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Department of Engineering Brings Graduate Students and Cochlear Implant Users Together

Nov 23, 2018

Meeting of SNU and the Cochlear Implants Users Club
Meeting of SNU and the Cochlear Implants Users Club

On November 17 the SNU College of Engineering hosted a meeting with the graduate students of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the SNU Institute for Global Social Responsibility (IGSR), and the Cochlear Implants Users Club (CIUC) of Korea.

Professor Sung June Kim (Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering), who is currently holding a graduate course called Neural Prosthesis, organized this gathering to stimulate discourse on the development and usage of these prosthetic devices.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that aids those with hearing impairments. Different from normal hearing aids, cochlear implants do not merely amplify incoming sound but electrically do the work in place of the cochlea (the inner part of the ear that, when damaged, results in a hearing impediment) and send neural signals to the brain. As of now, these devices provide a level of hearing that is comfortable for everyday conversation. There is still much research to be done, however, in terms of natural sound recognition, particularly with regard to musical patterns.

Following the discussion between the graduate students and members of the CIUC, several students from the Department of Korean Music put on a performance for the participants. A total of 64 people joined in the event including members of the CIUC, SNU graduate students, student musicians, and invited guests.

Professor Sung expressed his satisfaction with the meet-up. “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet cochlear implant users and listen to their stories… it was a rewarding experience and I will try to expand this interaction to implement human-centered technology for the future.”

Written by Yu Young Jin, SNU English Editor
Reviewed by Professor Travis Lamar Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,