About KIAS

Inaugural Address

Home About KIAS From the President Inaugural Address

The Korea Institute for Advanced Study was founded in 1996. After many difficulties in the early years, KIAS has grown into a well-established research institute in the world today. This remarkable accomplishment is achieved thanks to the hard work and passion of all the past and present members of KIAS, professors, research fellows, staff, and visitors.

I think the duty of KIAS is creating something new in the scientific world. That is, proving new theorems and discovering new theories. Founding director of the Princeton IAS, Abraham Flexner, emphasized the importance of research in which curiosity is the only motivation. He said most of the great discoveries that benefited mankind were the result of research that was simply to satisfy curiosity.

It wasn't the result of research that only pursued useful applications. We have an example, GPS which is nowadays a very useful system in our life. It is not well known that Einstein's theory of relativity is essentially used in GPS. But it is well known that Riemannian geometry plays a key role in the general theory of relativity.

Curiously, Riemannian geometry is the inevitable result of the curiosity of many human beings who had tried in vain to prove the parallel axiom for 2000 years after the Greek period. Indeed curiosity-driven research leads directly to creativity and, in many cases, produces fruitful results for humanity.

I believe that KIAS should be at the forefront of curiosity in Korea. Moreover, I think that KIAS should be the source of creativity and that KIAS should be the theater to inspire the imagination of mathematicians and physicists. In this way, KIAS will greatly contribute to creating new ideas in the future.

During my term as president of KIAS, I will do my best to create an environment where members of KIAS can concentrate on their research. I will increase interactions between the schools by having joint seminars regularly. I will also increase communications among our members to promote a sense of community

President of KIAS Choe, Jaigyoung