On Monday, October 2, 2017, an entrance ceremony was held in the Kenshu Hall on the 1st floor of Interdisciplinary Frontier Research Complex No.2.
NAIST eagerly promotes admission of students whether from Japan or overseas with strong basic academic capabilities without being bound to a major field in university as well as researchers, engineers and others currently working actively in society who have clearly defined goals and aspirations for the future as well as strong interest and enthusiasm for research. This autumn 59 graduate students were granted admission to NAIST.
*Number of Enrollees in October
Information Science 18 (17 international students)
Biological Sciences 5 (5 international students)
Materials Science 5 (5 international students)
Information Science 14 (11 international students)
Biological Sciences 6 (6 international students)
Materials Science 11 (8 international students)
Total 59 (52 international students)
Congratulatory Remarks to Entering Students
October 2, 2017
I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to the 28 students entering the master's courses and the 31 new and continuing students entering the doctoral courses of NAIST today. On behalf of the faculty and staff members here at NAIST, I welcome you. I am pleased to announce that the incoming class includes 52 international students from 11 countries / regions. In particular, I would like to express a warm welcome to those of you who have chosen to leave your home country and study in Japan. Including the entering class today, we now have 218 international students from 30 countries / regions, accounting for a total of 20% of our entire student population of 1,061.
First, I would like to talk about the revolutionary era we are approaching due to developments in ICT science and technology. Revolutions in science and technology will bring about huge changes in industry and society. The most representative phrase expressing these developments in industry is "Industry 4.0."
The 1st industrial revolution in the 19th century was sparked by transportation methods that began with the invention of the steam engine and the mechanization of production and industry. The 2nd industrial revolution in the beginning of the 20th century was led by mass production making use of electricity. Following the 3rd industrial revolution in the late 20th century where further automation was made possible through computer technology and electronic systems, we are now entering the 4th industrial revolution through the independence of machines and systems brought about by the integration of the internet and sensing.
Additionally, in Japan we have passed through the hunting, agricultural, industrial and information societal stages and are looking upon Society 5.0, a super smart society effectively achieving the advanced integration of the cyber world and the physical world.
An important characteristic of the changes currently occurring is that the speed of these changes is faster than ever experienced before on a global scale. This can be felt when we see venture businesses appearing with new business models become global corporations in ten years and, in the blink of an eye, they expand to country-sized proportions. It may be said that most of the revolutions in science and technology are arising from the synthesis of different fields and research.
NAIST established basic education and research goals as: 'The promotion of research in advanced fields of science and technology while producing human resources through specialized education based on outstanding research achievements to contribute to the continued development of science and technology and overall societal development.' However, the subjects of research performed at NAIST and the research method ideology of the forefronts of science and technology at the time of NAIST's establishment and today differ greatly.
When the current 3 graduate schools, the Graduate Schools of Information Science, Materials Science and Biological Sciences, were established each academic area was seen as being an independent field of study. While there were the beginnings of Bioinformatics, collaborative research between the fields of each graduate was rare I believe. Now, with the collection of huge amounts of data of genome information and biomolecule spatio-temporal distribution, big data biology, an interdisciplinary area spanning information and biological sciences, is developing. And, in the field of materials science, materials informatics is a new emerging interdisciplinary field with information science.
The campus and organization here are compact and the walls between labs and the graduate schools are thin, a distinctive characteristic of NAIST. Taking advantage of this, collaborative research spanning multiple graduate schools is currently being actively pursued.
Actually, this current situation of interdisciplinary aims was foreseen before NAIST's establishment and this trend can be found in NAIST's concept for establishment, written in August 1991 before the university's creation. For example, concerning research it is written, "The forefronts of areas of science and technology spread out in wide interdisciplinary fields, where new developments are seen in basic science and these developments are rapid in nature." and "In these fields, the promotion of interdisciplinary basic research spanning across the established fields of study is of the utmost importance." Additionally, concerning education it is written, "Within these fields it is necessary to develop diverse human resources with specialized knowledge and skills that have the ability to respond to the developments of science and technology and continue to explore new fields."
In order to further actualize NAIST's establishment ideals and build upon our uniqueness and achievements, in April of next year NAIST will transform its current 3 graduate school system into one graduate school (Graduate School of Science and Technology) to be focused the expansion of interdisciplinary area educational programs.
You are the last students to enter NAIST under the 3 graduate school system, but, through the new educational program classes to be offered, you will be able to experience the interdisciplinary areas and be able to gain new insights, regardless of which school you entered. I hope you stretch beyond your area of specialization, utilizing the new curriculum and continuously paying attention to trends in surrounding fields, and develop a wide view of science and technology.
Please choose to face new challenges here at NAIST. NAIST faculty and staff will do whatever possible to assist you so that you can undertake new challenges.
In concluding my message, I hope you will have a successful student life and have great expectations for your future activities.
Congratulations once again on entering NAIST.
President Naokazu Yokoya,
Nara Institute of Science and Technology
October 2, 2017