Field Studies in the Republic of Korea (South Korea)
April 4, Geological Museum, ETRI
It was our first visit to research institute in Republic of Korea. We were stunned by the advancement of technology the ETRI researchers have been doing. My first amusement toward the ETRI technology is on the development of a super-speed data transmission with the 3GBps, meaning that we can transmit data as big as 3 GB in only 1 single second. It implies one movie only needs 0.2 seconds to be transmitted perfectly to the other computer/device.
Another fantastic future-technology development of ETRI is the music 2.0 application. This type of next-generation music can select what part of the music should be played. If we buy the Wonder Girls’ NO BODY, then we can select to listen to its piano playing only, the singing only, or even the drum playing only. That’s totally depending on our willingness to listen.
Most of all, my favorite is the ICT-based home application. They have connected every device with the wireless-remote control so that the user can turn on/off the home appliances without having to have a physical contact with, and he even is able to control it from distant places. We can close our windows even when we are having out-of-town business trip, or we can check how high the temperature in our kids’ bedroom is. Really amazing!
April 17, 2009: Currency Museum and Science Park
That day we went to see the history of currency of Republic of Korea. There they had the old type of coins and paper of Korean currency. The history tells that the Chinese really influenced the Koreans, event their currency (coins and papers) was once similar with that of Chinese.
I also saw that they had currency of other nations, such as the USA’s dollar, EU’s Europe, and UK’s Pound sterling. But the great thing is when I saw that they have my country’s currency, the ‘rupiah’. Amazing.
Then we moved to the next field study destination, the Science Park where we can see a lot of scientific buildings and characters. They have the introduction to every (or at least most of) Research institute in Daeduk Science Area. We went around to see the new hight-tech devices and peripherals developed by the Koreans.
May 1, 2009: Ceramic Village
We went to the Ceramic village to create our own hand-made ceramic potteries. The Sonsengnim taught us first how to create the ceramics, explaining the detail in how we should make the pottery by our own. Prior to our personal interaction with the spinning soil, we got our own personal cube-soil as a practicing medium before we did interact with the real and bigger pottery materials.
Each of us had an opportunity to create our own pottery. While some of us were trying to manage making their own personal pottery, some of them waited by making weird things out of their small pieces of pottery-purposed-made soil. Some of them created “Dwaeji” shape or even just their Korean name.
When it came to my turn to make my own pottery, I was trying to make a big water pot so that I can use it in my dormitory for drinking. Creating my own was not as easy as seeing other making it, especially the expert ones. I was fail on my first trial, my pottery was ruined up. It didn’t look like what I was expected. But anyway, I like it though.
The next step of the process was decorating our pottery. Firstly I didn’t have any idea of how I should decorate my pottery. However, when I saw some of the girls’ pottery design, I knew what I was supposed to do. I started to write my name on the pottery. Then I carved the Korea’s Ying-Yang logo, symbolizing that it was sculptured in Korea. Since those two paintings didn’t fully decorate the pottery, I was trying to put numbers in my pottery, the binary digits. My pottery was not really well-carved, but I love it. It was my first self-handmade pottery in my whole life. Wonderful!
May 15, 2009: Korea Institute of Energy Research
Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology
The energy resource in this world is definitely limited! We need to conserve our energy. That is what the KIER, Korea Institute of Energy Research, has been putting their effort into. This top-one energy research in Korea has installed a lot of solar-panel through out the roofs of their buildings, has used green house effect-glass to minimize the use of heater, and has developed the hydrogen instead of gasoline for car energy resource.
The most stunning result of their research for me is their ‘energy-house’ which can provide 80% of its electricity by itself. It has solar panel on the roof, deep-buried heater using earth-heat, and other natural energy resource. Its fundamental problem is that it’s a little bit expensive and therefore is not ready to enter the commercial market.
Then we proceeded to the KRICT, Korea Research of Chemical Technology. This institute is trying to develop Chemical Energy for better human-life support. They have gotten the international award in the anti-AIDS drug from the UN. They also have researched on more environmental-friendly chemical materials so that we can use them for longer time without risking our life and environment.
May 22, 2009: Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine + Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials
If we are thinking that the modern medicine has left out the oriental medicine miles away, then we’re totally mistaken. The Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine has proved that the oriental medicine can still catch up with the modern world, while keeping its tremendous advantages: no chemical drugs used for recovery.
We were taken up to the acupuncture where the professor explained about how to cure our disease using the acupuncture by sticking some acupuncture needle to some certain acupuncture spots within our body. As long as I remember, our head has the most spots for acupuncture.
The next destination was the Korean Institute of Machinery and Materials. We were explained about the history of machinery in Korea, from the early stage of developing until the leveling up to the world level and now they are trying to be the world leader in the machinery field.
One of the marvelous materials that I saw was the new type ‘sound system’. Instead of the old-fashioned material with the large-space need, this very slim, paper-like glass was so thin and the sound is so much clearer. The other advanced technology is the anti-aliasing technique to prevent pictures from becoming blurry underneath the sunlight.
May 29, 2009: Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety
Applied Radiological Science Research Institute, Jeju Island
The last day of May was such a wonderful weekend for ASEAN students. We got the free 3-day-2-night trip to Jeju-Island. We had two purposes while staying in Jeju Island. First, and might be the basic reason for the students, we wanted to go there for vacation. Meanwhile, we also had an academic field study in Jeju Islanda. We went to two Science-based research institutes: KINS Mobile Headquarters an d Jeju National University.
Mr Park (KINS) invited us to come and visit his colleagues in Jeju-Do, preparing for the ASEAN-ROK Summit. They explained us about the safety-monitoring system in the summit area; how to monitor the wide summit area with only one bus-like headquarter. The use the wireless communication system using the wireless internet technology so that they can communicate with people staying in monitoring area as well as the officers in the KINS Daejeon’s headquarter.
Then we had another visit to nuclear research in Jeju, the Applied Radiological Science Research Institute, Jeju National University. There we was very warmly greeted by the head of the research institute. He kindly explained everything about the isotope, chemical reaction, types of radiation wave (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma) and also what their differences are. He even took us to the most secret place in the research institute, the Gamma wave generator. It was so dangerous that they build a 1.5-meter-thick wall to isolate that area. A set of 2 ultra-heavy, weighted more than 1 ton each, is also installed there to secure the safety in the main research room.
June 12, 2009: ASEAN-Korea center
Korean Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul
It was my second time going to Seoul. However, we had to be very well prepared that day. We had to wake up before 6.30 since our trip started at 6.45. We had a 2-hour trip so Seoul, kind of tiring trip. We arrived at Seoul around 9 in the morning, and then we went to the MAGNETIC POWER, the gallery of ASEAN artists in South Korea. We saw a lot of amazing photographs, video, and paintings created by the ASEAN artists; from the ‘anonymous’ of Pilipino artist to the unrealistic imaging of Thailand artist. We also saw the daily photograph of Vietnamese on their daily life, as well as the night view of Brunei’s night market.
Then we moved out to KIST, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, where 5 of us will spend their summer vacation there for the internship. They treated us really nicely, even though they are really busy with their projects, they still have time for us. We were welcomed at their international conference room, and then we went to their digital imaging laboratory where I met some of Indonesian students having research there. We then visited their KISTorium (KIST History Museum) where we can see their history since the establishment. The next activity was the introduction of their IRDA program for the foreign students to study in KIST, pursuing their Masterate or doctorate degree in Korea.
June 12, 2009 OB Beer Factory
We wrapped up our final field study this semester by visiting the OB Beer Factory; the producers of HITE and MAX, the two most famous beers in South Korea. The journey was quite long, taking more than one hour. But it was worth it. The greeting was amazing; a really nice and welcomed greeting.
We spent around 30 minutes to travel around seeing how they produce the beer. I can see barely people working there, there are only a few of them checking the machine, since the machine doest every steps of beer making for them.
It was kind of disappointing for me visiting the beer company; we cannot see the detail of the machines working doing the processes. However, after I deeply thought about how they showed us their advertisement, I learnt a new thing. They don’t show how to drink, but they show ‘challenges’ that a group of young can solve. Then they associate that with the beer. Kind of nice; I was trying to figure out how such company thinks to promote their products.