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2016-11 14

[Academics]Architecture Over the Centuries

Professor Nam Sung-taek of the Department of Architecture holds his prime interest in the comprehensive theory of symphonizing diverse scales of artificial environmental design from a small-scaled objet—a French word meaning object, material, or thing—to a large-scaled city. In his paper, 'The Effect of Everyday Objects on Indoor Remodeling: Loos and Le Corbusier, 'Housing Professors' ', Nam minutely elucidated the relationship between objets and space, which all together contribute to the principles of architecture. He also accounted for the change of the roles of architects and the definition of architecture design as a result of the shift in production of goods from artisan’s craftsmanship to mass production in factories as industrialization took place in the 20th century. Shift in the Role of Architects ▲ Nam explains that an architect is not a form master but a housing professor. Up until the early 20th century, the idea of total art was dominant in the field of architecture. It is a system in which an architect designs not only the architecture itself but also what is contained within and stands around that construction, from the objets that relate to everyday life including spoons and chairs to the entire city at large. In other words, an architect used to design everything from an objet to the whole city, becoming a “form master” who created and designed small objets, spaces, and architectures that eventually expanded and came together to form a city. It was not only the buildings themselves that portray the architect’s work but also what is in the building and how the objets were put in place as well. This convention often emphasized the artistic work that regarded the whole city as one architect’s art work, giving rise to the concept of total art again. The architects who sought the ideals of total art were tossed with an insurmountable dilemma—whether to reject or accept the shift—as the industrialized city began producing things that could not be hand-made and that which were more readily accessible, suggesting an alternative option for the residents to design their own homes instead of entrusting the experts. In the face of such confusion, two architects who proposed a new notion at the time were Adolf Loos of Austria and Le Corbusier of Switzerland. The two architects embraced the on-going change and adjusted the principles of architecture accordingly, pioneering a concept called 'housing professor', which pointed out that architects are no longer form masters but teachers who educate people on residence and living: that is, training them how to select the appropriate objets for individual’s houses, rather than designing every little piece in a work. Their proposition allowed the residents to scheme their own houses by choosing objets that suited their taste and personality, creating what is like a personal 'museum' or 'gallery'. “I admire the two outstanding architects in many aspects. They did not simply encage themselves within the traditional boundaries of architecture and rejected external factors such as changes or surrounding environments but attentively examined all the potential influences around them that might have an impact on their work. Embracing and incorporating the on-going circumstance candidly was the key to permitting further improvements to breakthrough. To create every piece of a complete architecture from an objet at small to a city at large, the two architects observed and applied the outside forces into their architecture and did not hesitate to change their views if necessary,” noted Nam. Contemporary Architecture It was not so strange in the past for an individual to seek the help of an architect to design the doors and tables to be placed in their houses. However, industrialization pivoted this perspective, by letting individuals to freely choose and customize the designs of their houses. Consequently, the opposite is true today. people seldom desire guidance of architects and prefer to independently pick the objets and sketch their own rooms when it comes to architecture. On this note, with people having much interest in designing their residences, Nam hopes those interests connect to the study of architecture, which became too cultural to be solely considered as an academic branch nowadays. He hopes that architecture will mean something more than just a part of industry and highlight its cultural aspect which can be a crucial part in our history. ▲ Nam pinpointed that architecture is part of our culture and history. Jeon Chae-yun Photos by Choi Min-ju

