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2018-05 28

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Efficient and Aesthetic Hybrid Solar Cells

Professor Ko Min-jae recently made the cover article of Advanced Energy Materials with “Room-Temperature Vapor Deposition of Cobalt Nitride Nanofilms for Mesoscopic and Perovskite Solar Cells.” The research Ko has been conducting since 2008 deals with the hybrid solar cell, which is more flexible, lighter and more versatile than conventional silicon solar panels. The article focuses on Ko and his research team's development of a power conversion efficient nanofilm made of cobalt nitride (CoN). As it can be dye-sensitized and bent freely, Ko proposes that this material can be applied on flexible and wearable devices in the future, at an affordable cost. “If we use CoN nanofilms, electricity can be generated from everyday devices and objects, not only from thermoelectric or nuclear power plants. By utilizing natural renewable energy, the human race can develop sustainably, and that is very important,” Ko mentioned in the interview. The new finding can also generate power from weak lights such as the sun on a cloudy day or even from indoor fluorescent lights. The reason behind the reduced cost is the simple production process. Conventional silicon solar panels require special devices to assemble, which are big and expensive. Finding the right combination of substances that induce stable synergy is the hardest part and the reason Ko’s lab is one of the leaders in the solar power field. Ko mentioned, “Idea is the key, and it is wonderful that I can see if the idea works or not in two days.” It is predicted that the CoN nanofilm will be commercialized in five years. "Fighting!" Ko and his students are posing and assuring their will to work hard. From the left, Yoo Yong-suk (Chemical Engineering, Master's program), Ko Min-jae and Kim Dong-hwan (Chemical Engineering, 4th year). Kim So-yun dash070@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-05 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Heading for the World of New Physics

The field of physics is largely divided into three categories: particle, optics, and condensed matter physics. Especially in the field of particle physics, the Standard Model is a theory that explains almost every phenomenon in the universe. However, how would you feel if something that you’ve been trusting for the last 50 years turned out to be wrong? Professor Cheon Byung-gu (Department of Physics), is trying to solve this question through his new research project titled "Study of Heavy Flavor Physics using e+ e- Collision." News H met Cheon Byung-gu (Department of Physics) to hear more about New Physics. The Standard Model is a theory describing three of the four fundamental forces in the universe, which are the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, not including the gravitational force, along with classifying all known elementary particles This has been believed to be consistent due to successfully providing all experimental predictions, but leaves certain phenomena, such as dark matter and dark energy, unexplained. Therefore, this signifies there is a certain particle that has not yet been discovered and yet must be in existence. Cheon, therefore, is developing and planning to proceed with research through a Belle Ⅱ experiment, to search for this very particle. Cheon proceeds with his experiment through colliding an electron and a positron together to uncover a new particle through rare decay events. They are so extremely small that making these two particles collide is extremely difficult; therefore, it can only be done using special vehicles, the SuperKEKB collider and the Belle Ⅱ detector, which is a kind of microscope capable of seeing objects smaller than a nucleus. Once these new particles are discovered, they could provide the foundation for a novel theory named New Physics, beyond the Standard Model. An image of an electron and a positron colliding, making an occurance of new particles seen as blue lines. (Photo courtesy of Cheon) The Super KEKB shoots countless electrons from one side and positrons from the other side, providing an instantaneous luminosity 40 times higher than that of the previous KEKB collider. Then the Belle Ⅱ detector identifies the particles, using seven kinds of sub-detector systems, including a calorimeter trigger system, that selects events that are valuable enough to investigate further. The researchers could have better sorted sets of events to analyze through this detector at real time operation, which Hanyang University group is leading its own independent line. Cheon’s final goal is to find a New Physics phenomenon beyond the current Standard Model through the Belle Ⅱ. These physical studies might not look like something that could directly be connected to everyday life. However, much of our abundant technology in our life has its foundation in physics. “Medical technological skills such as X-ray, CT, and PET detectors all started with knowledge of physics. In the field of physics, new discoveries and new acknowledgements contribute to the mental wealth of humankind,” said Cheon. "Don't be afraid to show your abilities as a world leader!" Cheon is currently working not only as a researcher, but also continues his lectures and manages academic affairs as the dean of the Department of Physics. He has online meetings with researchers in Japan every week to continue his research, trying to let his students improve to be talented people who can contribute to society. “I wish to provide my students with an environment where they can work with foreign researchers. I hope all Hanyangians in the 21st century will also be willing to look not only at Korea, but to the whole world.” On Jung-yun jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-05 10

