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2019-06 27

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Discovery of Brassino-steroid-Responsive Transcription Factor BZR1

The world is currently experiencing the fastest-growing technological developments in history. Much of this is due to the emergence of 5th Generation Wireless Communication (5G) which has enabled a wholly different aspect to the developments. Due to the intensively increasing level of convenience brought about by technology, people have began to realize the importance of innovation; therefore, a number of renowned industries are concentrating on creating new developments. As the trend nowadays seeks future-oriented objectives, interest in purely scientific endeavors has significantly decreased. Despite such a reality, Professor Kim Tae-wuk (Department of Life Science) and his lab students have discovered a new hormone called brassino-steroid (BZR1), which is a renovative detection in the field of a plant’s life. Professor Kim Tae-wuk (Department of Life Science) and his lab students have discovered a hormone named brassino-steroid that has an important relationship with a plant’s life. All human-beings possess hormones within their bodies, and these hormones have a significant impact on living organisms. Plants are particularly dependent on hormones. For example, if specific hormones are created within the plant, certain physiological transformations due to cellular reaction may occur; thus, it could be said that if the input is a hormone, the output is a physiological response. Kim wanted to innovate a signal transduction pathway so that entering a certain hormone would produce a corresponding and desirable phenomena. After much exhaustive research, Kim discovered the existence of BZR1, the key hormone responsible for a plant’s growth. BZR1 interacts with proteins, and if such a hormone is introduced, the receptors in the cell membrane perceive the hormone and begin to interact with each other, fostering growth. This is called the transcription factor. Kim notes, “The signal transduction procedure is merely the respective connection among proteins. They have to physically combine together first. However, the element I have figured out is that the transcription factor is not always prepared; rather, it is inactivated. In fact, we detected a new protein that promotes decomposition of the transcription factor, eventually disturbing the growth of the plant. This negative regulator is called Plant U-Box 40 (PUB40).” Interesting enough, PUB40 can only be found in the plant’s roots, and the greater the number of such a factor existing within the roots, the more it suppresses the growth. Fortunately, PUB40 can be artificially removed which enables the acceleration of plant growth and amplification of the root size. Kim’s lab successfully discovered the existence of Plant U-Box 40 which hinders the growth of the plant, and also how it can be removed artificially. Kim emphasizes the importance of conducting research on plants as it can be helpful to humankind. By manipulating certain factors within the plant, humans can control the speed of their growth. When wheat, barley, rice, and other sources of nutrition were vulnerable to rain and wind due to their large root size several decades ago, scholars discovered mutant hormones that reduce the size of the root, thereby allowing them to withstand the harsh weather. Smaller roots enabled an increase in the possible harvest per unit area and led to green evolution, directly addressing the world's food deficit problem. Furthermore, plant research has great potential in terms of dealing with fine dust issues. The openings in plants' epidermal layer called stoma constantly open and close at regular intervals. Throughout this process, moisture and air go in and out. Kim explains, “Current development only opens enough to suck in fine particulate matters, not fine dust. In this regard, finding certain mutant hormones that expand the size of the stoma will allow the absorption of fine dust, contributing to a benefit for society as a result.” Kim (front center) insists that conducting research on plants for purposes that aim to help humankind is important, as it has engendered green evolution which alleviated the world's food deficit problem and may potentially deal with current fine dust issues. Kim had a hard time mapping the location where the phosphorylation of proteins occurs due to the absence of a necessary piece of equipment - a mass spectrometer. Kim insisted, “Hanyang University did not possess such gear, so I had to ask other facilities. However, there were no advanced mass spectrometers in Korea, and I decided to request a collaboration with Stanford University which has technical facilities capable of analyzing the samples.” Unlike moving creatures, plants are stationary. Thus, it is essential to notice how they adapt to the environment. Whereas humans and animals are less vulnerable when it comes to a shortage in nutrients, plants are extremely sensitive in terms of survival and growth depending on the surrounding environment. Kim concludes that “plants have to passively adapt to the environment throughout their entire life, and it is fascinating how they evolved through such changing nature.” Kim Min-jae Photos by Kim Joo-eun

2019-06 10

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Innovation of Robotic Technology for Conversational Voice Recognition