2016-11 07

[Academics]Finding a Way to Develop Better Algorithms

Professor Koh Young-woo of the Department of Economics and Finance is an expert in the field of microeconomic theory, market design and mechanism design. His main research interest is relevant to studies of matching and auction theory. His recent paper, “Decentralized College Admissions” researched on decentralized college admissions with uncertain student preferences. Since schools strategically target students when students’ preferences of schools are unknown, a matching between colleges and students is often inefficient and unfair. Koh wrote the paper to detect unfairness in college admissions. “When colleges admit students every new year, they strategically accept some students who are possibly overlooked by other colleges, or competitors. When that happens, highly ranked students, who are better qualified in their scores, essays, or interviews perhaps, may receive fewer admissions or have a higher chance of receiving no admissions than those students who are ranked below,” explained Koh. In the paper, there are two colleges, each with its limited capacity of students they can admit, and a unit mass of students. Colleges make admission decisions based on two attributes of a student: a score that is common to all colleges, and a ‘fit’ that is college specific (essays, exams, or extra-curricular activities). Colleges rank students according to their scores and fits but they have no way to observe students’ preferences, which causes uncertainty. While such uncertainty leads to unfair outcomes, it also shows inefficient equilibrium as some colleges leave their seats unfilled although there are unmatched students who could have been welcomed by other colleges. “Thus, strategic targeting and biased admissions make the outcome also unfair in other dimensions. It creates what is called ‘justified envy’, when a mass of students are unable to enroll in their preferred schools because the schools are taking students who are ranked below them,” said Koh. To cope with such congestion, colleges employ additional measures like restricting the number of applications students can apply to or admitting students in sequence by putting them on the waiting list. However, it is hard to say that these additional measures eliminate aforementioned undesirable outcomes. Even when colleges make their waiting lists, it is hard to determine or expect which students will enroll as time is limited for the students to make their choices. The solution to this problem could be to centralize the matching through ‘deferred acceptance’. Deferred acceptance can be seen when students apply to high schools. It was actually devised and used in New York. Students report their preference orders to the clearing house, which then the information is used to simulate the following algorithm: at the first round, students apply to their most preferred schools, and the schools tentatively admit favorable students up to their capacities and reject the rest. The rejected students then apply to their second choice, and the schools reject lower-ranked students below their capacities. This process is repeated until no further applications are made. “More students are satisfied by this method, as more students and schools can find a better match for one another,” said Koh. Unfortunately, it is hard to expect a centralized admission in colleges as there are different qualifications schools want from students unlike high schools. Different and complex admissions are less likely to be perfectly merged into a single algorithm. “Thus, more research and studies have to be followed to develop a better algorithm to reduce unfairness, and to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the matches,” added Koh. “I think new ways of matching in many other circumstances like donating organs and allocating teachers in public schools can improve the outcomes better,” asserted Koh. “While the resources are limited and there are more people who want it, we can better utilize resources just by allocating with more efficiency, leaving more people satisfied as a result.” Koh will be researching further on matching. Its mechanisms is hoped to be applied to different circumstances in our society. Yun Ji-hyun Photos by Choi Min-ju

2016-11 01 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Professor Paik Un-gyu

Professor Paik Un-gyu of the Department of Energy Engineering is November's Researcher of the Month for his active role in exploring the field of energy engineering. Recently, he has led a research team in developing significant improvement of sodium-ion batteries (SIBs), explained in the paper, 'SB@C coaxial nanotubes as a superior long-life and high-rate anode for sodium ion batters'. This specific study focuses on ways to increase the efficiency of the sodium-ion battery, which can possibly replace the popular lithium-ion batteries. Paik spoke about his study as well as his experience as a professor. (Photo courtesy of Paik) “There are other excellent professors who deserve this honor for than me. Yet, I am still very thankful for it,” said Paik. “The research was about sodium-ion batteries, which is rarely known to the public. The main objective was to reduce problems and improve effectiveness of sodium-ion batteries to replace lithium-ion batteries in the future.” Currently, lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in various electronic devices including smartphones. However, the main problem of lithium-ion batteries is the cost of lithium itself. There are certain limits for the Korean government to secure enough lithium mines from overseas. Therefore, a more parallel, affordable solution is to replace lithium with sodium in making ion batteries. Similar to lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries have issues of rapid operating-capacity fading due to large volume expansion during sodiation. Sodiation is the process of using sodium for a battery. Smartphone batteries bubbling up like a balloon is an example of volume expansion in lithium-ion batteries. “To reduce volume expansion, we tuned the morphology and structure at the nanoscale using carbonaceous materials as the buffer layer,” explained Paik. “Hence, a carbon-coating with a thermal reduction strategy was developed to create a unique tube-like structure, known as Sb@C coaxial nanotubes.” In other words, the hollow space within the specially-created tube can make space available for the accommodation of volume expansion. Another way to increase sodium-ion batteries' efficiency is to improve the charge and discharge system. The charging speed of a battery depends on electron conduction; how fast electrons move within its electric field. Carbon-coated nanotube, a conduction material, allows the conduction of electrons to quicken and enables diffusion to take place, making both sides of the tubes accessible for the charging system. Therefore, by reducing the risk of volume expansion and enhancing the charge system, sodium-ion batteries can be applicable in replacing lithium-ion batteries. The nanotube enhances the quality of sodium-ion batteries. (Photo courtesy of RSC Publisher) Other than this specific study, Paik has contributed immensely in researching applicable, practical studies of nanoparticles and nanodevices used in semiconductors. Most of his studies focus on what can be done to improve technology by working with industries in various sectors. “I personally believe that the reason why I am a researcher is to find practical ways to help the society. The fundamental studies are also important, but I tend to use the basic principles to apply them to real and effective technology,” said Paik. His passion for energy engineering has led him to become one of the professors to have published the most research papers at Hanyang University. Like his accomplishment in energy engineering research, Paik emphasized the need for passion for students who strive for success. “Today, we are facing a more skill-intensified society where work requires advanced expertise in an area. As learners, students must have passion for studying,” said Paik. “Even though the society is rapidly changing at each moment, if students take consistent steps through learning, it can be a strong benefit for them once they have amassed required knowledge.” As a professor, Paik has guided many students in taking the same steps that he himself has gone through for the past 24 years of learning and researching. “In science, understanding the boundaries of each important experiment is necessary, which must be overcome to produce an outcome. Likewise, I hope my role as a professor can assist students to overcome those limitations.” As a professor, Paik guides students to strive for success. (Photo courtesy of Paik) Park Min-young