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Weaving Technology into the Fibers of Our Lives

The development of smart technology has brought forth a spectacular display of new products in recent years. Under the common label "smart," smartphones, smartwatches, smart homes and other technology used to gather, process, and analyze massive amounts of data have now seeped into some of the most critical parts of our daily lives. In fact, the only limit on the ways of utilizing this technology is our imaginations. In this sense, Professor Bae Ji-hyun (Department of Clothing and Textiles) has made a new attempt to tear down another wall between smart technology and an essential component of our lives: clothing. Introducing the clothes of the future In essence, Bae’s research is an adaptation of wearable devices. Specifically, she aims to introduce electronic devices to our everyday clothing. Among a diverse array of available options, this research targets the field of healthcare. The idea is that by planting electronic devices in our clothes, we can codify data such as bio-signals, physical movements, or even environmental changes to monitor our health status. Generally speaking, clothing and electronic devices intuitively dawn on us as two very disparate domains. This probably has to do with the nature of clothing, which necessitates regular washing, as well as the imaginable discomfort of having metallic devices attached to our clothes. So how does Bae plan to overcome this fixation? The secret is in the fabric. Bae Ji-hyun (Department of Clothing and Textiles) uses a prototype glove to give an explanation of her research. The functional fibers in the glove allow movements to be detected and transmitted in the form of electrical signals. In the big picture of introducing electronic devices to clothing, Bae’s specific area of research is the development of functional fibers that can act as sensors. Furthermore, she has to design the textile organization in a way that allows it to be woven into a wearable form. By endowing fiber, the most basic unit of clothing, with the ability to react to stimuli such as light, movement, and temperature, we could use clothing to transmit, store, and analyze a variety of changes. According to Bae, the most prominent method to enable this function is by mixing conductive macromolecule particles or nano-particles in the process of weaving the fiber strands. Another common method is to coat ordinary thread, such as nylon or silk, with functional substances. Although Bae’s research is only in its initial stage, the projected benefits of the study raise great anticipation. For one, it will bring an immense improvement to the quality of healthcare for the elderly. This is especially timely considering the growth of the elderly population in our society. Not only will smart clothes reduce the cost of healthcare for retired citizens, it will provide higher efficiency by constantly monitoring and diagnosing the state of the wearer. It can also be used to service the disadvantaged such as the monitoring of infants or people with disabilities. Bae also expressed the hope of adapting this new technology to assist the activities of people working under dangerous conditions, such as soldiers or fire fighters, to improve their safety. As previously mentioned, the ways in which the technology can be used is only limited by our imaginations. (a) The sensor part of the glove woven with conductive fiber (b) The change of resistance value following the movement of the finger (c) Demonstration of a sign language detection system using the conductive-fiber based glove (Photo courtesy of Bae) The background story It has only been a year since Bae was recruited as a professor at Hanyang University. Prior to the position as a professor, she worked at an electronics company. Having earned her degree in textile engineering, Bae became immersed in the relationship between textiles and electronic technology while working at the firm. “Once I saw the connection, there were so many possibilities that became obvious to me," answered Bae. Through her previous firm, she was able to participate in a government project to develop wearable devices, providing her with an insight into the prospect of the technology. According to Bae, the hardest part of her research so far has been the novelty of the field. As is true in the case of most technologies these days, her research requires extensive collaboration with other fields. For the immediate research of smart clothes, the fields of electronic engineering and textiles are crucial. Furthermore, as the target of her research is the field of healthcare, some medical insight is also required. Other than that, convergence with a wide scope of academic fields is necessary in order to consider the subsidiary details of the research, such as the environmental impact of the product or the economic costs of commercializing the technology. However, a lack of public interest in the field makes it difficult for Bae to secure opportunities for cooperation with other fields. Although most of Bae's existing joint research projects are done through external networks, she hopes that internal convergence studies at Hanyang will also take place soon. Efforts as an educator Despite the difficulties of her research, Bae confessed that the hardest part of her job is teaching students. As she had no prior experience of interacting with pupils, she devotes a significant amount of her hours to understanding the needs of her students. “I believe that my current priority is to figure out how to be a good professor to my students,” added Bae. Bae wants to encourage students to maintain an open attitude when communicating with others. “Even in joint research, you need to have respect for others’ expertise in their respective fields, as well as an open mind to approach a common problem from diverse directions.” Bae argued that the same holds true for human interaction, which is an important lesson to take to heart when entering society. In the end, she believes that the synergy created from interactions and convergence is what provides us with the momentum to grow. Lee Chang-hyun pizz1125@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-04 30 Headline News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Applying Terahertz to Weld-Line Detection

The weld-line among moulding injected plastic products have long presented a challenge in the production of plastic. Destruction of a specific plastic product has been considered necessary in the process of examining any existing weld-lines within the material. However, based on his newly released paper "Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy of weld-line defects formed during an injection moulding process," Kim Hak-sung (Mechanical Engineering) has coined the concept of applying terahertz radiation in this examination process. Based upon the terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS), Kim has introduced a novel method of detecting weld-lines among moulding injected plastic products in a nondestructive manner. The THz-TDS technique In order to understand the THz-TDS system, one must become familiar with the actual concept of terahertz. Terahertz refers to a frequency unit of electromagnetic waves, counting up to one trillion cycles per second. Its long microwaves and wavelengths provide it a high permeability which allows terahertz to surpass materials other than metal. This high permeability leads to the THz-TDS, a spectroscopic technique in which the properties of matter are examined through different phases of terahertz radiation. In short, when shot at a specific target, the phases of terahertz radiation differ while surpassing different materials. Professor Kim Hak-sung (Mechanical Engineering) explained the benefits of terahertz radiation and how it can be applied to more practical fields. Although THz-TDS was an already-existing technique, it was Kim who applied it to the more practical field of finding weld-lines among plastic products. Weld-lines are lines that occur around areas where two flow fronts meet, yet are unstably "welded" together in the moulding process. These weld-lines cause weak areas among the moulded part, which may lead to a breakage of the product when the part is under pressure. Until now, the inevitable destruction of the whole product has been regarded as the only method of scrutinizing the existence of weld-lines. However, Kim has introduced a new method, which allows the weld-lines to be detected without breakage. Applying THz-TDS to weld-line detection As mentioned above, different phases of terahertz radiation occur when surpassing different materials. This variation of phases allows one to determine the specific material that the terahertz radiation is currently transcending through. Thus, when shooting terahertz radiation at moulding injected plastic products, the distinctions that occur among phases would be the areas where weld-lines, different layers than other parts of the product, are detected. This would eliminate the necessity of the current destructive weld-line determination process, as simply shooting terahertz radiation at the plastic products enables the investigation method to be possible without any force input. The phases of terahertz radiation differ according to the existence of weld-lines, which allows the detection of such weld-lines within plastic products. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim implemented a scanning method when conducting experiments to prove his theory. While attaching a mirror to the terahertz radiation, he moved the specimens according to their reflections. In order to make the reflections happen, the mirror was given a metalized-coating, considering the fact that terahertz surpasses all materials but metal. He managed to make a reflective-equipment that made the reflections occur on a much faster period, which allowed him to gather more results in a shorter time. According to Kim, the equipment is in its initial stage, yet developments are still being made towards totally eliminating minor errors. Hardships and future plans Despite achieving striking results, Kim also had hardships while conducting his research. Kim is a professor in the department of mechanical engineering, whereas terahertz research is related to the field of electronic engineering. Conducting research in a totally different field irrelevant to his major resulted in Kim having to look into two completely distinctive areas. However, he continued his research with only his students, without engaging in any form of joint research with others from departments in more closely-related fields. Oh Gyung-hwan, one of Kim's student assistants and co-leaders of this research, and Kim (left and right) commented on the importance of one finding his or her own reasons for conducting research and remarked that they want to help students find such causes. Such thought may result from Kim’s belief that research must be conducted in a positive manner. Kim mentioned, “I want my students to find their own reasons of pursuing specific research, while being proud of their achievements at the same time." He also added that this research was also conducted worldwide, and hence, his students should be proud of the significant results their global research. As for his future plans, Kim declaimed, “Despite my hardships in this study, I would like to do more research in a variety of other fields, while maintaining a firm stance within my major of mechanical engineering.” Choi Seo-yong tjdyd1@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2018-04 02