With the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, countries and large conglomerates are concentrating on developing technologies combined with artificial intelligence (AI). Hanyang University is also putting significant emphasis on collaboration with major companies and fostering students to become experts knowledgeable about the current trend. In fact, Hanyang University does not stop at doing research and writing theses; rather, it comes up with actual products based on the theses and provides the technology to companies for further progressive development. Professor Chang Joon-hyuk (Department of Electronic Engineering), one of the professors who practices the university’s pursuit, has successfully invented robotic technology for conversational voice recognition which can be applied to our daily life. Professor Chang Joon-hyuk (Department of Electronic Engineering) has invented robotic technology that recognizes people’s conversational voices. Chang believes that voice is the most natural medium in human communication as it involves emotional delivery and indicates overall mood. Doing research where robots or computers recognize such types of voice is an extremely interesting field of study. Compared to the past when the performance of voice recognition was poor due to lack of technological development, nowadays there have been greater results in a short period of time thanks to the use of AI. As this voice recognition algorithm was applied to smartphones, automobiles, and robots, it has had a considerable impact on the market and industry. “I am happy that our research resulted in higher performance which led to the enhancement of the algorithm, but I feel a sense of pride that this research has strengthened the competence of Korean industries and created more potential occupations,” said Chang. Chang is currently working on creating a 100 percent AI-based voice recognition device. In particular, when the most natural interface tool is voice, he wanted to equip an ordering and replying mechanism in the robot that enables human-robot conversation. Chang played a pivotal role in creating an AI robot named Cloy for Incheon International Airport. This robot works as an information desk that answers customers’ questions. However, it has earned a low performance level as the environmental noise is too loud; thus, it is still going through enhancement procedures. In addition, Chang is working on assignments appointed by Hyundai Automobile. Since typing while driving a car is dangerous, Hyundai wants to apply the voice recognition system there as well. Currently, Hyundai is borrowing the engines from Kakao corporation and Amazon, but it wants to equip its own engine. For the capability reinforcement of Hyundai, Chang participated in the joint development project based on an engine made from Hanyang University. At the same time, he is carrying out a project that improves automobile After Service (AS). It is important to distinguish specific disorders within the car, and this particular maintenance duty can be only done by a proficient mechanic. However, the device conceived of by one of Chang’s student who is in the Doctorate Program discerns the possible problems in the automobile down to three issues simply by listening to the noise generated from the car so that the mechanic can easily proceed with his maintenance work. According to Chang, "Since such a technique is very efficient in terms of time and economic aspects, it has received high evaluations from Hyundai, my student was offered special employment and a monetary reward, which I think is a win-win situation for both the company and the school.” Chang is currently working on various projects with renowned large conglomerates that have already led to a win-win situation for both companies and the university. When inventing an AI algorithm, three major factors are to be considered. First, it is important to collect and handle data to establish a fine data base. Second is developing a deep learning AI algorithm that is almost as same as human thoughts or that even surpass human functionality, and then properly combining voice/sound perception with the data. Last but not least, apply the result and make an actual product. With the basis of these factors, Hyundai Automobile collected data by intentionally breaking all parts of automobiles to construct a database. Nonetheless, since deep learning is available only through big data, the database provided by Hyundai was extremely limited. Therefore, Chang decided to apply the method of data amplification which involves mathematical analysis and signal processing. The mathematical approach utilizes the concept of probability that first composes a probability model and then deducts abundant data following that model. On the other hand, the signal processing approach collects data from a specific environment. It then applies the signal characteristics of a variety of different environments to the given result from the specific environment. This way, data can be limitlessly reproduced. Chang suggested, “Thanks to such an algorithm, the performance rate increased from 50 percent to approximately 90 percent. This is revolutionary from the perspective of timeliness and economy.” Chang’s lab has also invented an AI speaker called PLUTO that has been exhibited in one of the most renowned home appliance exhibitions. This speaker perceives sound well and can understand a voice from a long distance and in a noisy environment. Samsung, LG, and Hyundai Automobiles are in joint development of this huge project which is expected to be extremely prosperous. Speech recognition: strong voice recognition is necessary in actual environments where various noises and reverberation exist; therefore, applying diverse machine learning algorithms improves the performance level in actual environments. (Photo courtesy of ASML Lab website) Chang wants students to be more aware of the fast-changing generation in terms of technological developments. “Simply listening to lectures and doing assignments is not enough. Students are encouraged to realize the current industry trends and developing their personal capabilities in accordance with the advancing society. Also, students’ ultimate goal should not be limited to employment in major companies. They should continuously put effort into enhancing their competence in accordance with the fourth industrial revolution,” concluded Chang. Kim Min-jae Photos by Kim Joo-eun

2019-05 13

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Manpower Cultivation for Industry Convergence of 5G and Unmanned Vehicles