2016-10 24

[Academics]Buddha-in-Eye Community, Utopian Solution for Contemporary Society

Professor Lee Do-heum of the Department of Korean Language and Literature is interested in finding solutions to problems in the current society by comparing and contrasting Eastern and Western philosophy and Buddhism. He is the chairman of an alternative university established by the Knowledge Circulation Cooperation Association, was an editor for the Buddhism Review, and the head of HYU Research Institute for Korean Studies until 2008. His paper, “Buddhist Countermeasure against Obstacles to Sustainable Development”, explains how to solve environmental and economic crises of the modern day with Buddhistic solutions. The paper was presented at the 2016 Asia Youth Academy and Asian Theology forum held on August 24th this year, which drew in scholars from 14 nations. Professor Lee is interested in finding solutions for problems of the modern society by observing philosophical thoughts of the East and West, including Buddhism. “Today's environmental crisis is severe enough to render all of human civilization extinct. 38% of life on Earth has already diminished, and there are approximately 1.8 billion who are starving to death, or are in desperate need of clean water.” According to Lee, if societies continue as they are, the world would be at the verge of dystopia or might not exist altogether by the 22th and 23th century. Lee says that the core reason for these issues is capitalism, and that coming up with a new form of societal order is the responsibility of every human being. “The fundamental obstacle that prevents sustainable development is capitalism. Capitalistic societies do not have respect toward humans, life or ecology. Every value is converted to money.” According to Lee, mud flats are destroyed to secure more lands and develop constructions, eliminating living things and thus destroying nature. A criminal can kill a woman, a wife and a mother of two children, for 150,000 won, with no consideration for her family or friends. Lee said that capitalism could not last long, pointing out that the earned gains, which stood at 46% in the year 1869, is now greatly reduced to 5%. In addition, government debts have exceeded GDP at present. As a solution for the problems caused by capitalism, Lee suggested his own idea of society, named 'Buddha-in-eye community'. Buddha-in-eye community is a world that breaks the law of competition. Individuals find freedom by aiding others, reach self-realization by laboring, and reform by performing ascetism. Buddha-in-eye means that we acknowledge people's differences by looking into one another's eyes. Accepting discrepancy for coexistence is very important in order to prevent evil and the violence that occur due to reinforcements for conformity. Lee referred to the Nazis' hate speech, which brainwashed Germans to oppress the Jews, as a corresponding example that intensifies the idea of extreme 'oneness'. This led to tragedies such as the Holocaust. When one is aware and receptive of diversity among people, one should sympathize with others’ pain with love and mercy and try to help one another. Lee believes that all humans possess the nature of Buddhahood, which allows them to form a moral society by cooperating towards ethical development- not only for individuals but for entire communities. “Buddha-in-eye community is operated through a system of shared economy. For instance, if a design corporation needs more energy, the company would receive it via a control tower from where the leftover energy is. Then the company may offer a design program to where it was granted energy- like a barter economy.” Lee also gave real-life examples of Buddha-in-eye community. Sungshimdang, a famous bakery in Daejeon for its fabulous taste and its hearty business culture, donates 3,000 loaves of bread to 150 places and pays employees only 15% of its profits. Currently, Lee is trying to apply this concept to the real world by establishing an alternative university in 2015, located in Eunpyung-gu, Seoul, to allow students to learn the spirit of cooperation and sympathy in political, economic, cultural, and social aspects. Professor Lee believes that we are able to develop an ideal society where coexistence and fair allocation prevail. Lee is planning to continue developing ideas that merge philosophical thoughts of the East and West, and actualizing beliefs by putting his ideas to practice in the local society even after his retirement. Coming up with ideas that deal with environmental and economic problems of the modern society, participating in social movements, and instituting alternative universities are his plans. “Some say my ideas are great but difficult to materialize in reality. Even so, consider the fact that in the 18th century, it was preposterous to think that every man should be treated equally.” Lee believes that if an idea is legitimate, it has the potential to be fulfilled. Ideal dreams and limitations of reality coexist. Perceiving the confines of reality and suggesting the kind of utopia that fits in with the situation at hand is needed for the creation of a better society. Jang Soo-hyun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2016-10 03

