2019 NAIST Fall Graduation Ceremony (September 25, 2019)


On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, a graduation ceremony was held in the Millennium Hall.
President Yokoya presented degrees to each graduate and gave the congratulatory speech to the graduates.
After the ceremony, the commemorative photograph was taken and the graduates enjoyed the graduation ceremony with the president, executive directors and their supervising professors.

*Number of Graduates in September
【Master's Graduates】
Information Science 19 (18 International students)
Biological Sciences 6 (6 International students)
Materials Science 5 (5 International students)

【Doctoral Graduates】
Information Science 9 (5 International students)
Biological Sciences 13 (12 International students)
Materials Science 7 (5 International students)
Science and Technology 1

【Graduates who completed the Doctoral program by submitting the dissertation】
Information Science 1

Total 61 (51 International students)

【Congratulatory Remarks to Graduating Students】

 I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the 30 master's and 31 doctoral students who have received degrees today and also to their friends and family here to support them.

 I am very pleased that there are 61 master's and doctoral students receiving their degrees today. For September, this is the largest amount of students to date. Most of you, 51 in total, are international students who left your home countries to study here at NAIST.

 As of today, NAIST has conferred a total of 8,009 master's degrees and 1,659 doctoral degrees since its establishment. At the end of this school year the number of graduates will pass the 10,000 person mark, and with this the network of NAIST graduates is growing larger every year. Of these, 343 master's and 323 doctoral graduates are international students, and we are seeing increased international growth of this graduate network.

 Of the master's students who received their degrees today, some will continue their studies in the doctoral program to become researchers, and others will enter the workforce, starting new lives in society as professional researchers and engineers. Also, many of the doctoral course graduates will take their first steps in their careers as professional researchers.

 Whenever the chance to talk arises I often mention that currently science and technology is facing an unprecedented era of revolutionary changes and these technological innovations bring about enormous change throughout society as well.

 Recent keywords in science and technology are Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Science. These ICT technological innovations have remarkable influence across science and technology fields outside of information science. For example, in the field of biological sciences the research area called bio-informatics has been established, and materials informatics is gaining presence in the field of materials science.

 In other words, A new research paradigm is developing called 'data-driven science' or 'AI-driven science for the concept of the future society "Society 5.0" that has been proposed where a myriad of things are connected to the internet to make a 'Super Smart Society' fusing the 'cyber world' and the 'real world' and which is based upon analysis of huge amounts of real time-collected data that may be accessed from around the world through networks.

 Based on the awareness of this era, in April last year NAIST unified the previous 3 graduate schools of information science, biological sciences and materials science to establish the Graduate School of Science and Technology in order to enhance interdisciplinary education programs.

 It is currently thought that the computer ability will surpass our human ability in the 2040's and technical singularity will be achieved, and, it is predicted that at that time, the majority of the jobs existing today will disappear and new jobs will appear.

 What kind of era will the 2040s be? What is for sure is that it will be a time when you will be the central part of society.

 You have developed specialized knowledge and experience from the various fields of information, biological and materials sciences. However, from now I hope that you will be active as researchers and engineers, responding flexibly to the rapid developments in science and technology and society through looking at related fields to gain a broad understanding of various areas of study to continually pursue the opening of new frontiers for exploration.

 Please actively undertake the creation and application of new science and technology to effectively overcome whatever singularity may bring and to open up your own future. Singularity is not to be feared, and I am certain that you will overcome it and be leaders in future society.

 Through your master's and doctoral thesis studies, you have the valuable experiences through which you developed the ability to identify problems, explore and implement solutions to these problems, evaluate the outcomes, and write academic papers on the outcomes through discussions with people having various viewpoints.

 This experience, along with the network you have created here at NAIST, will be a key factor in ensuring your future as researchers and engineers.

 NAIST's role does not end with us sending you out into society. Rather, the NAIST faculty and staff considers our role as facilitating the building of strong relationships with alumni so that each and all of you will be able to continue your creative lives in an ever-changing community of science and technology.

 Recently Homecoming Day is being held during the fall Open Campus and, additionally, the alumni association is planning to invite our graduates as guest speakers as well. We hope to continue to hold this kind of events and hope that you will come and visit at that time. It is our desire to have you, our graduates, return to the campus as role models for NAIST students in the future.

 Also, in addition to alumni association activities centered on our network of graduates, NAIST aims to further strengthen its international network of graduates active throughout the globe through our overseas offices such as the NAIST Indonesia and Thailand Offices. As I mentioned in the beginning today, of the graduates today, 51 of you are international students, and it is our wish that you also actively participate in these activities.

 I would like to congratulate you all again and in conclusion, we look forward to your future endeavors and success.

Naokazu Yokoya, President, Nara Institute of Science and Technology
September 25, 2019

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