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed and is still influencing the development of all of society in its technological advancements, which has enabled further convenience in people's daily lives. Recently, South Korea obtained the title of being the first country in the world to launch the 5th generation (5G) of wireless communication, and the utilization of 5G technology has become a hot potato all across the globe. In light of pursuing 5G utilization, Professor Kim Sun-woo (Division of Electronic Engineering) is making efforts toward the innovation of the core original technology of 5G and unmanned vehicle technology based on 5G. Professor Kim Sun-woo (Division of Electronic Engineering) has successfully enrolled in a research center that concentrates on the intensive research of unmanned vehicles based on 5G technology. Kim was first appointed as a Hanyang University professor in 2005 and has continuously been conducting research on wireless communications, signal processing technology, and precise positioning, which is technology that accurately locates moving objects. Along with his steady efforts into his field of interest, Kim particiated in a 5G technology proposal contest at the 2017 University Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Center and was successfully selected among other fierce competitors. His team at the research center is composed of 10 professors from Hanyang University, Seoul National University, and Ajou University, along with 10 related large conglomerates and small and medium-sized enterprises. “Current research regarding 5G unmanned vehicles has been ongoing since 2017 and is expected to continue for up to six years. The research is based on in-depth applied mathematics for developing core original technology, and we are working on innovating both software and hardware for the realization of such technology,” said Kim. For the research to be successful, a firm basis along with a high quality of programming is also needed. Furthermore, in order to compete internationally, Kim’s team is actively progressing with joint research with skillful personnel from all parts of the world and conducting customized research in accordance with the enterprises’ requirements. The 5G Research Center is demonstrating drone flights incorporated with 5G, running a demonstration on an RC car that drives autonomously, and using a specific device that recognizes vision and motion. (Photo courtesy of Wireless Systems Laboratory) As 5G technology is becoming more commercialized in our society and is expected to maintain its influence for approximately 10 years, continuous innovation of original technology on communications is needed, and as time passes by, various applied technology will emerge. The current notable autonomous vehicles, smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) technology, drones, etc. are all based on and will be further developed using 5G. According to Kim, “Developing 5G and original technology for unmanned vehicles, along with cultivating related manpower to this field, has significant implications. Keeping such a research center at Hanyang plays a pivotal role when it comes to increasing the status of our university.” While communication technology was utilized fundamentally for conversations between individuals or for transmitting data in the past, the current and the future trend of 5G technology will be expanded to include communication between objects. “Based upon such trends, a variety of applied services are expected to emerge, and these services will have considerable influence on human society that will change the entire spectrum of thoughts from people,” insisted Kim. Kim believes that gaining international competitiveness and surviving in such a fast-moving society is important. For these things to happen, providing the best quality of funding in Research and Development (R&D) and progressing differentiated research programs are necessary. In addition, efforts toward internationalization and participation in various academic activities are also needed. “Of course, I am willing to conduct more research into communication technology, but I think my first job as a professor is to foster Hanyang students into excellent academic experts. Students have limitless potential and talent. What we lack is imagination. With their infinite imagination, the way to success is to keep expanding their efforts into fulfilling their dreams,” Kim concluded. The Wireless Systems Laboratory will continue with their research and development to help increase their global competitiveness. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim Min-jae

2019-04 15

[Academics][Excellent R&D] BK21 PLUS, Supporting and Fostering Talented Students

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is well known for being an oil-producing country and a typical example of a wealthy country whose prosperity is due to its natural resources. On the other hand, South Korea does not have any natural resources to export; thereby, it focuses on technological advancement to remain competitive in global society. In order to enable such development, the government has been putting a significant emphasis on fostering talented individuals. This has led South Korea to possess a high quality of education. Considering the situation and trend of Korea, Brain Korea (BK) business has emerged to educate and train more competent individuals. The current head of BK PLUS, Professor Park Wan-jun (Department of Engineering), introduces the necessity of such educational programs. Professor Park Wan-jun (Department of Engineering) is currently the representative of Hanyang University in BK21 PLUS business. What is BK21 PLUS? In general, the overall BK business's purpose is to foster the highest level of talented creative students in Master’s or Doctoral programs that supports new creativity-based knowledge and innovative technology. This business first started under the name BK Program at Seoul National University as a pilot project. With successful outcomes, BK project upgraded to BK21 PLUS, which aims to bring up outstanding individuals in the 21st century. Through the assistance of the Korean government, selected universities’ graduate students receive a considerable amount of financial support for advanced and further research. In fact, the Department of Electronic Engineering of Hanyang University has been participating in this business since September 1st of 2013 and will end on August 31st of 2020. During the seven years of this project, each selected university should meet quality outcomes standards in order to receive financial assistance. Hanyang University has successfully produced fulfilling outcomes and has been able to receive 2.3 billion from the government annually. BK21 PLUS business has its importance in improving the quality of graduate schools’ education and research that strengthens the basis of research-centered universities. In addition, it not only fosters talented master's and doctorate students to become proficient at field experiences through industrial cooperation, but also further supports those who are in specialized areas that can become legitimate experts. Lastly, it provides the graduate students’ research scholarships and actualizes the personnel expenses of rising research manpower. This means that by reflecting the inflation rate, the amount of financial support correspondingly increases so that graduate students do not have to worry about living expenses; this provides them with an environment in which they can fully concentrate on research and education. Hanyang University ranks the highest in terms of research capability amongst other participants in BK21 PLUS. Hanyang University’s performance in BK21 PLUS BK21 PLUS is currently focusing on a semiconductor display system, convergence of broadcasting communication systems, and mobile phone systems. The participating universities ought to produce a certain item regarding these technologies and those universities are: Hanyang University, Seoul National University, Korea University, Yonsei University, Kyunghee University, Sungkyunkwan University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Kaist. Park notes, “Our university ranks first in terms of research capability. In fact, in the 2015 mid-term evaluation, Hanyang University was reported as being the top class amongst the participants.” However, Park criticizes, “Although we have the highest level of research capability, we ranked low in educational capability and the extent of system improvement. Therefore, I believe our school should put more effort into this program.” National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea is planning to launch the succeeding business BK21 FOUR after the end of BK21 PLUS. Park believes, “It is absolutely appropriate for the government to make investments in education. Since there are a lot of privileges and advantages in this project, many graduate schools are seeking to become part of it. Hanyang University should keep up with the research results and definitely remain in this business in the future as well.” Kim Min-jae Photos by Park Guen-hyung