[Academics]How Students Engage in Class

Professor Jang Hyung-shim of the Department of Education recently published a paper titled “Why students become more engaged or more disengaged during the semester: A self-determination theory dual process model.” She was consequently nominated as Researcher of the Month at HYU. Professor Jang's achievement lies in understanding the motivational processes of student learning and how it is affected by social contexts. More specifically, the research focuses on the relationship between instructors’ motivation styles and students’ functioning abilities in the classroom. Jang, an experienced expert in the specific field of study, spoke about the cause-and-effect relationship between the two subjects. Instructors, specifically school teachers, play a crucial role in student behavior and participation in academics. There is a common understanding, based on past studies, that if the instructor is more authoritative, teaching based on strict rules and procedures, student involvement in class decreases. In contrast, if the instructor provides more autonomous support in education, then students tend to be more engaged in class. The autonomous teaching method emphasizes freedom in a classroom, allowing creativity and critical thinking to flourish. Thus, in this specific study, Jang proposed a new perspective, a dual process model, in the existing self-determination theory. Guiding Jang’s research as a theoretical base, self-determination theory explains how students learning through self-motivated or autonomous learning increases their engagement in class. “The special finding in this research is in the dual process model. We have found out that for an individual student and an instructor, there are two ways in which they are affected by each other,” explained Jang. “For example, students’ engagement in learning can be explained by their experience of week-to-week gains in their need satisfaction guided by the instructor.” In short, the need satisfaction concerning a single student is achieved through autonomous support of instructors. Need frustration or disengagement, on the other hand, is the result of an authoritative instructor. Thus, the dual process within an individual student is shown, totally influenced by social context, which is the relationship with the instructor. Jang is an expert in education who has published numerous papers on improving the education system. Moreover, the findings confirm the existence of reciprocal causality in the classroom. “The reciprocal relation between authoritative teaching and student disengagement is quite strong, as controlling teachers lead to disengaged students and disengaged students lead to controlling teachers,” said Jang. “The reciprocal relation between autonomy-supportive teaching and student engagement is there, but is less strong.” This interesting relationship between students and teachers demonstrates the intertwined roles that influence each other either positively or negatively. “The research was completed using a three-wave longitudinal research with 366 high school students in Seoul participating. A questionnaire was given to each them three times at different points throughout the semester,” said Jang. The questions included a statement of consent, measures to assess the need satisfaction and need frustration, as well as autonomy support and teacher control. After the second stage of data analysis, the results showed the current finding based on the information collected. Jang believes that the results of this study has a lot to offer to both the students and teachers. “The teachers must improve styles of motivation based on two distinct skills. One of them is to have more supportive autonomy and the other is to be less controlling. Also, students must realize that classroom disengagement affects teachers’ motivating style toward them, and this is a rather strong effect,” said Jang. “So if your teacher is oppressive toward you, one reason may be because you are manifesting strong disengagement.” Thanks to the effort of researchers like Jang, necessary improvements continue to proceed in the Korean education system. In that sense, Hanyang University also stands as a leading global institution that is open to change and reform. This study will guide the Korean educational system towards a new transformation. Park Min-young Photos by Choi Min-ju

