POSTECH-SUNY Korea IT Consilience Creative Program (ITCCP)

The program is rooted in the premise that unrelated sources can converge to strong conclusions. To achieve this goal, the IT Consilience Creative Program aims to nurture and promote independent and creative thinking in a hands-off, interdisciplinary and fun research atmosphere. It is a place where lab members of all levels loosely interact to exchange quick and fledgling ideas, inspire each other and together engage in a research adventure trip of a life time. Called the SUNY Korea Convergence Research Center, the lab seeks to conduct revolutionary research and it aspires to strongly participate in defining the technologies that will become main-stream in future generations. This inherent principle of convergent research is founded in a host of computer science disciplines, backed by a high-quality educational and research infrastructure. Constantly evolving, the current focus points are:

Big Data affecting all research, such as:

  • Visual analytics and health informatics
  • Medical imaging and analysis
  • Bioinformatics, computational biology, and computational pharmacology
  • Network security, privacy
  • Smart energy

Big Systems facilitating all research, being research topics on their own, such as:

  • High performance and cloud computing
  • Energy efficient networking and smart grid communications
  • Software engineering

The SUNY Korea Convergence Research Center has an impressive high-quality computing infrastructure, including

  • High-performance server and GPU clusters with an array of NVIDIA Kepler K20 boards - the fabric of the world's fastest supercomputers
  • An interactive and immersive 3D display theatre with gesture tracking
  • Hyper-spectral camera equipment that can reveal the invisible light
  • Massive data storage to fuel high performance data analysis
  • and much more

It is at the core of our mission that students will have opportunities and are encouraged to work on more than one convergence project, driven by their interests. Specific research problems are identified by the student in collaboration with their research mentors.

Full PhD Scholarships

A competitive selection process will add six PhD students each year to the team -- three Korean and three non-Korean. This select group of students will be supported through the ITCCP program for three years. The support covers educational costs, including tuition, and provides a monthly stipend to pay for basic living costs. With all expenses taken care of, students can freely focus on their studies and explore creative new ideas without financial difficulties.

Students must identify a research mentor within their first year of study. Ideally they would choose one of the resident SUNY Korea faculty members and possibly form a team of mentors by adding another SUNY Korea faculty or a participating faculty member from Stony Brook University, NY. Students are also required to identify specific research ideas they would like to expand on and present a formal research proposal to defend their plan to a committee. This defense will be an invaluable forum for the student to test the intended approach in front of an expert audience and receive stimulating feedback. The students are also required to show a reasonable level of progress throughout their research experience. This progress will be evaluated mainly by the research mentor or the team of research mentors, over the entire course of three years. The remaining period beyond the three years will be supported by the research mentor's research grants. It is expected that at that time the student has developed an advanced degree of maturity, soon engaging in own independent research and mentoring others.

In addition to the research proficiency requirement, students are required to pass all qualification exams within the first year. To complete the well-rounded research experience students will also engage in a residency at the main campus, located in Stony Brook, NY, for a minimum of one year, typically done towards the end of their PhD studies. This will reinforce collaborative research with labs at Stony Brook University. Internships outside Korea are also encouraged and SUNY Korea will provide internship and employment opportunities in collaboration with Stony Brook.

Quick facts:

  • Source of Funds: 30% from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), 70% from Universities, companies and local governments
  • Yearly 5 billion won of government funds and 12 billion won of matching funds (from companies, local government, POSTECH and SUNY Korea) - for 10 years
  • The objective is to raise creative professionals who can lead global IT industry by constructing the Korean version of the MIT Media Lab
  • Exploit synergy of POSTECH's expertise in technology and research, and SUNY's expertise in global education
  • Force a changes in curriculum: from theory to research and practice and multidisciplinary education