2019-03 18

[Academics]Designing Working Offices in Accordance with the Current Trend

Technological development has changed many aspects of people's lifestyle. Particularly, as the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) are heavily embedded in our daily lives, individuals’ working patterns have also changed over time. Whereas the traditional working space was only limited to offices with individual desks, people nowadays are not restricted to work in offices; rather, they can work at home or a café thanks to technology. Based on such trends, Professor Cha Seung-hyun (Department of Interior Architecture Design) introduced his thesis "The trilateration-based BLE beacon system for analyzing user-identified space usage of New Ways of Working (NWW) office." According to professor Cha Seung-hyun (Department of Interior Architecture Design), using the beacon system, office designers can analyze the current trend of employees' working pattern. A beacon is a near field communication technology, and according to Cha’s thesis, the trilateration-based BLE (bluetooth low energy) beacon system, by using the beacon with the Bluetooth connection, can sense the existence and movement of people working in the office. With the accumulation of data, we can analyze individuals’ working patterns. As a result, it is possible to apply this pattern to design an appropriate working space. Cha notes, “Google and other IT companies have different working patterns. Traditionally, workers were provided with private space consisting of an individual desk and an additional room for piling documents. These days, due to the development of cloud servers, in which people can save their work on the Internet, there is no longer a need to provide physical space for documents and papers.” He added that the new trend of hot-desking – an office desk being shared by multiple office workers on different shifts as opposed to each staff member having their own personal desk – is becoming popular as more and more startups are emerging. When Cha was in the Netherlands in 2010, the system of office sharing was already common in Europe. He conducted research on these offices and figured out that the space utilization rate (an analysis that rates how optimized your workspace and its design is) was only 30 to 40 percent. Increasing the rate up to 70 percent would not only save energy, but also the cost of overall maintenance. If desk sharing is applied as the fundamental concept for analyzing new working patterns, then considering activity-based working environments as the factor for pattern analysis is more suitable for the space utilization rate, since each employee has their own unique working pattern and style. Considering the changing work atmosphere and environment, Cha wanted to design an office that reflects the current trends. Cha hopes to create realistic offices that reflect employees' overall preferences and patterns. As IoT sensors have significantly developed, it is possible to find out objective details about office usage and working patterns. In fact, when Finland's government branch conducted a survey on the space utilization rate, the result showed 60 to 70 percent. However, through the physical observation of offices, the actual rate was below 30 percent. This incident reveals that designing offices based on interviews and surveys causes errors, which confirms that activity-based data is more applicable. The three factors that enable distinction of human activities in each area (Photo courtesy of Cha) The three factors that are utilized through the usage of beacons that sophisticatedly sense people's movements, and which allow for the gathering of accurate data about workers’ behaviors are data coordinates, acceleration sensor, and voice recognition. With coordinates, researchers can figure out the workers’ patterns by noticing their traveling routes and the places where they spend the most time. In addition, they can also discover whom the employees encounter the most, and this enables office designers to make paths so that workers can easily meet the most-encountered people. With the combination of acceleration sensors that detect human movement such as running, sitting, and walking, and the voice recognition sensor, analysts can obtain objective data about where people are and what they are doing. Cha’s ultimate goal is to offer comfortable, satisfying, and highly productive office spaces for people. “In the past, design review was done by either physical modeling or 3D displays which both miss the micro perspective of the design process. However, thanks to significant technological developments, reviewing office designs through Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) permits discovering problems that were not previously noticed,” said Cha. He wishes to create realistic work spaces that reflect people’s overall preferences. Kim Min-jae Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon