are from science academies. In the case of the class of 2017, 170 students from science academies accounted for 22％ of the newly-enrolled students. Moreover, they are forming a top-tier student group on campus. As shown in the table below, the ratio of students graduating early for either enrolling in graduate programs or landing a job indicates their excellent performance at KAIST. There are eight science academies in Korea: Korea Science Academy of KAIST located in Busan, Seoul Science High School, Gyeonggi Science High School, Gwangju Science High School, Daejeon Science High School, Sejong Academy of Science and Arts, and Incheon Arts and Sciences Academy. Recently, KAIST analyzed 532 university graduates from the class of 2012. It was found that 23 out of 63 graduates with the alma mater of science academies finished their degree early; as a result, the early graduation ratio of the class of 2012 stood at 36.5％. This percentage was significantly higher than that of students from other high schools. ????? Among the notable graduates, there was a student who made headlines with donation of 30 million KRW to KAIST. His donation was the largest donation from an enrolled student on record. His story goes back when Android smartphones were about to be distributed. Seung-Gyu Oh, then a student in the School of Electrical Engineering felt that existing subway apps were inconvenient, so he invented his own subway app that navigated the nearest subway lines in 2015. His app hit the market and ranked second in the subway app category. It had approximately five million users, which led to it generating advertising revenue. After the successful launch of the app, Oh accepted the takeover offered by Daum Kakao. He then donated 30 million KRW to his alma mater. “Since high school, I’ve always been thinking that I have received many benefits from my country and felt heavily responsible for it,” the alumnus of Korea Science of Academy and KAIST said. “I decided to make a donation to my alma mater, KAIST because I wanted to return what I had received from my country.” After graduation, Oh is now working for the web firm, Daum Kakao. In May 24, 2017, the 41st International Collegiate Programming Contest, hosted by Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and sponsored by IBM, was held in Rapid City, South Dakota in the US. It is a prestigious contest that has been held annually since 1977. College students from around the world participate in this contest; and in 2017, a total of 50,000 students from 2,900 universities in 104 countries participated in regional competitions, and approximately 400 students made it to the final round, entering into a fierce competition. KAIST students also participated in this contest. The team was comprised of Ji-Hoon Ko, Jong-Won Lee, and Han-Pil Kang from the School of Computing. They are also alumni of Gyeonggi Science High School. They received the ‘First Problem Solver’ award and a bronze medal which came with a 3,000 USD cash prize. Sung-Jin Oh, who also graduated from Korea Science Academy of KAIST, is a research professor at the Korea Institute of Advanced Study (KIAS). He is the youngest recipient of the ‘Young Scientist Award’, which he received by proving a hypothesis from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity mathematically at the age of 27. After graduating from KAIST, Oh earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton University, completed his post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, and is now immersing himself in research at KIAS. Heui-Kwang Noh from the Department of Chemistry and Kang-Min Ahn from the School of Computing, who were selected to receive the presidential scholarship for science in 2014, both graduated from Gyeonggi Science High School. Noh was recognized for his outstanding academic capacity and was also chosen for the ‘GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program’ in 2015. The ‘GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program’, established in 1992 by the GE Foundation, aims at fostering talented students. This program is for post-secondary students who have both creativity and leadership. It selects five outstanding students and provides 3 million KRW per annum for a maximum of three years. The grantees of this program have become influential people in various fields, including professors, executives, staff members of national/international firms, and researchers. And they are making a huge contribution to the development of engineering and science. Noh continues doing various activities, including the completion of his internship at ‘Harvard-MIT Biomedical Optics’ and the publication of a paper (3rd author) for the ACS Omega of American Chemical Society (ACS). Ahn, a member of the Young Engineers Honor Society (YEHS) of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, had an interest in startup businesses. In 2015, he founded DataStorm, a firm specializing in developing data solution, and merged with a cloud back-office, Jobis & Villains, in 2016. Ahn is continuing his business activities and this year he founded, and is successfully running, cocKorea. “KAIST students whose alma mater are science academies form a top-tier group on campus and produce excellent performance,” said Associate Vice President for Admissions, Hayong Shin. “KAIST is making every effort to assist these students so that they can perform to the best of their ability.” (Clockwise from top left: Seung-Gyu Oh, Sung-Jin Oh, Heui-Kwang Noh and Kang-Min Ahn)
KAIST Researchers Receive Three Awards at the 13th..
