Imagine yourself standing in the queue for hours together just to get humble toilet paper or everyday food requirements, and even after the long wait you find nothing but vacant shelves. You are walking on the street, but you have no idea what could happen to you the next minute, owing to the bubbling crime rate. You stand protesting, sometimes peacefully, against the government which has failed to respond to the immediate needs of the public, only to be a victim of tear gas and aggression from pro-government forces. This is the present condition in Venezuela, with death toll rising above the bar every single day.
Over 40 students have been asked to leave the room in the first class of the first day of school. Among these were 20 Korean and 6 international hoogies (a term that refers to students who enter KAIST in the fall semester) of the entering class of 2013. While problems of student overflows and course authorizations recur at the beginning of every semester, situations were more serious this time: one-third of the entire hoogie freshman population have been rejected from the Calculus II class, a mandatory basic course that all freshmen are entitled to take in their second semester.In fact, the issue was first brought up late into the previous se
This December issue of The KAIST Herald, volume 127, will be the last that I contribute to as a reporter. Having begun as a junior staff reporter in my entering semester of fall 2009, my long-standing affiliation with this organization has seen the publication of 32 monthly issues that I either wrote for or edited. The KAIST Herald has played a prominent part in shaping my lifestyle at KAIST and will remain an unforgettable aspect of my time here as an undergraduate. As opportunity would have it, I find myself fortuitously entrusted with writing a personal column to conclude my participation as a member of this organization, and it is my intention to take full advantage of this opportunity by disclosing a few final “remarks” to you dear readers.
While watching the popular Korean drama Reply 1994, people are having a deep longing for the past. Including the old-fashioned items, such as pagers and the Magic Eye book, that were introduced, everything shown in the drama is becoming a hot issue. Famous songs, popular fashion styles, college life, memorable sports games, most popular movies, and dramas of the year 1994 and other elements of the drama are a big hit. It brought back nostalgic memories to the older generations and gained admiration from the younger generations. In particular, the songs from the 90s are being recalled and adored by all generations. For the older generation, these songs evoke their sensibility of the past. Even the younger generations who have not experienced the 90s can be on the same page when listening to the music and feel the same sentiments. These songs and the elements of the drama that recall the past are becoming popular because people nowadays are yearning for the sensibility from the past.
In the general public of Korea, a misconception seems to persist that scientists are men in white coats stoically glaring into immaculate beakers. Luckily for scientists, there are people like Professor Chihyung Jeon who wish to expose the humanity in the world of facts and logic. Recently, Professor Jeon held an open mic event in KAIST for a documentary he is working on, named Life of Scientist. Though some information can be found on its homepage (http://scienceculturedj.tistory.com) or on its Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/scienceculturedj), The KAIST Herald conducted on interview with Professor Jeon to find out the details.
Reaching out to the undergraduate student body as well as encouraging active exchange of ideas regarding how the student council should be run are some of the biggest concerns for the KAIST Undergraduate Student Council. To solve this issue, the student council collaborated with KAIST’s computer programming club System Programmers’ Association for Researching Computer Systems (SPARCS) to create a mobile application (commonly called “app” for short) that would help them promote such communication. On November 19, the council announced on the KAIST Portal System, their Facebook page, and ARA (the university’s online forum), that the official KAIST Undergraduate Student Council app is soon to be released, and further held a contest to collect name ideas for this new app. The KAIST Herald met with Sung Wook Jung, the director of the app development, to learn about the details.
When moving into a different setting, there are always adjustments and adaptations that one must make, ones like those all international students have experienced since starting KAIST. Yet, among a wide range of things we struggle to get accustomed to, the language barrier has always been one of the hardest challenges, the highest hurdle that most of us never successfully surmount. As a positive person by nature and a KAISTian at heart, I still have to admit that the language issue has several times brought me extreme frustration and that recalling certain encounters still sends uneasy chills down my spine. Nevertheless, I have no intention of lamenting about these miserable experiences, because for all that matters, I still managed to make many good Korean friends. In fact, they are the ones that have inspired what you are about to read.
On November 21, KAIST announced the establishment of Startup KAIST, a program that aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture at the university by functioning as a one-stop venture support platform for students and laboratories alike. It was declared upon evaluation that the newly created enterprises and programs offered by the Korean government and domestic universities are insufficient, following which KAIST President Sung Mo Kang held 10 “Conferences to Revitalize Start-up Businesses,” leading to the foundation of Startup KAIST. The KAIST Herald got in contact with the Technology Business Incubation Center to find out more.
