Education & research

Greetings from the Director of Managing Committee

Prof. Satoru TAKAHASHI

The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) is an independent department within the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), and is unique for a number of reasons. For instance, it is the only postgraduate department that is established within a UTokyo affiliated research institute and it enrolls doctorate candidates exclusively. As part of the Graduate School of Engineering, AIS is engaged in a range of research areas from advanced research in science and technology to social sciences and research related to social systems, including barrier-free technology. In line with our Director's introductory address, AIS truly embraces a broad spectrum of pursuits in which a variety of fields come together in this small-scale research body to form a "mini-UTokyo." As is fitting for a place of practical and cutting-edge education that responds to the constant transformations of the current era, AIS is also characterized by the enrollment of a large number of working professionals.

RCAST aims to provide prompt responses to new issues emerging from academic developments and social change. It also maintains the goal of contributing to the development of science and technology by opening up new fields of advanced science and technology (Article 2, Statute of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo). For this purpose, RCAST aims to train doctoral students who are able to independently outline both substantive interpretations and principles for action, and whose goal is to create new forms of knowledge on the basis of their own unique way of understanding problems. They should not be held back by conventional knowledge, and must operate within a context defined by the dramatic advancements in advanced technologies, rapid development of an information-based society, and dynamic transformations within world affairs that are often difficult to predict. The task of shaping such individuals is an extremely important one.

The Komaba II Campus which is home to RCAST is located in a quiet residential neighborhood with wonderful peaceful surroundings, and just 2 kilometers away from the bustle of Shibuya. It is an ideal location to dedicate oneself to research and forgetting the day-to-day concerns and dynamic environmental changes occurring in the vicinity. The creation of new and historic forms of knowledge that go beyond conventional frameworks require innovative initiatives that are not mere extensions of past methods, and a strong resolve to not eschew unconventional wisdom. AIS is a true melting pot of academic and environmental stimuli, and its special interdisciplinary and geographic environment is hugely beneficial in carrying out its stated aims.

We call our students to commit themselves to this challenge with a pioneering spirit and without the fear of failure.

Director of Managing Committee
Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies,
Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
April 1, 2017