Soprano Jo Sumi, 60, has been appointed as a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
KASIT said on Friday that the school has appointed Jo as a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Culture and Technology. Jo will start teaching from the first semester of next year. Her appointment will last until September 2024.
“We aim to broaden students’ perspective on culture and art, and expand a foundation for building related knowledge by inviting a world-class musician to teach at KAIST,” the school said.
Jo will teach leadership classes to undergraduate and graduate students from next year. She will also carry out basic research on AI-based musical performance analysis and creation and applied research on future performance production and stage production technique at the Graduate School of Culture and Technology. Jo will give special online lectures for the time being and will visit KAIST to have a talk with students when she enters Korea for her concert scheduled in December this year.
KAIST also plans to establish the “Jo Sumi Performing Arts Research Center” at the Graduate School of Culture and Technology. The center will work as a convergence research center for professors at KAIST and external experts. “Advice will be given in research on future performance platforms, including video technology and sound integration technology aimed at realistically expressing virtual performers such as avatars, interaction technology for communication between virtual performers and human performers, and metaverse,” KAIST said.
Professor Jo, who is staying in Portugal ahead of her European tour, attended the appointment ceremony virtually held at the Yang Seung-taek Auditorium at KAIST. “I believe my experience and passion for life will be helpful to students, who lack a general understanding of culture. At times like this when it is not easy to go to concerts, I want to study a way to deliver the voices of performers to the audience without distortion so that they would feel like they are in a concert hall.”
Jo said. Jo Young-joon, the younger brother of Professor Jo and CEO of SMI Entertainment, attended the ceremony and received the letter of appointment on behalf of Jo Sumi.
“In order for KAIST to become a world-class university, its students should first have confidence,” said Lee Kwang-hyung, president of KAIST.
I was thinking about who would be a great Korean, who is at the top of the world with the experience and spirit that could boost that confidence, I thought of Ms. Jo.
“Although I was not acquainted with Professor Jo, I was able to contact her after asking many people for her contact address,” KAIST President Lee said. “I asked her to teach at our school after explaining the purpose and she sent a message after three days, accepting my offer.”