The Korea Institute for Advanced Study is a national institution founded on October 1, 1996, with a strong commitment to excellence in basic sciences. Currently, three Schools are in operation: School of Mathematics, School of Physics, and School of Computational Sciences. Our research members' outstanding academic achievements not only lead Korean basic science research but are comparable to those of world-premiere institutes in the field.
During the first three weeks of my KIAS presidency, my time has been spent speaking to as many faculty members of the institute as possible. The main takeaway from these conversations is clear: the constituents of KIAS pride their work with a contagious sincerity. Their love towards the institution is pal-pable, and this attachment comes from KIAS’ culture of being an open play-ground for researchers who appreciate the joy of conducting interesting, meaningful research. My duty as President is to safeguard and nurture this unique culture.
Being at KIAS stirs up old memories in me. Thirty-eight years ago, I was a master’s student, living in a dormitory room on this KIAS campus. The re-markable growth of KIAS into a world leading basic research institution since its advent in 1996, is wholly due to the collective effort of all the professors, re-searchers, and supporting staff. This year, we have sorted out the long-standing issue of having limited space, and now have plenty of space to provide a bet-ter setting for passionate new scientists.
Again, my foremost duty is to sustain the culture of KIAS, the openness and prestige, accumulated throughout twenty years of history. Now is the time to set our eyes another twenty years into the future, to collect our wisdom, and plan for an institution that flourishes and earns the patina of prestige over many years of outstanding research. Our goal should be to produce ground-breaking research, and to recruit bright young minds to maintain our academic standards as a leading global research institute.
The reputation of KIAS, as a highly sought destination for theoretical physicists and mathematicians, is well earned and well known globally. We should aim at bringing the recognition within the academic community closer to the general public, to provide visibility to the people who actually support us. KIAS has a large number of top-notch scientists to be immensely proud of. These people deserve to be better known to the public, and it is our duty to better inform the public of our accomplishments, made possible by the patient, long-term investment from our government. For example, one of our adjunct faculty - Prof. John Michael Kosterlitz - has recently won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. I will make it my duty to ensure that our feats do not go unnoticed to the broader public.
KIAS is a living organism: thriving and growing, like a forest full of tall trees with deep roots and broad trunks, all covered with branches and leaves. I invite you to this vision of making KIAS into a place of pleasant, joyous, open scien-tific research that shares with its community.
President of KIAS