Bridging the Educational Gap with MAKE: Coding for Everyone
L i v i n g i n a digital world, time and space are no longer c o n s i d e r e d o b s t a c l e s f o r e d u c a t i o n . Choe Munjo, a Graduate Student of the Department of Physics at Hanyang University (HYU), is the founder of MAROMAV. His online programming platform called “MAKE”, embraces the values of ubiquitous education, unhindered from physical restrictions. He and his team have been working to let students all around the world learn how to code, without facing the basic problem of the lack of resources.
Q.You and your company created a platform called “MAKE”. Could you tell us what it is about?
A. The creation of MAKE started with some feedback that we received from a schoolteacher. This teacher claimed difficulties related to coding and SW education due to the insufficient number of professionals in the field and computer devices at schools. Based on this feedback, we decided to try implementing smart devices for coding, so that people could learn without having to acquire a computer. We also introduced a method of physical computing where students can make their own digital production, rather than trying to learn how to code by themselves in a short period of time through the traditional and complicated line-by-line coding method.
Q. Is there a special meaning behind the name of your program, MAKE? A. Our platform got its name from the hope and belief that it would be able to provide experience to learn, create, and become a “maker” in the field of IT. No one is physically limited when using MAKE. In other words, anyone in the world can learn coding through this application, and are able to check the results immediately. With this idea in mind, we decided on the name, MAKE. Q. What does “MAROMAV” have planned for 2022?
A. We have currently been planning with the city’s Office of Education to hold a coding education program along with an educational volunteer program for the local children’s centers. Furthermore, our company is planning to introduce a training package that consists of the MAKE application, as well as other education programs that will make learning easier and diverse. Moreover, we are planning to form a digital community to make it easier for people to share ideas and use them to challenge themselves as well.
Q. Is there any advice that you could give to the students starting their own business?
A. Although I am not currently in a position to guide new entrepreneurs, I would like to advise them not to be afraid of failure. Many people choose to start a business rather than join one these days, and therefore, I think it is very important for one to have experience in the field from an early age. In other words, it is important to not be afraid of trying new things and taking chances.
The Solution to College Students’ Monetary Concerns: Kidari Bank
College students are usually short of money due to their irregular income. If this is the case, Kidari Bank may be the solution for you. The Hanyang Journal met the Chief of Kidari Bank, Kim Ki-min, Class 2017 of the College of Economics & Finance, and heard further details of the enterprise that loans money for Hanyang University (HYU) students.
Q. How was Kidari Bank created?
A. Kidari Bank is a model that was made as an assignment for ‘Venture Practicing’ class. A lot of students agreed on the necessity of the model, so it was introduced through posters around the campus during November 2015. Kidari bank has been doing its role by providing financial fences to HYU students. The reality of college students is that their expenses usually exceed their income. However, not all university students are running short of money. So, we came up with the idea of gathering money from comparatively less urgent students to help those who are desperately in need of it.
Q. Can you further explain the Kidari Bank enterprise?
A. Kidari Bank specifically focuses on the financial burden of college students and how this could lead to societal alienation. Since college students don’t have a fixed income, they are unable to prove their credit rating, making it difficult for them to get a loan from financial corporations. Based on alumni trust, Kidari Bank receives and manages investment money, so that it can be lent to urgent students. Currently, the members of the bank have reached approximately 300 people. We are planning to attract more HYU students as members and work on our goal to expand the scale of available loan money so that more students can receive loans.
Q. What were the difficulties that Kidari Bank went through? How did you overcome them?
A. The works of Kidari Bank is a financial transaction. Inevitably, there were some negative views toward us. There were also opinions that Kidari Bank is just a loan company. We tried to advertise our enterprise through an application named Everytime. However, some students kept criticizing our posts, so there were hardships in terms of advertising. Due to such incidents, it has become a duty and a responsibility to retain the trust of the students. In the first semester of 2020, we entered the Social Innovative Center’s Leader Group to gain trust and alleviate the negative views by associating with the school.
Q. Do you have any advice for student planning to start finance related enterprises?
A. Financial affair enterprises are relatively regulated compared to other industrial fields. There is a lot of disappointment when failing to carry out plans due to legal restrictions. Nonetheless, I genuinely felt happy when I launched the service successfully by arranging a legal haven where I could unfold all my plans, such as financial innovation designation. Financial industrial work is a difficult field recommended for students who like challenges.
Ceaseless Endeavor for the Progress of Oral Medication
O n J u l y 1 3 , 2 0 2 1 , L e e D o n g - y u n , a P r o f e s s o r f r o m t h e Department of Bioengineering a t H a n y a n g U n i v e r s i t y (HYU), announced that his research team had developed an oral medication for brain tumors using milk proteinshelled gold nanoparticles. Since brain tumor is a type of cancer that is generated in the brain, a special organ of the body, there have been many problems with drug delivery. Professor Lee conceived the fact that lactoferrin protein is absorbent in the small intestine and invented a new platform technology that can combine with the receptors on the surface of intestinal and brain cancer cells. This can cure a brain tumor by flashing lights and generating heat.
Q . H o w d i d y o u f i r s t b e c o m e interested in oral medication?
A. Among the many stages of new drug development and formulations, oral formulation is critical in terms of pharmacological perspective and convenience. Especially, patients with chronic diseases must take medicine easily and conveniently. In this respect, our research team has been working on drug development with oral formulation from an early stage.
Q . H a v e y o u e x p e r i e n c e d a n y difficulties as a researcher? If so, how did you overcome them?
A. When an oral medication is developed and the efficacy is observed, it is mainly conducted on experimental animals. When the efficacy error of a drug appears, researchers tend to question the reliability of the drug. However, such efficacy errors are inevitable since the experiments are conducted on living animals, just like medicinal effects vary slightly from person to person. Therefore, it is important to minimize such errors in the experimental phase. For this, researchers need to closely monitor the animals’ weight, food, and behaviors. Besides, ensuring the time of taking medicine and observation of the efficacy are equally applied for all animals.
Q. Do you have any visions or goals for the future?
A. I would like to exceed my research level and provide the newly invented d r u g t o a c t u a l p a t i e n t s t h r o u g h commercialization. In order to do so, I’ve established a laboratory venture company called Elixir Pharmatech Inc. in January 2021. I’m currently in the development process of commercializing a new medicine.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to say to the students at HYU who are interested in oral medications?
A. What I would like to say is to simply “act”. Because we live in an era of data it is hard to think of an idea without background information. Therefore, it is crucial to learn and organize the information. The problem is “how” to process the acquired information. When researchers first put their ideas into practice, 99 percent will fail and be discouraged. However, if you persevere and continue to “act,” you will learn something and eventually become a better researcher.