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Controlling Hydrogen in a Chemical

During the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Hyundai allowed free trial rides of NEXO, their new fuel cell vehicle, to twenty thousand people, deriving huge attention and public interest on the new innovation of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. A total of 733 vehicles were reserved on the 19th of March which was the first day of sale by pre-order. This attention to fuel cell vehicles has also increased the interest in the methods the consumers can receive their fuel: hydrogen. Professor Suh Young-woong (Department of Chemical Engineering) introduced a novel method of the transfer of hydrogen through his research, "2- (N-Methylbenzyl) pyridine: A Potential Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier with Fast H2 Release and Stable Activity in Consecutive Cycles." Suh's research paper was published in the ChemSusChem journal. Hydrogen is the main fuel cars like NEXO require in order to run. However, researchers face an immense difficulty when working with this sensitive gas. Hydrogen is great when powering the car itself. However, the transport of this gas requires much pressure and delicacy. For example, if hydrogen is made in Ulsan, it needs to be transported to major cities such as Seoul, since people will need to charge their cars. In order to transport this hydrogen, the gas needs to be pressured under 700 bars (the unit of measuring pressure), with specially produced tanks. This presents the danger of enormous explosion as well as economic problems. Collaborating with three other universities to alleviate these current concerns, Suh helped introduce a new chemical substance that can store and release hydrogen safely. This new chemical material allows hydrogen to inflow and release within itself at a certain temperature. This results in a massive improvement over the current status as it can transport much more hydrogen in a single tank, with much more safety. Moreover, they can release hydrogen from the chemical at 230 degrees Celsius, while the present technology requires a temperature of 270 degrees Celsius. This chemical material can even be reused up to a hundred times, which even makes it more efficient. The image of the new chemical structure The two arrows are showing the inflow and the release of Hydrogen. (Photo courtesy of Suh) This research took each of the three teams one and a half years to finish. They had to go through endless trial and error procedures with seven different chemicals. “There wasn't any preliminary research we could have referenced. Some chemicals didn't work, and some chemicals would work but released hydrogen at the same 270 degrees Celsius,” reminisced Suh. As a result of their efforts, Suh was able to find a method that could inpour and discharge hydrogen from the chemical. This chemical is not yet fully developed in its validity. However, this is the closet chemical that is on the verge of commercialization. "Communicate with a lot of people and practice reading and writing!" Suh is currently researching not only the storage of hydrogen, but the creation of hydrogen itself. His research team is working on producing hydrogen from biomass, which is organic matter whose residual energy can be harvested to produce consumable energy. He is trying his best to develop technology related to hydrogen, an alternative fuel the whole world is anticipating. “As a professor, I want to produce a lot of outstanding researchers to conduct better research in society,” said Suh. “And to all Hanyangians, I wish for each and every one of you to find your own unique path and to fully dedicated yourself to it!” On Jung-yun jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-03 05