2016-09 24

[Academics]How WW2 Victory Affected Postwar American Drama

▲ Professor Lee Hyung-seob Professor Lee Hyung-seob of the Department of English Language and Literature is a professor who specializes in Irish and modern drama, with ongoing interest on postwar American literature and film studies. Lee received an award from the American studies association in Korea for best research paper in 2012, and is the vice president of Literature and Film Association of Korea, participating in many domestic and international conferences. His paper, “Ethical Contours of the (Sub)urban Space-Time Relationship in the Early Postwar American Drama”, explains how the spirit of the times can influence the form of literary works, by focusing on the immediate postwar era in America. The aftermath of WW2 led to an immense change in the societies and economies of its victors and losers. This reality after the war impacted the worldview of each nation’s people. Differences in the perspective of individuals around the world led to the distinctions of each country’s literature as well. Unlike most researchers who focused on the content of literature, Lee believed that there could be certain relationships between the ethicality of literature and its form. As a drama specialist, he explored this on four well-known plays of postwar period of America, which are: Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (1947) and Death of a Salesman (1949), and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and The Glass Menagerie (1944). ▲Lee observed four major works in the immediate postwar era of America: Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie(1944) (top left), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) (top right), and Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (1947) (bottom left) and Death of a Salesman (1949) (bottom right) Photo courtesy of Lee Hyung-seob According to Lee, contrastingly to Europe, America became the superpower among all nations after WW2. “Postwar America was self-confident. America’s own national identity and consciousness were full of pride and glory. They were not only victors in terms of war, but they were economically rich, and became the greatest power of our civilization,” Lee said. This confidence naturally led Americans to believe that they could fully understand the world. Such pride was the reason why American literature represented a variety of human experiences in every corner. “The victory achieved in WW2 became the spirit of the times, forming the basis of American realism in art and literature. Realism is the faithful representation of the world. The success of WW2 made America reality-oriented in its art and literature.” However, Lee pointed out that realism in American art and literature made certain limitations in its literary form and ethical considerations. “Realism may offer a very strong or powerful ethical message, but at the same time it limits the form of literature or art itself. The strict adherence to realistic form can also limit ethical potential,” Lee clarified. Modern society, which is depicted by realistic drama, does not allow a variety of ways of living that may raise diverse ethical questions, mainly due to people’s obsession of success. Due to those reasons, this kind of restriction in form or ethical limitation is also shown in postwar American drama. For example, plays by Miller and Williams are specifically on the teleological aspect of dramatic action. The term “telos” means a goal-oriented action. The action begins and moves forward in time towards a certain objective. In this sense, the whole action seems too linear and planned. The concept of time is not unidirectional; we dream, regret, desire and reminisce. The constant forward movement that the plays depicted limits the potential of showing the vision of human beings, and there comes the limits of ethical questions, such as success-centered lives of the modern times. Lee is currently writing a thesis that is a sequel to his paper of early postwar American drama. He is to present the paper in the upcoming international conference at the end of September. The paper will be on Edward Albee, a playwright of a generation after Williams and Miller. Lee tries to analyze his plays and find differences in the perception of time-space between him and the immediate postwar American playwrights. According to Lee, Albee is the only American dramatist of the ‘theater of the absurd’, which is focused on the idea of existentialism and quite different from the immediate postwar plays of conservative reality. Lee said, “Even though I specialize in foreign literature, I don’t want to imitate others’ work, or follow their steps. I want to make my own contribution. I want to be a ‘Korean’ scholar who studies English.” Lee’s single most important goal as a scholar is to somehow broaden and establish the interdisciplinary studies, especially Irish studies. He is interested in Irish literature because he believes there are certain similarities between Korea and Irish history such as, they share a sad history of national division. Lee said, “Perhaps my interest in Ireland is a way of trying to understand myself and the Korean people.” ▲Lee aspires to be an English professor with a Korean identity. Jang Soo-hyun Photos by Choi Min-ju