< From left: Seon Young Park, Dr. So Young Choi, and Yoojin Choi > Researchers in the laboratory of KAIST Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering swept awards at the 13th Asian Congress on Biotechnology held in Thailand last month. The conference awarded a total of eight prizes in the areas of best research and best poster presentation. This is an exceptional case in which members of one research team received almost half of the awards at an international conference. Dr. So Young Choi received the Best Research Award, while Ph.D. candidates Yoojin Choi and Seon Young Park each received the Best Poster Presentation Award at the conference held in Khon Kaen, Thailand from July 23 to 27. The Asian Congress on Biotechnology is an international conference in which scientists and industry experts in Asia and from around the world gather to present recent research findings in the field of biotechnology. At the conference, around 400 researchers in biotechnology from 25 countries, including Korea, gathered to present and discuss various research findings under the theme of “Bioinnovation and Bioeconomy.” Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee attended the conference to give the opening plenary lecture on the topic of ‘Systems Strategies in Biotechnology.’ Professor Lee announced, “I have attended international conferences with students for the last 20 years, but this is the first in which my team received three awards at an international conference that only honors a total of eight awards, three for Best Research and five for Best Presentation.” Dr. Choi presented research results on poly (lactate-co-glycolate) (PLGA) synthesis through a biological method using micro-organisms and received the Best Research Award. PLGA is a random copolymer of DL-lactic and glycolic acids and is a biopolymer widely used for biomedical applications. PLGA is biodegradable, biocompatible, and nontoxic, and thus has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its use in implants, drug delivery, and sutures. Dr. Choi’s research was deemed to be innovative for synthesizing PLGA from glucose and xylose in cells through metabolic engineering of E.Coli. Dr. Choi received her Ph.D. under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Lee this February and is currently conducting post-doc research. Ph.D. candidate Choi presented her research on the use of recombinant E.Coli for the biological synthesis of various nanoparticles and received the Best Poster Presentation award. Choi used recombinant E.Coli-expressing proteins and peptides that adsorb to heavy metals to biologically synthesize diverse metal nanoparticles such as single-nanoparticle including gold and silver, quantum dots, and magnetic nanoparticles for the first time. The synthesized nanoparticles can be used in the fields of bio-imaging, diagnosis, environment, and energy. Ph.D. candidate Park, who also received the Best Poster Presentation award, synthesized and increased production of astanxanthin, a strong antioxidant found in nature, in E.Coli using metabolic engineering. Astanxanthin is a carotenoid pigment found in salmon and shrimp that widely used in health products and cosmetics.
Multi-Device Mobile Platform for App Functionality..
