Seeing Our Future at the Center of Electronics and Telecommunications of Korea (ETRI Campus, Computer Software Major)
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- Registration Date : 2016-06-29
Since the 1960s, technology development in the area of computer, semiconductor, and telecommunication was led by the government-funded research institutes. Under such circumstance, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) was established under the name of Korea Electric Research and Testing Institute (KERTI) in 1976. Within its 40-year history, the institute has shown activities that make us expect that the future would be more remarkable than the past. Let’s take a closer look at the institute and its key major, Computer Software Major.
The History of Korea Electronic Communication―ETRI
Since its establishment, KERTI has been integrated with Korea Telecommunications Research Institute in 1981, with Korea Institute of Electronics Technology in 1985, and, finally, with System Engineering Research Institute in 1997, which has thus created the current ETRI. ETRI aims to contribute to the national economic and social development by developing source technology and spreading its resulting performance in convergence technology fields such as information, communication, electronics, and broadcasting. The members of its staff, faculty, and students are more than 3,000, and it boasts of having the third largest number of students in UST. It offers eight majors, including the following five core majors: Computer Software, Advanced Device Technology, and Mobile Communication & Digital Broadcasting Engineering.
Since its foundation, its achievements―the invention of electronic exchange TDX-1 that contributed the spread of telephone into every household (1986); the world’s first commercialized CDMA (1995); Smart Ship Technology (SAN) as a convergence between shipbuilding technology and IT (2010); 4G LTE-Advanced Technology (2011); and unmanned parking technology manipulated by a smartphone (2013)―correspond with the development of electronic telecommunications in the country. Furthermore, in the Innovation Anchor Scorecard―a standard in patent application in the US―ETRI ranked top for three conseive years. As such, the institute is now globally recognized.
National Research Tasks Completed by Students to Nurture More Talents
Prof. Pyeong-soo Mah, the Campus Representative Professor of ETRI and the professor in charge of the Computer Software Program said, “Students are highly likely to embody their brilliant ideas in the field of IT. ‘Field research,’ the founding purpose of UST, has the highest possibility of realization in ETRI.” One example of such contribution and ETRI’s representative research outcome is GenieTalk 2012, a smartphone voice interpretation application. He added, “Two Computer Software major students who participated in the application development made a huge contribution to the completion of the project. They are now hired as our research staff.” GenieTalk is continuously being developed to address its weak points and processed for better function. Moreover, it will be used for an interpretation service for national teams who will participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018.
ETRI has a high expectation for its major course, Computer Software. The major is divided into sub-majors such as embedded S/W, spoken language processing, next-generation computing, content, cloud computing, and IT convergence technology. Today, computer software is used in a wide spectrum of business, and in particular, artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, and augmented reality, which are closely related with software technology. In terms of size, Computer Software major accounts for the largest part at ETRI; it now occupies 7 out of the 12 buildings in the campus. Prof, Ma went on to say, “I think the facilities are not large enough to accommodate all the research staff. Students are also making significant contributions to various national research tasks, which I hope will serve as an opportunity to expand our talent pool.”
Communication Skill as the Most Basic Qualification
The most important qualification that the major stresses on is having communication skill. The major rarely conducts research projects that can be proceeded solely by one person. Instead, it often organizes a project that requires at least 10 research staff members and, sometimes, when the personnel from external participating companies join, the number is added up to 20 to 30 people. Thus, to achieve a qualitative research outcome, a smooth communication skill is the most important. Also, the ability to communicate with external parties is required. As software of various kinds and from various fields are applied in one program, an ability to explain it in easy words that people from other areas can understand is a critical qualification. Prof. Ma stressed this point by saying, “In other words, communication skills for cooperation between team members and with external nonprofessionals are important.”
8 graduates from ETRI were hired by the internal research centers, which is a higher rate than other campuses. Among the four is one from the Computer Software. “It is very encouraging. Their satisfaction with the internal employment is quite high. In the performance assessment of employees, the ETRI graduates received scores much higher than the average.” As much as the demand and satisfaction with talents from ETRI are high, the confidence of external companies for the institute would also be naturally strong. “The ultimate goal of the Computer Software major and ETRI campus is to nurture qualified research talent to the extent that the internal research centers would want to hire them.”