On November 22, KAIST Independent Film Festival was held in Terman Hall of the Creative Learning Building (E11). Many interesting short and long independent movies were screened as the Undergraduate Student Council and movie related clubs prepared for the event. The KAIST Herald met with one of the members who arranged the festival.
Another year has come to a close. The temperature is dropping, students are cramming, and resolutions are forming as we look back at a tumultuous year and look forward to the changes in the future. International Student and Scholar Society (ISSS) is no exception, and The KAIST Herald interviewed Haena Kang and Grace You to reminisce the past year, and what ISSS and the international community have to look forward to.
Some recent posting on ARA and Bamboo Forest, KAIST's two main online forums, raised concern over the abuse of online anonymity as a student's personal information got exposed with malicious intentions. Here are two viewpoints addressing the long-standing trade-off along the two edges of online anonymity.
A lot has been said over the years about Abraham Lincoln’s statement, “[..] a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.” One needs to only look around briefly to see the fallacy of this statement.
Recent upheavals, online and offline, in the KAIST community have been centered on whether or not faculty members of the university should have the first choice when booking for sports facilities. As there are a limited number of courts and fields to play on, both students and faculty members argue that it is their right to have priority over the use. The KAIST Herald investigates both sides of the argument.
It was particularly fun being a KAIST student this semester as there were many festivals and events held around the KAIST campus. On top of annual fall festivals, which have gotten bigger in scale and popularity, extra events and visitations were made by famous celebrities and singers. Starting with the sudden filming of the famous television program One Night Two Days in our very own campus, there were also the annual KAIST-POSTECH Science War and Daejeon International Food and Wine Festival. Furthermore, this year’s KAIST Art and Music Festival (KAMF for short) was held for two days with many participants from outside the KAIST community who boosted up the festival atmosphere. Also, small interviews were held from the show Witch Hunt, and the big music show Open Concert filmed right in front of the Main Administration Building (E14). It was just a week before the midterm examinations, but a huge stage, big screens, lights, and more than 500 seats were installed. The cast of the performers were extraordinary; students lined up to get free tickets for the show, and the line went all the way to the first floor of the Student Center-2 (N12). Every student grew excited over watching and hearing famous singers performing live as if it were their last chance to ever meet them. I admit that the casting was too good, and I could still remember the thrill I felt when I first heard that our school will host the show. However, opening such a huge event in the middle of the campus in front of the KAIST Library (E9) for students who have less than a week before their examinations can be thought cruel. I have seen many students struggling with agony whether to participate in the music show of great singers and performers or ignore the show and catch up with studying. The events held on campus should first be well planned to be enjoyed by KAIST students rather than to cause any inconveniences.
How much authority the government should have has always been a difficult subject to universally address. Post-war South Korea has experienced a turbulent political history varying from junta to democracy and yet, has done relatively well in approaching a system fairer to its citizens, considering that its modern political history is shorter than a century. That being said, recent actions by the legislature concerning online gaming demonstrates that much change is still due of the Korean government while more active participation from the people is necessary.
We often hear that women are doing exceptionally well in every single field, making a difference in the society. But do any of us care to think further and analyze whether this is actually true? Let us get out of this sea of optimism for a minute and check on the world’s facts and figures about the utterly depressing condition of women in places all over the globe. These definitely do not create even a fleeting picture of what we imagined.
Midterm exams ended just a week ago, but it seems like final exams are here already. After a poor performance on the midterms, people like myself are all geared up to give their best for the finals. I promise to myself, “I will study diligently every single day and try to cover all that was taught in class.” But on most of the days, I fall behind my expectations.
Despite its relatively large proportion of international undergraduates, KAIST has yet to provide effective guidance for these students when it comes to declaration of majors, mainly because all currently available information sessions related to this issue are in Korean. In an effort to resolve this problem, KAIST International Students Association (KISA) members have decided to put together the first Departments Day event for international students this semester. The KAIST Herald met with Nur Amalina Wahab to learn more about their experience organizing this event.
KINS, which stands for KAIST Integration of Natural Sciences, is a student-run organization affiliated with the College of Natural Sciences. The club was established in 2010 with the purpose of getting students of our university to share their knowledge and pursue their interests in the natural sciences. On November 23, KINS will be holding this year’s KINS Open Seminar, an event open to the student body to attend and enjoy. The KAIST Herald met up with Euijin Jeon, head of KINS, to discuss this upcoming event and the organization he runs.
KAIST Run is an event where one donates funds by running at a track event, like a marathon. Although not the first of its kind, KAIST Run is one of the first in Korea to host such activities. The KAIST Herald went to find out the behind story and details about the event.