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] The Result of a Small Curiosity

For centuries, cancer has been mankind’s mulish enemy that has taken away countless lives. Scientists and researchers are unceasingly putting effort into developing a cure for cancer, including Choi Je-min (Department of Life Science) who recently paved another road to effectively treating cancer in his paper “Regulation of chitinase-3-like-1 in T cell elicits Th1 and cytotoxic responses to inhibit lung metastasis.” First, starting his research from a small curiosity for a certain component in our cell called chitinase, Choi unveiled the secret related to the immune system for cancer and accomplished the first step of creating a drug for the disease. "My research began from the question 'why?'" Chitin may sound familiar due to its presence in the exoskeletons of arthropods such as crabs, lobsters, and shrimps and some insects and molluscs. A derivative of the word is chitinase, which is a component that reshapes or dissolves and digests chitin for animals. Such a component also exists in the human body, which has no specific function of its own. Knowing this fact, Choi was eager to find out why it still exists in our body and what it does. Without a function, the component lost its name and has come to be called ‘chitinase-3-like-1.’ “If it is completely useless, why do we have it? When such a question arises, we biologists experiment in one of two ways: remove it or increase its amount. In this case, I decided to remove it to see what happens in the testing mouse. Since chitinase is used to protect the body in plants, I guessed that it would have something to do with our immune system.” After removing the component from the mouse, Choi’s discovery was surprising. The type of cell called T cell which plays a key role in cell-mediated immunity, specifically Th1 and CTL, were greatly activated. In other words, chitinase-3-like-1 were acting as the deactivator of the T cells, which play a central role in battling cancer. Choi had two model mice in his experiment, one with the component and the other without it. He inserted cancer cells in both mice and compared the outcome. Expectedly, the mouse without the component showed much lower development of cancer while the other showed the opposite. This means by removing chitinase-3-like-1, which allows the T cells to be activated, immunity for cancer considerably increases. “The experiment let me figure out that if chitinase-3-like-1 are removed from our body, it could work as an excellent anticancer treatment.” Quenchingly, his question was answered by the result of his experiment. Choi and his students are conducting their research on chitinase-3-like-1. Based on his finding, Choi took another step to develop an anticancer drug. Since it is impossible to remove DNA from the human body, there had to be another way to remove the component from our body. Therefore, he went ahead and worked to create a drug that restrains the chitinase-3-like-1-creating DNA from producing more of the component. With a technique called RNA-interference which removes the undesired or mutated RNA in the body, Choi targeted the chitinase-3-like-1 RNA after converting it to RNA from DNA and attempted to remove the undesired component to increase cancer immunity. Using a technique called peptide-based drug delivery, Choi attached the RNA version of the component with peptide bonds in the drug and aimed to spread the medicament throughout the body. This resulted in deactivation of the chitinase-3-like-1-creating DNA and thus an escalation of cancer immunity. “Although it could take about a decade before this drug becomes commercialized and widely used, it could be a breakthrough once it does. The underlying prinicple of my research is always to produce a useful outcome that could actually be put into use and not just end in the lab. I could say that our establishment philosophy ‘Love in deed’ fits well with my goal,” smiled Choi. He emphasized that it is always important to sometimes question the basic things, even the things that are already proven to be a fact. Through his research and experiments, Choi wants to discover more unknown facts. Choi will continue his research to experiment with cells and create more drugs to be used practically. "'Love in deed' in the laboratory!" Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hayang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2018-01 31

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Producing Energy by Wearing Clothes

Clothes that create electricity is not something in a movie anymore. In the midst of searching for various renewable energy, Professor Hong Jin-pyo (Department of Physics) created a new energy source that is created through friction in a single thread, as demonstrated in his research, ‘Hierarchically Nanostructured 1D Conductive Bundle Yarn-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerators.’ Hong conducted his research on energy-producing threads. When designing a wearable device, people generally think of light and slim devices attached on one’s clothes or body, usually charged by a solar heat system. This is referred as a two-dimension technology, as an object is placed upon another object. This does have its own benefits but also contains deficits such as weight and energy sources. Therefore, Hong created a one-dimension energy source – a thread that is used when weaving clothes. “Once a material is attached to clothing, the efficiency lacks uniformity,” explained Hong. He invented a thread that can produce energy itself, without having to attach anything onto a particular piece of clothing. The threads that make up the clothing could create energy itself. This thread, also named as a ‘triboelectric nanogenerator’, is a structure made from the notion of friction that we experience in our daily lives. For example, when we rub a balloon to our hair, friction occurs, resulting in a form of spiky hair. This phenomenon occurs when an electron is moved from one object to another, when these two objects continuously collide with each other. Depending on the characteristics of an object, one object would lose electrons and the other would gain electrons, meaning some sort of slight energy is formed. In this thread, polymer and aluminum are used; the former collects the electrons and the latter releases the electrons. Therefore, once the body wearing the clothing weaved from this thread moves, energy is created. The microscophic strucuture of a thread. (Photo courtesy of Hong) This triboelectric nanogenerator is still in the midst of its research. As this thread is extremely thin, Hong’s research team created a conductive bundle yarn so that they could have more strength. Moreover, he attached polymer-like nanostructures onto a single thread, so that the thread could have an increased surface area of energy production. Once energy is created through a larger surface area, bigger energy could be created within a single thread. This whole process is also known as a tribo electric effect. This one-dimension thread has a bright future in front of them, as technology closer to human are fondly being conducted on. “Once a sensor could be attached onto the thread, even more tasks could be done. This sensor could send whatever information they require to the owner’s smartphone, once the sensor adapts a Bluetooth function,” commented Hong, when asked about the future of this invention. He wished that this function would be able to let citizens to have control of their IoT (Internet of Things, a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, object, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers) through their energy producing clothes. "Keep trying! No matter what!" As Hong has not majored in clothing and textiles, he is not yet an expert of clothing, but has not been afraid of pioneering this area. “I had been proceeding my research in semiconductors at first. As new technologies evolved, I believed it was important to keep up with these changes to improve what I have been initially doing,” reminisced Hong. As he had achieved an unexpected success through his passion, he also gave the same advice to all Hanyangians. “Don’t make excuses. What really matters is whether you tried your best or not. I wish all of you can improve yourself through endless challenges!” On Jung-yun jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju and Lee Jin-myung

2018-01 08

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Big Data and the Key to Handling Them

In the society where social networking is becoming more and more inseparable from people, an ever-increasing number of users are getting involved. As a consequence, the ocean of big data in corresponding area is expanding its capacity, and there has been a need to efficiently analyze and organize the data. In his Big Data Science Laboratory, Kim Sang-wook (Department of Computer Science) has been continuously researching the topic. In his recent paper “High-performance graph data processing on a single machine,” Kim has proposed a method to increase the performance of data processing and to efficiently arrange the mass of data. A graph or a network is a complex arrangement of nods and edges, which are the components of an online world such as its users and webpages and the relationships they have, respectively. In a social network, for example, each user will be labeled as a nod and the relationships that users have with other users or webpages will be marked as edges. “Where could this graph be used? Numerous types of data could be modeled in the form of this graph. For example, Facebook users and their friends, bloggers and their neighbors, and the recommender system of search engines such as Youtube, Amazon and more are all related to the graph of nods and edges.” Depending on who views what how many times or which page receives the most views, weights could be added onto the edge between the user and the page, zooming out of which will form a complex web of a graph. Big data is usually calculated in a matrix, the process which is made more efficient by Kim. (Photo courtesy of Kim) How Kim made the graph data processing more efficient is by creating three constructive approaches. First, he made matrix multiplication of data simpler and easier by balancing the load over each thread blocks of the matrix. When there is a poor balancing of load input in each row of the matrix, the multiplication process could take a long time and the performance might not be excellent. With the balanced threads of the matrix, however, even distribution of workloads would resolve this problem and it would be much less time-consuming compared to the previous method. Second, Kim created a graph engine, which is a storing software that handles data in a productive manner. In order to analyze a graph, the data must be saved in a disc first. In doing so, the tool that helps the disc to save the data more efficiently is the graph engine, which Kim proposed in his paper. “The strength of our laboratory is that we research on two aspects of data. By researching the performance-wise aspect of the data and also the analytical aspect, we leave no chance of missing a single detail of matter.” Thirdly, Kim introduced a placement algorithm that could simplify the arrangement of nods in a graph engine. Previously, when a graph undergoes a process of analysis in a graph engine, the data was put in the exact same order as it entered. Clusters of irrelevant nods could cause a delay in the data processing, which Kim solved by discovering that by sorting the nods of similar traits together, the overall performance of graph processing could show a big difference. With the same data, different outcomes could be derived by finding out the advantageous groupings of nods. With his current research of graph engine and graph modeling, he could use them as stepping stones to move onto his next research. Kim’s future research is directed toward community detection and recommender systems. With the modeled graph of data, analysis of the data could easily be made and the members of a social community with similar interests could conveniently be detected. On a similar note, a recommender system could be improved by analyzing what a user likes, clicks, views, buys, or prefers with the graph: a more accurate recommender system could be developed. With the building blocks he has worked on, Kim will be building on more as he carries on his future research. "Characteristics of the data could be figured out by analyzing the graphs." Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-01 03

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Calculating the Effects of the English Rule and American Rule

Have you ever lost a lawsuit? There are two ways to resolve the financial issues concerning legal costs after the resolution. The first method is called the English Rule, where the loser of a lawsuit pays the winner’s legal fees. The other one is the American Rule, where each party handles their own legal cost. Since the 1990s, there has been a general consensus among economists that the former improves the quality of a lawsuit and reduces trial costs. Yoon Jung-mo (Professor, Department of Economics & Finance) was the one to propose the question, ‘is it really?’ in his recent article, ‘Estimating the Effects of the English Rule on Litigation Outcomes.’ When asked if he has anything to tell his pupils, Yoon said, "you are all doing excellent, so I wish you can stop worrying," with a warm smile on his face. Every government aims to reduce the number of lawsuits, especially Korea and the United States. The increased number of court cases lead to increased government and societal spending on legal institutions and its personnel. The key to amend such issues is to reduce the real number of law suits to alleviate the burden of the court and increase the case quality, which is determined by the chance of a plaintiff winning the case and the amount of the settlement. Therefore, according to the long research in the economics field that concluded the English Rule, a lot of people argue for the rule. Currently, Korea is running based on the American Rule, but the law limits the amount of money that can be covered by the loser of the case. The prevalent textbook conclusion is mostly derived from the comparison of the Florida case, where they switched from the American Rule to the English Rule in 1980 and then flipped back in 1985. Because measuring the economic impact of a legal system can sometimes look like comparing apples to oranges, the case of Florida provided the perfect background for legal economists to analyze the impact. Yoon mentioned that there are two main significances that the paper proposes. First is that there are more proofs accumulated after the 1990s when the consensus was initially made. The initial paper studies the cases before 1980 and cases between 1980 to 1985. However, it neglected the cases after the second change of the rule, which could have critical impact to the interpretation. Also, Yoon and his co-author implemented a new way of making a conclusion. Traditionally, the economic impact is measured and reported as a fixed number. However, this cannot entail all the complex probabilities behind the result. Using the bound analysis method, researchers can predict the best and worse case scenarios and give a range of possible influences. The second significance is that Yoon and his co-author took the cases that were settled during the process into account. As only a few litigations continue to the very end of the judicial process, it is very important to consider the changed behavior of people according to the increased or decreased amount of pressure resulting from the verdict. Yoon is enthusiastically giving an explanation about his paper. Yoon’s scrutinized analysis, however, contradicts what has been believed for a long time. When it comes to the trial outcomes, the range derived from the bound analysis does not signify any relevance between the change of legal system and the trial cost. It does increase the amount of settlement, while decreasing the number of settled cases. “The hardest part of continuing such rigorous research was to overcome the constant skepticism,” said Yoon. According to him, it takes a long time for a researcher to complete a paper and for the paper to be accepted in a journal or presented in a conference. Believing in himself and moving forward regardless of the incredulity, Yoon will continue further to conduct research. Kim So-yun dash070@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2017-12 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Obesity, Everyone’s Enemy

Regardless of gender, age, and nationality, obesity is a health problem that is affecting an increasing number of people. While most people think obesity merely has to do with dietary habit, it shows close relations with metabolic diseases and cancer. In other words, obesity is not just caused by the consumption of large calories, but there are other possible factors to it. Kim Yong-hee (Department of Bio-Engineering), whose interest lies in obesity and the ways to prevent and cure it, discovered an innovative way to counteract obesity in his paper “Visceral adipose tissue macrophage-targeted TACE silencing to treat obesity-induced type 2 diabetes,” which was coauthored by two of the graduate school students of the department: Song Yoon-sung (2nd year) and Yong Seok-beom (3rd year). Kim explained that by targeting the inflammation caused by the excess fats, obesity can be treated. The existing method used to treat obesity was to suppress appetite by touching the nerve system, for it was mainly believed that the root cause of obesity was excessive-consumption. However, Kim discovered in his laboratory that obesity has to do with inflammation within fat-storing tissues, which are called adipose tissues. Inside a patient’s body, the excess fat that cannot be stored in the adipose tissue spreads to its surroundings, which then causes inflammation when in contact with other types of cells. A type of white blood cell that engulfs and digests foreign cellular debris called macrophage are largely responsible for obesity-induced adipose tissue inflammation. A breakthrough in Kim’s research is that obesity can be treated by preventing the accumulation of fat within the body, by controlling the inflammation through gene delivery, not by suppressing appetite. In such a scenario, the gene delivery system Kim and his students have invented in the laboratory refers to the targeted gene delivery system that is capable of selectively targeting the visceral (relating to the intestines) adipose tissue macrophages, which are the major cause of inflammation because they produce a type of protein called cytokine. The excess fats that cannot be stored in the adipose tissue spread to their surroundings, and when they come in contact with cytokines, that is when the inflammation springs. By targeting the inflammation, which is the root cause of obesity, the treatment for obesity is made possible. There have been several clinical studies that have highlighted the significance of inflammation regarding obesity, but few therapeutic approaches have been suggested. Through his research, Kim and his students have proposed a therapeutic strategy of targeted gene delivery that could safely treat the disease without any side effects. This strategy is also favorable in treating type 2 diabetes, which primarily occurs as a result of obesity. It is preventable by staying at a normal weight through regular exercise or dietary changes. This could also be the way to prevent obesity as well, which, in other words, means that the cause of the two diseases have the same outset, which is the inflammation within the tissues due to being overweight. Therefore, Kim’s proposal of therapeutic approach for obesity can also treat type 2 diabetes. Targeted gene delivery strategy could kill two birds with one stone. Building on his current studies, Kim’s future research aims to create more formulas for drugs that could treat obesity. “Liposuction is an extremely dangerous surgery because it sucks the good fats as well. Obesity is surely preventable or even cured for those who are not severely obese. However, those who are super-obese, their genes could transform into obese genes and this can affect their children. So, the targeted gene delivery approach can optimally be used in the future.” Kim specifically chose the topic of inflammation of obesity because he wanted to find a narrow gate and open it wide. Since not many solutions for obesity inflammation have been discovered, he wanted to delve into the studies of this topic and create a cure for the countless people waiting for treatment. Kim always aspires to study and research on topics that is subject to a breakthrough outcome. "I am interested in finding cures for diseases that do not have many treatments." Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kabg Cho-hyun