Case 1. Mr. Kim, an employee, logged on to his SNS account using a tablet PC at the airport while traveling overseas. However, a malicious virus was installed on the tablet PC and some photos posted on his SNS were deleted by someone else. Case 2. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are busy contacting credit card and game companies, because his son, who likes games, purchased a million dollars worth of game items using his smartphone. Case 3. Mr. Park, who enjoys games, bought a sensor-based racing game through his tablet PC. However, he could not enjoy the racing game on his tablet because it was not comfortable to tilt the device for game control. The above cases are some of the various problems that can arise in modern society where diverse smart devices, including smartphones, exist. Recently, new technology has been developed to easily solve these problems. Professor Insik Shin from the School of Computing has developed ‘Mobile Plus,’ which is a mobile platform that can share the functionalities of applications between smart devices. This is a novel technology that allows applications to easily share their functionalities without needing any modifications. Smartphone users often use Facebook to log in to another SNS account like Instagram, or use a gallery app to post some photos on their SNS. These examples are possible, because the applications share their login and photo management functionalities. The functionality sharing enables users to utilize smartphones in various and convenient ways and allows app developers to easily create applications. However, current mobile platforms such as Android or iOS only support functionality sharing within a single mobile device. It is burdensome for both developers and users to share functionalities across devices because developers would need to create more complex applications and users would need to install the applications on each device. To address this problem, Professor Shin’s research team developed platform technology to support functionality sharing between devices. The main concept is using virtualization to give the illusion that the applications running on separate devices are on a single device. They succeeded in this virtualization by extending a RPC (Remote Procedure Call) scheme to multi-device environments. This virtualization technology enables the existing applications to share their functionalities without needing any modifications, regardless of the type of applications. So users can now use them without additional purchases or updates. Mobile Plus can support hardware functionalities like cameras, microphones, and GPS as well as application functionalities such as logins, payments, and photo sharing. Its greatest advantage is its wide range of possible applications. Professor Shin said, "Mobile Plus is expected to have great synergy with smart home and smart car technologies. It can provide novel user experiences (UXs) so that users can easily utilize various applications of smart home/vehicle infotainment systems by using a smartphone as their hub." This research was published at ACM MobiSys, an international conference on mobile computing that was hosted in the United States on June 21. < Figure1. Users can securely log on to SNS accounts by using their personal devices > < Figure 2. Parents can control impulse shopping of their children. > < Figure 3. Users can enjoy games more and more by using the smartphone as a controller >
Analysis of Gas Adsorption Properties for Amorphou..
Professor Jihan Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST has developed a method to predict gas adsorption properties of amorphous porous materials. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have large surface area and high density of pores, making them appropriate for various energy and environmental-related applications. And although most MOFs are crystalline, these structures can deform during synthesis and/or industrial processes, leading to loss in long-range order. Unfortunately, without the structural information, existing computer simulation techniques cannot be used to model these materials. In this research, Professor Kim’s research team demonstrated that one can replace the material properties of structurally deformed MOFs with those of crystalline MOFs to indirectly analyze/model the material properties of amorphous materials. First, the team conducted simulations on methane gas adsorption properties for over 12,000 crystalline MOFs to obtain a large training set data, and created a resulting structure-property map. Upon mapping the experimental data of amorphous MOFs onto the structure-property map, results showed that regardless of crystallinity, the gas adsorption properties of MOFs showed congruence and consistency amongst one another. Based on these findings, selected crystalline MOFs with the most similar gas adsorption properties as the collapsed structure from the 12,000 candidates. Then, the team verified that the adsorption properties of these similar MOFs can be successfully transferred to the deformed MOFs across different temperatures and even to different gas molecules (e.g. hydrogen), demonstrating transferability of properties. These findings allow material property prediction in porous materials such as MOFs without structural information, and the techniques here can be used to better predict and understand optimal materials for various applications including, carbon dioxide capture, gas storage and separations. This research was conducted in collaboration with Professor Dae-Woon Lim at Kyoto University, Professor Myunghyun Paik at Seoul National University, Professor Minyoung Yoon at Gachon University, and Aadesh Harale at Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) online on 10 July and the co-first authors were Ph. D. candidate WooSeok Jeong and Professor Dae-Woon Lim. This research was funded by the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center. < Figure 1. Trends in structure - material property map and in collapsed structures > < Figure 2. Transferability between the experimental results of collapsed MOFs and the simulation results of crystalline MOFs >
Professor Nam Jin Cho Selected as the Eugene P. Wi..
〈 Prof. Nam Jin Cho 〉 Professor Nam Jin Cho from the Department of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering was selected as the recipient of the 2017 ‘Eugene P. Wigner Reactor Physicist Award.’ The award, established in 1990 by the American Nuclear Society, honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the field of reactor physics. The award is named after the late Eugene P. Wigner, a pioneer who helped nurture the nuclear age to technical maturity with his pioneering leadership in reactor design. Professor Cho was recognized for his outstanding leadership and achievement in the field of nuclear physics, especially with his original research in analytic function expansion nodal methods, coarse-mesh angular dependent rebalance methods, and neutron transport calculations. A fellow of the ANS, Professor Cho is the first awardee from the Asian region. Professor Cho gave all the credit to his colleagues and students at KAIST who have spared no effort while working together for three decades. “I am very grateful for the unique academic ambience which made this challenging work possible as well as the government’s continuing funding at the National Research Laboratory project.
Cooperative Tumor Cell Membrane-Targeted Photother..
〈 Prof. Ji-Ho Park 〉 A KAIST research team led by Professor Ji-Ho Park in the Bio and Brain Engineering Department at KAIST developed a technology for the effective treatment of cancer by delivering synthetic receptors throughout tumor tissue. The study, led by Ph.D. candidate Heegon Kim, was published online in Nature Communications on June 19. Cancer targeted therapy generally refers to therapy targeting specific molecules that are involved in the growth and generation of cancer. The targeted delivery of therapeutics using targeting agents such as antibodies or nanomaterials has improved the precision and safety of cancer therapy. However, the paucity and heterogeneity of identified molecular targets within tumors have resulted in poor and uneven distribution of targeted agents, thus compromising treatment outcomes. To solve this problem, the team constructed a cooperative targeting system in which synthetic and biological nanocomponents participate together in the tumor cell membrane-selective localization of synthetic receptors to amplify the subsequent targeting of therapeutics. Here, synthetic and biological nanocomponents refer to liposomes and extracellular vesicles, respectively. The synthetic receptors are first delivered selectively to tumor cell membranes in the perivascular region using liposomes. By hitchhiking with extracellular vesicles secreted by the cells, the synthetic receptors are transferred to neighboring cells and further spread throughout the tumor tissues where the molecular targets are limited. Hitchhiking extracellular vesicles for delivery of synthetic receptors was possible since extracellular vesicles, such as exosomes, mediate intercellular communications by transferring various biological components such as lipids, cytosolic proteins, and RNA through a membrane fusion process. They also play a supportive role in promoting tumor progression in that tumor-derived extracellular vesicles deliver oncogenic signals to normal host cells. The team showed that this tumor cell membrane-targeted delivery of synthetic receptors led to a uniform distribution of synthetic receptors throughout a tumor and subsequently led to enhanced phototherapeutic efficacy of the targeted photosensitizer. Professor Park said, “The cooperative tumor targeting system is expected to be applied in treating various diseases that are hard to target.” The research was funded by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, and the National R&D Program for Cancer Control funded by the Ministry for Health and Welfare. < Ph.D. candidates Hee Gon Kim (left) and Chanhee Oh > Figure 1. A schematic of a cooperative tumor targeting system via delivery of synthetic receptors. Figure 2. A confocal microscopic image of a tumor section after cooperative targeting by synthetic receptor delivery. Green and magenta represent vessels and therapeutic agents inside a tumor respectively.
KAIST Professors Sweep the Best Science and Techno..
< Distinguished Professors Sang Yup Lee (left) and Kyu-Young Whang > Distinguished Professors Sang Yup Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Kyu-Young Whang of the College of Computing were selected as the winners of the "2017 Korea Best Science and Technology Award" by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and the Korea Federation of Science and Technology Societies. The award, which was established in 2003, is the highest honor bestowed to the two most outstanding scientists in Korea annually. This is the first time that KAIST faculty members have swept the award since its founding. Distinguished Professor Lee is renowned for his pioneering studies of system metabolic engineering, which produces useful chemicals by utilizing microorganisms. Professor Lee has developed a number of globally-recognized original technologies such as gasoline production using micro-organisms, a bio-butanol production process, microbes for producing nylon and plastic raw materials, and making native-like spider silk produced in metabolically engineering bacterium which is stronger than steel but finer than human hair. System metabolism engineering was also selected as one of the top 10 promising technologies in the world in 2016 by the World Economic Forum. Selected as one of the world’s top 20 applied bioscientists in 2014 by Nature Biotechnology, he has many ‘first’ titles in his academic and research careers. He was the first Asian to win the James Bailey Award (2016) and Marvin Johnson Award (2012), the first Korean elected to both the US National Academy of Science (NAS) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) this year. He is the dean of KAIST institutes, a multi and interdisciplinary research institute at KAIST. He serves as co-chair of the Global Council on Biotechnology and as a member of the Global Future Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the World Economic Forum. Distinguished Professor Whang, the first recipient in the field of computer science in this award, has been recognized for his lifetime achievement and contributions to the development of the software industry and the spreading of information culture. He has taken a pioneering role in presenting novel theories and innovative technologies in the field of database systems such as probabilistic aggregation, multidimensional indexing, query, and database and information retrieval. The Odysseus database management system Professor Hwang developed has been applied in many diverse fields of industry, while promoting the domestic software industry and its technical independence. Professor Hwang is a fellow at the American Computer Society (ACM) and life fellow at IEEE. Professor Whang received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award in 2014 for his work promoting database research worldwide, the PAKDD Distinguished Contributions Award in 2014, and the DASFAA Outstanding Contributions Award in 2011 for his contributions to database and data mining research in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Korea (presidential) Engineering Award in 2012.
