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“My Teacher’s Faith Brought My Potential to Infinite Heights”

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  • Registration Date : 2019-05-02
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“My Teacher’s Faith Brought My Potential to Infinite Heights”의 대표사진

A Conversation with Alumni

“My Teacher’s Faith Brought My Potential to Infinite Heights”

Alumnus Kim Tae-young (Graduated from UST-KARI Campus in 2010, Currently CTO of InSpace)

The pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled. This is entrepreneurship as defined by Professor Howard Stevenson of Harvard Business School, and a good description of the path UST alumnus Kim Tae-young has taken. While he began in the field of satellite image data, Kim is using the development of artificial intelligence as an opportunity to shape data utilization in an unlimited range of applications.

김태영 동문이 걸어온 길 31세 : UST-항우연 캠퍼스 입학, 32세 : SPIE 해외 학회 발표 참여, 33세 : UST 3학기 만에 조기졸업, 33세 : 한국항공우주연구원 위성지상국 입사, 34세 : ㈜인스페이스 공동 창업, 현 기술이사, 36세 : 세계 3대 인명사전인 IBC의 '21세기 2000명의 탁월한 지식인' 등재, 39세 : “블록과 함께 하는 파이썬 딥러닝 케라스” 도서 출판, 41세 : 인공지능 모델을 활용한 연구로 네이처 자매지(천문학) 게재, 현재 : (주)인스페이스 기술이사

김태영 동문 이미지'Ldentificationaof factors affecting prodigiosin biosynthesis in Hahella chejuensis' AEM저널 표지 선정

Belief in the UST Goal of Hands-On Training of Core Research Personnel

They say your knowledge shapes your view of the world. Kim was working at a satellite system development company in Daejeon, handling actual satellite data on a daily basis. This inspired the desire for more professional knowledge. However, it was not realistic for him to set everything aside to focus on academic pursuits.

   This was what made UST the perfect choice for him, as he could conduct actual national projects at a government-funded institute as a student and researcher. To him, the name value of the school was not important. The only criteria was whether the school provided the right environment for the research he wanted to do.

This was how he started at the UST-KARI campus in 2009. When asked when was his happiest moment at UST, his answer was somewhat surprising. “As research was both a way to work and a way to obtain academic credits, it felt like I was saving time in my busy schedule. It was like killing two birds with one stone.”

Kim also benefited from active interactions with fellow students at KARI. Thinking that it would be nice to discuss developments in their respective fields of research, he made a small student society, which still continues under the name of Journal Club. This is how he continues to have regular meetings with younger students at UST.

Another strength of the UST system was an excellent credits exchange program with KAIST that allowed him free access to a wide range of courses. “Thankfully, I got good grades, which were a huge factor in my early graduation. The fact that my ability was recognized not just within UST but externally inspired more faith. The class I took back then was on robot vision, which led to my current AI research.”

최근 저널클럽 활동 모습 이미지Recent event at the Journal Club

A Partnership of Trust Made at UST

It was not a huge shift from satellite images to AI for him as deep learning and machine learning have long been huge trends in the aerospace field. Kim had presented on the topic of image processing using machine learning at an international SPIE conference during his UST-KARI days, and his graduation thesis in 2010 was on cloud image processing using machine learning.

Professor Choi Myung-jin was the one who opened his eyes to the potential of AI research. He was also the one who recommended UST to Kim, and has since gone from inspiring teacher to trusted startup partner.

Perhaps it was this strict but affectionate guidance, or the strong faith that his teacher had in him that motivated him to great achievements. Kim always went above and beyond, from authoring papers in English to early graduation and even listing in the IBC world biographical dictionary.

“I was very lucky to have met a professor who always encouraged me to go beyond the limits I set for myself.” This was why he agreed without hesitation when Professor Choi proposed they start a business together after his graduation.

UST-항우연 캠퍼스 홈커밍데이 이미지Homecoming day at the UST-KARI campus

This was how InSpace was founded in 2012 as a spinoff startup from KARI specializing in satellite image processing. It has since gone beyond aerospace applications to medicine, industries, farming and science, using AI to generate quality data utilized in a variety of fields.

With deep passion for the topic of AI, Kim is now working to make AI more accessible to the general public, not just experts. He has recently found a new goal to work towards.

His dream is to bring the NASA-FDL program to Korea. The program provides opportunities to conduct a wide range of research sponsored by NASA, together with experts from a variety of fields. Although the missions are highly challenging, there is no right answer, and no obligation to produce predicted outcomes. It will be a groundbreaking experience for engineering students who dare to dream big.

More accurately, his dream is to conduct this program in Korea, together with UST. “I think UST is the only place bringing together core personnel from all the government-funded research institutes. I want to make use of this strength, and work together with UST and younger USTians to make my dream come true. I want to be a senior and future partner who helps them spread their wings and fly.”