Greetings from the Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering

椹木先生研究科長写真(英)The spread of the new coronavirus infection that we face today creates a symbiotic environmental pressure with an unknown virus inevitable for humankind. It is urgently needed to transform into a contemporary society of a "new normal" in various aspects, from work style to lifestyle. The role of engineering required in such an era is enormous. Recognizing the critical mission of engineering in society and being aware of the need to listen to the voice of humanity, engineering must be able to judge the "value" of the community; thus, the perspective of "designing society" is indispensable for engineering. The objective of science and technology is now a society composed of various parties rather than a single artificial thing or an individual. The means is to understand and design the complex feedback structure woven by many interactions. The goal is to develop a society that creates harmony that makes most people and makes the most of nature beyond time and space.

Recently, "Digital Transformation (DX)" is often mentioned as a term that summarizes the future society[1]. The content is that "evolving technology will enrich people's lives" and means a social change beyond one company's efforts. Its characteristic is a return to "human-centeredness / life-orientedness," and it is characterized by targeting "society" aiming for a rich "life" of people. Human resources who can solve such social issues are required to have the ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data. Moreover, the ability to clarify the natural phenomena behind the data and the potential relationships and causality of production and living activities in human events is more important. To realize the Society 5.0 concept, which tends to be focused on the cyber world and DX in the future, the utilization of existing information and data and cooperation with the field area is indispensable. And engineering is the answer. Human resources cultivated by engineering are highly sensitive to both "what to make" and "how to make" for society. They can work on problem-solving with a broader and higher idea.

The two pillars that support engineering education and research are fundamental research and applied research. The former is the primary role of knowledge obtained by combining experimental study and mathematical analysis. As is said that "excellent theory is always practical," fundamental research is an indispensable pillar in engineering. On the other hand, the pillar of applied research is also essential, and this does not mean that applied research is a simple byproduct of fundamental research. More importantly, the mission of applied research is to bridge the gap between abstraction and concreteness. It is necessary to understand the individual phenomena of nature and find out its universal theory and share it with many people. A "model" is a tool for this purpose. By making full use of the model and utilizing the model as a common language, we can understand the unique phenomenon in front of us and what other phenomena can occur via analogy enabled by the model. You can acquire the ability to understand (universalize) different fields utilizing the model.

Currently, this graduate school consists of 17 departments and eight centers. Graduate students are assigned to the laboratories of each major and center and work on specific research subjects under the guidance of faculty members. In that process, you will acquire specialized knowledge and cultivate various abilities, including the ability to carry out research and logically explain the study results. Please visit each department's or center's website to find what kind of laboratories each department or center has and what type of research is being conducted in that laboratory. You will find out that various studies have been done. Many people may feel confused when failing to find the common issues existing among those, no matter how much they look at them. To understand the information, it is necessary for both the person who sends the knowledge and the person who receives that to have an active desire to persuade it and comprehend it. Please don't give up understanding simply because it's out of your interests. The essence of graduate school learning through research exists here. The joy of discovering an unexpected commonality between what you know and what is unknown is exceptional. This joy may be the same for research subjects and for students and faculty members you will meet at graduate school. We offer courses in each specialized field and general practices and extracurricular activities to foster high ethics and internationality in academic research. As a graduate school study, which is the highest school in our educational systems, you could dedicate another time to rediscover yourself by taking such lectures and conducting assignment activities, including overseas and daily research in your field of specialization. I would appreciate it if you could get it.

[1] Erik Stolterman & Anna Croon Fors: “Information Technology and the Good Life,” January 2004
DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-8095-6_45