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April 1, 2022

Greeting from the Head of Department

  • Takehisa YAIRI
  • The department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS), which was set up in 1992 within the Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), has just celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. During the years since its foundation, AIS has produced approximately 500 doctoral degree holders from a wide range of students including working adults and international students.

    AIS 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 the substantive operating entity of AIS. True to its name, it 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 society" and follows this as its mission, by distinctly focusing on using the findings of collaborative research together with companies and local governments for the benefit of society.

    In order to tackle the various, complicated difficulties we humans are now facing including climate change, environmental threats and pandemic, etc., not only high expertise in specific domains but also a broad view of the relationships between things and an innovative mind free from existing frameworks are required.

    AIS, as the name indicates, provides a research education environment where researchers and students can pursue advanced studies in their own fields and can interact with the researchers in diverse other fields through interdisciplinary communication to drive innovation. Everyone at AIS warmly welcomes all who would like to join us in taking on new challenges in advanced interdisciplinary studies.

Takehisa YAIRI
Head of Department

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

Greeting from the Director of Managing Committee

  • Masahiko INAMI
  • This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, which was established in 1992. As a matter of fact, I studied with this department myself, and I earned my doctoral degree in 1999.

    Our department was established as part of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), a home for traditionally cutting-edge research fields back then even as it is now. The phrases cutting-edge and state-of-the-art seem similar but actually differ somewhat. Although novelty is certainly important for research, newness alone does not guarantee the value of any given research. Even past methods sometimes have a real impact on modern-day society. Similarly, although a given approach might seem perfectly run-of-the-mill in one field, the same approach sometimes leads to important discoveries in a different one.

    One vital key word in terms of conducting cutting-edge research that has an impact on both current and future academics and society is diversity, or not getting too caught up in the old versus the new as described above. Our department is an embodiment of diversity that consists of students learning as they engage in a wide range of research fields, including international students from various countries and regions, students employed by companies in numerous industries, and students from the master's programs of other graduate schools and universities.

    The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies is on the Komaba Research Campus, which has good access to central Tokyo, and many of our lectures are offered in a hybrid format that includes both online and in-person classes, which enables both company employees and people who live far away to flexibly attend them. In addition, because our department engages in activities in collaboration with overseas universities that include Cambridge University as well as the local governments of both Japan and other countries, our students have unique opportunities to engage in activities that would not normally be available. We also offer a comprehensive set of support systems, including a Research Assistant System aimed at assisting students with their activities as well as a Long-term Study System that enables students to pursue their degrees based on a longer-term, more flexible schedule thanks to tuition fees covering three years.

    We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to study with the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies so that you can gain the diverse background and advanced education necessary to help us pave the way for the future both academics and society.

Masahiko INAMI
Director of Managing Committee

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

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