Part A. Executive Summary
1. Executive Summary The goal of this project is to propel the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at Seoul National University into a leading department in computer science and engineering in the world within the next five years. To reach this ambitious goal, the department must not only offer a world-class research environment that facilitates and stimulates excellent achievements, but it must also be recognized as such. To address the first part, we will strengthen our research excellence with a particular focus on our core competencies: artificial intelligence (AI) and computer systems (Strategy 1, S1). At the same time, we improve the recognition of our department through an active collaboration with renowned experts and employment of aspiring excellent young researchers (S2). We first analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of our department as follows. Strengths: As the most prestigious university in Korea, our department attracts the most competitive students and industry collaboration with world-renowned companies such as Samsung, SK Hynix, Hyundai, LG, and many more. Weaknesses: Compared with other top universities, the teaching load of our faculty is relatively high. We also have significant room for improvement in terms of international collaboration. Opportunities: Computer systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have long been core competencies of our department. As such, we are well-positioned to take advantage of the recent raise in importance of these topics in terms of government and industry support and international recognition. Threats: Important resources such as space and faculty members required for educating the rapidly growing body of students could fall short of our needs and expectations. To reinforce our strengths and take advantage of opportunities while at the same time eliminate weaknesses and overcome potential threats, we will drastically improve the research environment and significantly strengthen collaboration and competency of our diverse human resources. We propose the following action plans to foster the two strategies identified above of (S1) strengthening our department’s research excellence and (S2) increasing the visibility and international recognition of our department as follows: (P1) Reduce the teaching load to a level similar to that of top institutions (fosters S1) and improve support for international activities and recognition of our faculty (S2). (P2) Advance industry collaboration by establishing a center for industry collaboration (S1). (P3) Invite internationally renowned researchers for visits, talks, and collaborations and organize an annual international AI summer camp to foster networking and personal interaction (S2). (P4) Recruit outstanding new faculty members and postdocs by actively approaching potential candidates and inviting them to a Rising Stars workshop (S1, S2). (P5) Attract high quality graduate students from Asian countries and other regions through active promotion and advertisements of our department (S1, S2). We assess the effectiveness of this project by comparing our academic excellence to the top ten research universities in computer science and engineering. In addition to global university rankings, we also consider metrics such as citations, h-index, and the Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI).