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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2015)

SPECIAL REPORT

Toward a university offering world-class education and research.
Waseda research connects with the world

Waseda University is currently working to further enhance its educational and research capability with the aim of becoming a hub for international education and research.
Waseda Vision 150, the mid-and long-term plan which was formulated in 2012, has also set the goal of "taking bold efforts to become an international education and research university." Our entire university is striving to further improve our educational and research capability.
The Waseda Ocean Concept, which was selected for the MEXT's Top Global University Project, clarifies initiatives for raising the level of educational and research capability by making priority investment on six research areas with international competitiveness.
This article introduces the hottest research at Waseda today.

Pick Up

Model bases for accelerating our education and research

Continuing from the Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2015), we will introduce 4 of the 6 model bases selected for the Top Global University Project.

Health and Sports Sciences

Right: Professor Hidenori Tomozoe, Faculty of Sport Sciences Senior Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Left: Professor Kazuyuki Kanosue, Faculty of Sport Sciences Base Leader

- Contributing to the creation of a society for healthy and enjoyable living

From inactivity among children to the increasing elderly requiring the nursing care, modern Japanese society faces a variety of issues related to physical and mental health. Throughout the world, it is recognized that physical and mental health is essential for living an enjoyable life, and that exercise (sports) are an important aspect. However, due to the lack of scientific knowledge regarding health and sports, our society is filled with incorrect health fads and training methods. Therefore, in addition to raising the level of our research, we as researchers have the mission of cultivating outstanding professionals and disseminating correct information.

Waseda University has continued to lead research in the field of health and sports sciences. In 2003, our university established the Faculty of Sport Sciences in order to integrate as "sport sciences" the research which had been performed separately in conventional academic fields. In the MEXT's Global COE Program implemented in 2009, our university's project "Sport Sciences for the Promotion of Active Life" was the only project selected from the field of health and sports science. We have worked ceaselessly to cultivate outstanding professionals capable of performing globally in health and sports science. From 2014, we have cooperated with the Waseda University Alumni Association to start WASEDA'S Health Study, a vast research survey on promoting health. (Refer to Frontline Research)

In order to further invigorate education and research at the health and sports sciences base, we have established the following four education/research projects: 1) Fostering health in children through sports, 2) Promoting health in the middle-aged through participation in sports, 3) Management policy for constructing sports environments, and 4) Formation of a foundation for improving sports skills. We will further strengthen the international partnerships formed during the 5-year Global COE Program with the University of Cologne (Germany), Loughborough University (England), Tsinghua University (China), the University of Calgary (Canada), and other physical education universities in Europe, America, and Asia. We are also planning to develop new systems for inviting overseas researchers on short-term visits to Waseda via the Joint Appointment System, to accept outstanding foreign students and send Waseda students to overseas universities, and to implement the current English-language doctoral degree program to the master's program and undergraduate schools. We seek to heighten the level of our education and research through international exchange in education, and to become a hub which is capable of further growth by attracting large numbers of outstanding professionals.

The 1st International Symposium of the Health and Sports Science model base was held on March 4 on the Higashifushimi Campus. The symposium featured lectures by guest researchers including Professor Zsolt Radak from the Hungarian University of Physical Education. The theme of the symposium was "Health Promotion: The Joy of Sports and Exercise." We are planning to hold intensive lectures by guest researchers sometime during this academic year.

Positive Political Economy

Right: Professor Koichi Suga, Faculty of Political Science and Economics Senior Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Economics
Left: Professor Aiji Tanaka, Faculty of Political Science and Economics Base Leader

- Striving to solve social issues, and to fuse political science and economics

Modern Japanese society faces countless issues including the national pension and environmental pollution. In order to realize a better life for mankind, we must construct political and economic systems which reflect the needs of systems and are of benefit to actual society. Furthermore, instead of making judgments based on assumptions or conjecture, it is important to take an attitude of "evidence-based thinking;" in other words, to base our judgments on statistical data and other scientific grounds. The ability to propose specific policy based on well-founded rationale is required in any field. The cultivation of professionals with this skill is an important mission of universities.

Since the early 2000s, the Faculty of Political Science and Economics has carries out bold innovations for fusing politics and economics from an international perspective, and has worked to cultivate professionals with the ability to compete internationally. We have formed bases for political science and economics through the MEXT's 21st Century COE Program and Global COE Program. As a result, we have performed political science and economics experiments, and have developed Japan's first Computer Assisted Self-Administered Interview (CASI) performed on a notebook computer (national poll survey). Furthermore, by incorporating a political science experiment into this notebook technology, our university has also succeeded in conducting experiments using the world's first CASI survey. This survey technology is used in a variety of other education and research activities, such as verifying theoretical solutions by using the world's top-level experiments and public polls. In recent years, the Faculty of Political Science and Economics has had 6 projects selected for Category A of KAKENHI. Moreover, in 2013, one of our projects was the first humanities project from Waseda University to be selected for Category S.

In 2008, the School of Political Science and Economics was selected for Global 30, the MEXT's project to promote the internationalization of research bases. The school responded by starting EDESSA (English-based Degree Studies September Admission Program), which enables students to obtain their degree through English-language classes only. Today, the program has been expanded to accommodate 100 students. Foreign students from throughout the world study side-by-side with Japanese students, gaining an international perspective and acquiring diversity while they learn. The results produced by Waseda in Global 30 earned the grade of "S" from MEXT, which is the highest possible evaluation. The trend of internationalization at our school is in line with Waseda Vision 150 and the Top Global University Project, and we expect our efforts to further advance Waseda's goals.

In terms of personnel, our faculty was the first to implement a global-standard international public advertisement in 2001, and we have worked to internationalize our faculty. Moving forward, through the Visiting Professorship System for inviting overseas faculty on short-term tenures, the Joint Appointment System, and the Tenure Track System*, we will strive to form an international hub where outstanding education and research professionals gather, and shall work to produce professionals who will contribute to society.

*Tenure Track System: A system which enables young researchers to accumulate experience as independent researchers (researchers in political science and economics experiments) via tenured employment prior to obtaining more stable work.

Political Science and Economics Experiment

A method which uses computers installed in an experiment room in order to simultaneously conduct experiments and clarify human psychology and behavior while targeting multiple subjects. This method has produced outstanding results in education and research in a variety of other fields. For example, in addition to researchers and students at the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, the system is used by Professor Hideaki Miyajima (Faculty of Commerce) in order to construct corporate management data and perform international comparison.

Energy and Nanomaterials

Professor Hiroyuki Nishide, Faculty of Science and Engineering Base Leader

- Forming an education/research base for leading next-generation energy!

Energy issues are an urgent problem in Japan and throughout the world. In order to solve this vast problem, we must do more than improve, reform and expand existing energy; instead, we must also create completely new social values with an eye on 10 to 20 years in the future, and must cultivate professionals capable of R&D.

Waseda University has numerous researchers who possess exceptional research ability in the field of materials, and was first to conduct research on new materials in nano size. From the creation of porous mediums with an array of ultra-small spaces and functional development by utilizing those spaces, to the creation of organic plastics which can store electricity and development of "soft batteries" using those plastics, Waseda University produces unique and useful technology. This research capability has been highly evaluated; for example, in March 2013, we established the Smart Energy System Innovation Center. Features of the center are that it conducts multiple national projects for next-generation storage batteries, solar cells, and energy management systems, and that it deepens relationships with leading companies through joint research which is a thrilling opportunity for many students.

In addition to research, the model base also implements educational programs. In 2012, we were selected for the MEXT's Program for Leading Graduate Schools. In this program, we have sought to cultivate high-level industrial professionals who can challenge various issues on an international scale. We have also accumulated a variety of experience including the establishment of courses for sending Japanese students to overseas universities for a 3-month period of joint cultivation, and implementing a 3-month internship at international corporations. In 2014, we established the 5-year integrated doctoral program "Major in Advanced Science and Engineering." Currently, we are implementing new projects such as a trial joint degree program with Monash University in Australia. Having faculty from overseas universities conduct classes and seminars at Waseda University will diversify our education. We expect that the Top Global University Project will further enhance these efforts.

Energy is a theme in which various issues such as sustainability and smart lifestyles intertwine. As such, it is impossible for Waseda University to solve these issues alone. Therefore, while cooperating with overseas institutions and corporations, our base seeks to contribute to the world by producing high-level industrial professionals who will create next-generation energy technology based on new energy materials.

The Smart Energy System Innovation Center was established in March 2015 (Director: Professor Tetsuya Osaka (pictured at left)). Possessing expert staff and cutting-edge facilities such as a dry room, the center conducts research on next-generation storage batteries. The center has developed an organic plastic storage battery (pictured at right) which can be bent into various positions. The ability to freely change the shape of this battery will greatly change the concept of product development.

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Professor Yoshihiro Shibata, Faculty of Science and Engineering Base Leader

- Innovations in physics and mathematics to support Japanese manufacturing

Mankind's technology has grown through a variety of great discoveries. However, no matter how wonderful the discovery is, it is useless if no one uses it. Application to technology and products is only possible by logical clarifying worldly phenomena and expressing it in language (formulas) that anyone can understand. This process requires knowledge of mathematics and physics; indeed, these subjects are the driving force of innovation in culture and civilization. In order for Japan to be continually recognized as a civilized country by the rest of the world, we must disseminate the recognition for the importance of mathematics and physics. Furthermore, for the good of society, we must continue to produce next-generation researchers and engineers who possess knowledge in mathematics and physics. That is our mission as researchers.

Since our founding, Waseda University has conducted education and research based on the concept of "fusing science and engineering." Our university has many prominent researchers in the fields of mathematics and physics, and has a strong record of projects selected for KAKENHI. Overall, Waseda is highly recognized both in Japan and throughout the world. First, from among the broad range of physics and mathematics fields, our model base will focus on the fields of quantum mechanics and mathematics, and fluid mechanics and mathematics, areas which have gained high international recognition. We will conduct modeling based on mathematics and physics, cultivate outstanding professionals who will contribute to scientific technology by performing simulations using numerical analysis, and will construct educational/research systems. These activities will be performed through partnerships with overseas institutions. In particular, from 2009, we started the Japanese-German Graduate Externship with the Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany). Through this program, we have cooperated to cultivate professionals who will perform on a global scale and across different fields. Based on this record of success, we plan to expand our overseas partnerships in the future. We are also constructing a system for cooperative education and research with the University of Pisa (Italy), the University of Pittsburgh (America), the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, schools which have a deep relationship with fields at our model base. We seek to create a base where overseas student and researchers of mathematics and physics want to study at Waseda University.

Moreover, in addition to the education of students majoring in physics and mathematics, we will continue to prepare a wealth of opportunities for students majoring in mechanical engineering to obtain this knowledge. The Top Global University Project is a driving force behind the growth of our educational and research capability. By producing professionals capable of even more accurate manufacturing, we will contribute to the prosperity of society.

The Japanese-German International Workshop on Mathematical Fluid Dynamics was held on the Nishi-Waseda Campus from March 10 to 13. As part of the Japanese-German Graduate Externship, the event focused on international cooperation, and featured special guest lectures given by overseas researchers such as Professor Matthias Hieber of the Darmstadt University of Technology.