Professor Poong Hyun Seong Selected as Fellow of A..
〈 Prof. Poong Hyun Seong 〉 Professor Poong Hyun Seong of the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering was selected as a fellow of the American Nuclear Society. The selection was announced at their annual meeting held in San Francisco on June 12, in recognition of Professor Seong's contributions to the field of nuclear instrumentation, control andhuman factors engineering. Founded in 1954, the American Nuclear Society selects scholars who have made outstanding achievements and contributions to the development of the nuclear engineering field each year. Professor Seong's researches in the field of nuclear instrumentation, control and human factors engineering have contributed to the safe operation of nuclear power plants, to the development of systems to maintain nuclear power plants safely in the event of emergency and to the enhancement of effective response capabilities of nuclear power plant operators. His researches significantly contributed to the safety improvement of nuclear power plants and have been recognized worldwide. Professor Seong said, "Korea has emerged as a nuclear powerhouse. I think not only my academic career but our national reputation in the field of nuclear research has been well recognized by our global peers.” Professor Seong has served as president of the Korean Nuclear Society, editor in chief of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, and as a commissioner of the Korean Nuclear Safety Commission. He is currently working as a commissioner of the Korean Atomic Energy Commission.
Why Don’t My Document Photos Rotate Correctly？
〈 The team of Professor Lee and his Ph.D.student Jeungmin Oh developed a technique that can correct a phone’s orientation by tracking the rotation sensor in a phone.) 〉 John, an insurance planner, took several photos of a competitors’ new brochures. At a meeting, he opened a photo gallery to discuss the documents with his colleagues. He found, however, that the photos of the document had the wrong orientation; they had been rotated in 90 degrees clockwise. He then rotated his phone 90 degrees counterclockwise, but the document photos also rotated at the same time. After trying this several times, he realized that it was impossible to display the document photos correctly on his phone. Instead, he had to set his phone down on a table and move his chair to show the photos in the correct orientation. It was very frustrating for John and his colleagues, because the document photos had different patterns of orientation errors. Professor Uichin Lee and his team at KAIST have identified the key reasons for such orientation errors and proposed novel techniques to solve this problem efficiently. Interestingly, it was due to a software glitch in screen rotation?tracking algorithms, and all smartphones on the market suffer from this error. When taking a photo of a document, your smartphone generally becomes parallel to the flat surface, as shown in the figure above (right). Professor Lee said, “Your phone fails to track the orientation if you make any rotation changes at that moment.” This is because software engineers designed the rotation tracking software in conventional smartphones with the following assumption: people hold their phones vertically either in portrait or landscape orientations. Orientation tracking can be done by simply measuring the gravity direction using an acceleration sensor in the phone (for example, whether gravity falls into the portrait or landscape direction). Professor Lee’s team conducted a controlled experiment to discover how often orientation errors happen in document-capturing tasks. Surprisingly, their results showed that landscape document photos had error rates of 93％. Smartphones’ camera apps display the current orientation using a camera-shaped icon, but users are unaware of this feature, nor do they notice its state when they take document photos. This is why we often encounter rotation errors in our daily lives, with no idea of why the errors are occurring. The team developed a technique that can correct a phone’s orientation by tracking the rotation sensor in a phone. When people take document photos their smartphones become parallel to the documents on a flat surface. This intention of photographing documents can be easily recognizable because gravity falls onto the phone’s surface. The current orientation can be tracked by monitoring the occurrence of significant rotation. In addition, the research team discovered that when taking a document photo, the user tends to tilt the phone, just