Kim receives Korean-American Scientists and Engineers scholarship

Hyun-woo (Anthony) Kim, a Ph.D. student at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) has been selected as a recipient of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) scholarship in the amount of $1,500 in recognition of academic excellence and potential to become a leader in society. He is the only student studying information science among the 15 winners across the U.S., in addition to being the only winner from Penn State.

According to Kim, the scholarship recognizes the commitment between the U.S. and South Korea to cooperate on issues that affect the world. In his application essay, he said, he emphasized the importance of social media in transmitting information in times of disaster.

“People are concerned about privacy, but may find (social media) useful if there is a disaster,” he said.

Kim is involved with EMERSE (Enhanced Messaging for the Emergency Response Sector), a research infrastructure spearheaded by Andrea Tapia, associate professor of information sciences and technology, which categorizes tweets and texts from disaster sites into data that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can use to aid victims. Disaster victims often communicate their needs for shelter, food and emergency services through social media, but NGOs can become overloaded with information. The EMERSE system, Kim said, could simplify the process for NGOs and enable them to deliver services more effectively.

The researchers for EMERSE are developing approaches and platforms, he added, but the system is not publicly available yet.

Kim, who says he hopes to become a professor at an American university after receiving his Ph.D., plans to continue his research in social media, particularly in regards to its potential to spread information during disasters and elections.

“My ultimate goal is to be able to predict public opinion in the future through social media,” he said.

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Last Updated September 13, 2012