- Schedule
- Social Program
- Overview
- Apply Here
- Announcement
- Registration Information
- On-line Registration
- Accommodation
- Venue Information
- Transportation Information
- Travel Information
- Visa Information
- APAN36 Proceedings
- Network Research

Home > Program > Session > Opening Plenary
Professor Kwangyun Wohn
Name : Kwangyun Wohn
Designation/Contact Details : Professor,
Graduate School of Culture Technology,
KAIST 373-1 Ku-Song-Dong
Daejeon 305-701, Korea.

Phone: +82-42-869-2901
Fax: +82-42-869-2910
E-mail: wohn AT kaist.ac.kr
Personal Data : Date of birth: 28 February, 1952
Married, two daughters
Education :
B.S. in Applied PhysicsSeoul National University, Korea1974
M.S. in Computer Science University of Wisconsin, USA1981
Ph.D. in Computer ScienceUniversity of Maryland, USA1984
Dissertation title: A Contour-based Approach to Image Flow
Advisors: Azriel Rosenfeld (Thesis advisor), Allen Waxman (Co-advisor)
Professional Experiences :
Research EngineerAgency of Defense Development3/74 - 8/79 (5 years)
Lecturer & Post-doc FellowHarvard University, USA9/84 - 7/86 (2 years)
Assistant Professor University of Pennsylvania, USA8/86 - 8/91 (5 years)
Associate Professor KAIST7/91 - 8/98 (7 years)
Visiting ProfessorRutgers University, USA3/98 - 2/99 (1 year)
ProfessorKAIST7/2000 - present
DirectorVirtual Reality Research Center9/98 - present
DeanGraduate School of Culture Technology7/2005 - 7/2010
Major Career Accomplishments : Virtual Reality Research Center (1990) - A center of research excellence, awarded from the Korea Science of Foundation.
Art-Technology Expression Center (1992) - An inter-university joint research center pursuing synergy between art and technology.
Graduate School of Culture Technology (2005) - A graduate school for the interdisciplinary studies among digital technology, socio-humanities and arts.
HCI Society Korea (2004) - A premier academic society focusing human-computer interaction.
Ten Years After (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010) - Series of media art exhibits featuring the artworks by rising media artists
Professional Societies : IEEE Computer society, ACM, British Computer Society (Editorial Board Member), KISS (Korean Information Science Society), Korean Society of HCI (Founding President)
Areas of Interest : Virtual Reality: Real-time rendering, Projection-based augmented reality
Art + Science: Applications of digital technologies to visual and performance arts, automatic generation of multimedia contents, Virtual heritage
Ubiquitous Displays: Noble usages of heterogeneous displays, Networked tiled displays, Non- planar display surfaces
Research Statement :

With the backgrounds in mathematics and physics, I received my Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, specializing in Computer Vision from the University of Maryland, U.S.A. After receiving the degree, I continued and extended my research in Computer Vision and Robotics, as a post-doc fellow at Harvard University, and as an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania. My major research interest at that time was Dynamic Scene Analysis, specifically, extracting the 3D scene information from time-varying video images.

Having returned back to Korea in 1990, I shifted my interest to Virtual Reality. In fact, I introduced and pioneered VR in Korea. After about ten years of VR research, I was awarded a Center of Research Excellence from the Ministry of Science & Technology. For the next ten years as a VR researcher, I have produced quite a lot of interesting and useful results. Among them are: 3D graphics accelerator, 3D web browser, automatic segmentation of video stream, optical motion capture, real-time garment simulation, mathematical treatments on real-time graphics, etc.

My life-long research objective is to bridge the gap between technology and art. To this end, I coined the term Culture Technology in 1994. In early 2000, the Korean government declared culture technology as one of six strategic technologies that would shape our nation’s future industry. Since then, I have committed myself to shaping the structure of culture technology both in the academic and the industrial contexts. The foundation of the Graduate School of Culture Technology (GSCT) at KAIST is one of the major outcomes. As Dean of GSCT for six years, I have engineered a relatively large organization (15 faculty and 80 students). After stepping down from the Deanship in 2010, I have been pursuing (and enjoying) my life-long research interests - how to incorporates digital technologies into our daily lives, and thereby make our living environment more culture-rich.

Major Developmental Efforts : Computer vision: Shape classification methods for postal packages

I have developed a vision system which was based on the laser range finding technique. It was developed for the U.S. Postal Office, in an attempt to classify postal materials (i.e., envelops and parcels) automatically. The technology was eventually incorporated into the parcel classification system.

Computer vision: Vision-based crowdness monitoring system

The system consisted of more than 30 video cameras installed across the EXPO venue. The video images were fed to the real-time motion analysis in which the level of crowdness was estimated. The system ran successfully throughout the entire EXPO event.

Computer music: Piano tutoring system

Sponsored by DaeWoo Electronics, this was the first MIDI-based commercial software developed in Korea. Although it was not a commercial success, it featured many novel techniques such as automatic accompaniment and intelligent tutoring.

Virtual reality: 3D web browser

The idea of creating and sharing 3D virtual worlds across the Internet was realized even before so-called VRML became popular. In 1995, I developed a 3D web browser that could navigate the virtual world. It allowed multiple participants to share a common virtual world and to communicate each other.

Virtual reality: VR-based karaoke

From 1992 to 1998, I have developed a VR-based entertainment called Virtual Karaoke, which is similar to the virtual studio in concept. The work has been published in the IEEE Multimedia, and presented at the Siggraph 1998. Whereas pursuing a potential of the VR technology for public entertainment was a legitimate reason for this work, how one would incorporate the time-based events, namely, storytelling into a virtual world was the primary research agenda that sustained the developmental efforts over several years.

Digital media: PARADIGM I, II

PARADIGM is a PC cluster system that comprises 96 flat-panel displays and 27 PCs. It was designed as a media artwork, for a Korean telecommunication company, SK. It has become a public attraction since then. Again, although the developmental effort was art- motivated, the core of the work was the development of a tightly-coupled multi-computer system.

Digital media: Sphere I, II, III

Sphere is a spherical display with multi-participant user interaction. Several versions of Shpere have been developed and exhibited for various occasions such as cultural festivals, art shows and museums.

Publications : As of April 2013, I have published about 80 journal papers and 100 international conference papers. The list is available at my home page; http://explab.kaist.ac.kr
Awards :
  • Franklin Foundation Award, University of Pennsylvania, USA, 1987.
  • Best Lecture Award, KAIST, 1998.
  • Achievement Award for the Game Industry, Ministry of Culture & Tourism, 2002.
  • GaHun Award (The best paper on computing research), Korea Society of Information Science, 2007.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, International Digital Media & Art Association, USA, 2010.