slightly, towards the user (called a “micro-tilt phenomenon”). While the tilting degree is very small?almost indistinguishable to the naked eye?these distinct behavioral cues are enough to train machine-learning models that can easily learn the patterns of gravity distributions across the phone. The team’s experimental results showed that their algorithms can accurately track phone orientation in document-capturing tasks at 93％ accuracy. Their approaches can be readily integrated into both Google Android and Apple iPhones. The key benefits of their proposals are that the correction software works only when the intent of photographing documents is detected, and that it can seamlessly work with existing orientation tracking methods without conflict. The research team even suggested a novel user interface for photographing documents. Just like with photocopiers, the capture interface overlays a document shape onto a viewfinder so that the user can easily double-check possible orientation errors. Professor Lee said, “Photographing documents is part of our daily activities, but orientation errors are so prevalent that many users have difficulties in viewing their documents on their phones without even knowing why such errors happen.” He added, “We can easily detect users’ intentions to photograph a document and automatically correct orientation changes. Our techniques not only eliminate any inconvenience with orientation errors, but also enable a range of novel applications specifically designed for document capturing.” This work, supported by the Korean Government (MSIP), was published online in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies in March 2017. In addition, their US patent application was granted in March 2017.
Winning Best in Theme Award in NASA RASC-AL
〈 KAIST team of the Department of Aerospace Engineering poses after winning the Best in Theme Award in NASA's RASC-AL) 〉 〈 Prof. Jaemyung Ahn 〉 A students team from the Department of Aerospace Engineering won the Best in Theme Award for moon exploration system design at Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL), an aerospace mission system design competition organized by NASA in the USA. The KAIST team, consisting of Jaeyoul Ko, Jongeun Suh, Juseong Lee, Sukmin Choi, and Eunkwang Lee, and supervised by Professor Jaemyung Ahn, competed as a joint team with Texas Tech University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, The joint team was selected as one of the 14 finalists after two preliminary rounds. The finals of RASC-AL Forum took place from May 30 to June 3 in Florida. The team received the top prize with their design entitled ‘Earth to Lunar Interchangeable Transportation Environment (ELITE) for Logistics Delivery Systems’, one of the four themes of the competition. Since 2002, RASC-AL competitions, managed by NASA, have been held with themes on innovative aerospace system and missions, in which world-class undergraduate and graduate students have participated. This year’s themes were ▲ Lightweight Exercise Suite ▲ Airlock Design ▲ Commercially Enabled LEO/Mars Habitable Module and ▲ Logistics Delivery System. Moon exploration requires a great deal of time and supplies. The KAIST team has been researching supply delivery systems in space for long-term manned moon exploration with their joint team for the last eight months. In particular, incidents can occur during the initial stages of long-term manned moon exploration missions that are unpredictable during system design and planning. Therefore, to cope with such unpredictability in the mission, the KAIST team deduced a system and an operational concept with increased flexibility to maximize the cost effectiveness of the supply transport. The spacecraft was divided into propulsion and transport modules based on their functionalities, and can allow the flexibility by switching the transport module according to the demands of the moon base. The operational flexibility and cost effectiveness are further increased by introducing multiple departure orbits from the Earth (e.g. low Earth orbit vs. geosynchronous Earth orbit) enabled by utilization of various launch vehicles. Professor Ahn, the advisor for the team, said, “I am proud of the students who collaborated with the international joint teams and achieved great result.” He continued, “I believe this to be the result of continuous efforts and initiatives of the department for system design-centered education. We will keep providing high-quality system design and education through various opportunities such as international cooperation in design education.”