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New Summer Institute Brings South Korean Computer Science Students to Campus

July 23, 2013

MANHATTAN -- Computer science is the focus of a new educational and cultural exchange program between Kansas State University and South Korea's Hanyang University this summer.

Thirty computer science students from the South Korean university are taking part in the newly established Korean Summer Institute, which is sponsored by Kansas State University's College of EngineeringEnglish language programand Division of Continuing Education and by the South Korean government.

The summer program is part of a larger program called SMaSH, or the Software Maven School at Hanyang University that is funded in part by industry and the Korean government. The aim is to send 30 students a year from South Korea to Kansas State University over the next four summers to continue the cultural exchange and educational opportunity.

The students are spending six weeks on campus refining their computer programming techniques and also practicing their English grammar and technical writing skills. The goal is to give them a taste of American life and to let them experience the world-class computer science curriculum that thedepartment of computing and information sciences offers.

The program designer and coordinator is Kyung-Goo Doh, a Kansas State University computing and information sciences doctoral graduate who now teaches at Hanyang University. Kansas State University's Masaaki Mizuno, professor of computing and information sciences, is assisting with the institute. Both think the institute is on track for success.

"I think this is very beneficial for both our departments," Doh said. "South Korea is a really small country, so the only way we can survive is to work hard. For the future, the government has tried to push students to excel and has put an emphasis on computer science."

"Interaction with a Korean university and the possibility of sending our students to them in the future is really, really nice. Plus, this is a wonderful way to recruit future graduate students," Mizuno said.

Kim Jae-Sung, one of the visiting students, is looking forward to the opportunities the institute will provide.

"The first thing is practicing our English skills," Jae-Sung said. "It's very helpful for me to communicate with a foreigner. The second is practicing computer programming skills. Professor Mizuno is very good and I hope that I will learn a lot in these coming weeks."

"I want to improve my skills in embedded computer systems, improve my English skills and the last thing is to just have fun," said Sung-Jye Cho, another institute participant.

In addition to the engineering curriculum, Kansas State University is sponsoring several events for the students to help immerse them in U.S. culture, including a trip to a Kansas City Royals baseball game.

"They have only been here a short time, but some of my students in computer science are already good friends with the Korean students," Mizuno said. "We all went to see fireworks in Wamego for the Fourth of July and one of my students told me that this was a great opportunity for him, too."

The students will celebrate completion of the program at 3 p.m. Aug. 6 with a special closing ceremony at the K-State Alumni Center.

Sources: Masaaki Mizuno, masaaki@k-state.edu; Kyung-Goo Doh, doh@hanyang.ac.kr 
Written By: Matthew Blomberg, 785-532-2649, mblom@k-state.edu
K-State News and Communications Services