Inaugural Address from the Program Leader
Research Organization of the Program
Multi-Disciplinary COE-student Program
Research Activities and Cross-Disciplinary Units of Sub-Projects
Synopsis of Research Activities
Research Activities of Each Sub-Project
International conferences (BrainIT)
Edited Books
Wrapping Up the 21st Century COE Program
Wrapping Up the 21st Century COE Program
In order for Japan to keep its position in the global competition in science, some special education for the academic elites is indispensable. Although the society may demand a significant number of averagely educated, the fact of the matter is that the levels and standards of science and technology are set by a selected few. True elites would be able to have deep insights from analogy with multiple disciplines, and to develop further rich and creative ideas. Wishing to foster such young talents, we have attempted to run the “Multi-Disciplinary COE-student Program (Multi-Talent Elite Education),” an apparently audacious program. I can conclude that the effects of one-on-one sessions were immeasurable, and thorough guidance and supervision through private tutoring were most effective. At the same time, the loads on each faculty member were considerable as well, and yet the calls of duty were rewarding ones with reinvigorating satisfactions after the six months of hosting students in the “Multi-Talent Elite Education.”

In the course of administering the “Multi-Talent Elite Education,” we discovered a potential for cross-disciplinary training at the higher level, and so we designed a novel “DEGEIKO” System (Coaching System through Visits to Other Laboratories for Practice), selected by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as an educational program for the Initiatives for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools (Good Practice [GP] in Graduate Education). Their first year was very successful, and the system was expanded university-wide, which is completing with a greater success.

In the research front, the faculty members and post-docs from five key fields with their own patterns of thinking, conventions of argumentation, and the values of the different folds, from “Physiology,” “Psychology,” “Theory and Models,” “Devices,” to “Robotics,” strived to set a common goal through frequent seminars, which drew many occasions of heated discussions and debates. After the first six months, we were all talking the same language, and mutual respects were fomented with deeper understanding of other scientific fields, sharing patterns of thinking, conventions of argumentation. That enabled us to form truly cross-disciplinary research units of sub-projects. The result was the demolition of the mental boundaries between the fields, and it was even more effective for the training of the doctorate students. These were all made possible by being awarded a 21st Century COE Program. As we are approaching the final phase of establishing the novel academic field of “Brain-inspired Information Technology (Brain IT),” we, the faculty members, post-docs, and students, are all exerting ourselves to our fullest capacity to further develop the program to the world-class center for research and education.

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