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April 1, 2024

Greeting from the Head of Department

  • Kazuyuki MOTOHASHI
  • The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies was set up in 1992 within the Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (UoT). It brings together some of the best and brightest researchers from a diverse range of fields in the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), which is a substantive operating entity of UoT. True to its name, the AIS is engaged in advanced and interdisciplinary education and research activities in specific academic fields including information, materials, the environment and energy, chemical biomedicine, barrier-free studies and other natural sciences, as well as the humanities and social sciences such as economics, law, politics and the arts. AIS also closely adheres to the RCAST philosophy of "University open to the society" and follows this as its mission, by distinctively focusing on using the findings of collaborative research with companies and local governments for the benefit of society.
    Last year, AIS celebrated 30th year anniversary, and we have produced more than 500 doctoral degree holders from a wide range of students including working adults and international students.

    While it is said the workforce participation of people with doctorate degrees in Japan is still not at the level of Western countries, recently not only academic institutions but also corporations have become increasingly interested in hiring doctorate degree holders. As technology continues to transform and advance, companies are being asked to come up with even more groundbreaking innovations. This requires personnel who can return to more fundamental theories and apply scientific research processes to produce new findings.

    Innovations that have a huge impact on society often result from the synergy of differing technologies. This emphasizes the importance of obtaining a deep understanding of research in specialized fields, while also actively working with researchers in different fields. This is one reason why RCAST is an ideal location for AIS to operate in.

    At a glance, the two words advanced and interdisciplinary may sound somewhat contradictory. However, they resonate with the open and advanced research in scientific and technology that the AIS is bringing to society. Everyone at the AIS warmly welcomes all who would like to join us in taking on new challenges in advanced interdisciplinary studies.

Head of Department

Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies,
Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Greeting from the Director of Managing Committee

  • The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) stands out among the other speciality courses in the academic speciality-focused Graduate School of Engineering. AIS is distinctive for its teaching staff that cover a range of research fields from natural sciences to biomedical sciences, information sciences and even social sciences. At AIS, we are able to leverage this feature to offer unique educational and research programs, which aim to cultivate “advanced” human resources with a high-level of expertise and an interdisciplinary approach, and who can become leaders in the future society. We are also focusing on providing research guidance with an awareness of social integration and its possibilities.

    As the segmentation of various academic and technical specialities continues, researchers are being required to have knowledge and literacy in a wide range of fields outside of their specialities, so that they can properly determine the significance and value of their own work and then give back to society accordingly. This does not mean that researchers only need to have an interdisciplinary approach in terms of knowledge and methodology. Rather, it indicates the importance of having well-developed interpersonal skills and practical knowledge, which have been fostered through interactions with colleagues and peers who have diverse values and expertise. If we call comprehensive interdisciplinary knowledge, then in a broad sense, this well-developed expertise (speciality) that can be used to give back to society is a skill that has been acquired from this comprehensive interdisciplinary knowledge.

    The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) welcomes everyone to study a wide variety of courses and programs that are rooted in expertise (speciality) and an interdisciplinary approach, in an environment that respects diversity. We look forward to receiving students with a broad perspective and a passion for the pursuit of knowledge, and the motivation to put that knowledge into practice.


Director of Managing Committee

Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies,
Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

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