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  • FONTS

English / Japanese

[Department of Information Science and Technology, School of Information Science and Technology]
Professor OKUDA Takashi

If we got rid of lines, everybody would get along better. It would be great if we could make a “techno comedic monologue” to convey the profundity of information science technology.

My College Days of Travel and Part-Time Jobs to Travel, and Thoughts for Today’s Students

What I remember most from my college days are travel and part-time jobs in order to travel. My maxim was to spend half of my extended vacations doing part-time jobs and the other half traveling, using up all the money I earned. I was very interested in American culture, so I spent forty days wandering around America during graduate school. During that time, I feel like I learned how to survive in English and in life. Years later, when I presented a research paper at an international conference in New Orleans, an American professor told me, “You’re doing interesting work.” His praise led me to have more confidence toward my own research.

Regarding universities, the British poet John Masefield has said, “There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university.” He probably meant a sublime place where young people study diligently and the teachers also face off with them in earnest. I think faculty members at universities must have both “a commitment to research” and “a commitment to teaching.” When I come in contact with students especially, I do my best to keep a calm face and to use kind words, in the spirit of “a gentle face and loving words.” I also strive to make my lectures memorable and inspiring for students, even if that means digressing a little. To get into the spirit before lectures, I sometimes even watch videos of the Japanese rock musicians Kiyoshiro IMAWANO and Eikichi YAZAWA.

To Make the World a Happier Place Through Research on Getting Rid of Lines

What I am researching is the design of networks that enable everyone to share a variety of things. For example, when the circuits we use for e-mail get congested, how much should we increase their capacity? The point is to calculate the most cost effective network by using the power of mathematics and the power of computers. That is not the only thing needed for design, however; there are also times when amazing ideas are required for thinking outside the box and changing the structure used until now.

I believe that these kinds of research can be applied not only to telecommunications but also to public services and various types of businesses and locations where lines form. If lines disappeared from the world in places such as ATMs at banks, ETC lanes on expressways, and company cafeterias, we would have more time to use and we would be able to spend more quality time with our family and friends. If there are people out there with problems such as “We’re having trouble with too many lines,” “We’re having trouble with too much overtime,” or “We’re having trouble running the community center,” I think we might be able to come up with some solutions by brainstorming together.

I like rakugo (traditional comic storytelling), so I hope we can make something like a “techno comedic monologue” in the future. Imagine making the person listening envision colorful characters like Kumasan and Hattsan simply through voices, expressions, and the listener’s imagination. Now that would really be the ultimate in multimedia telecommunications. I want to let many people know that “information science technology” may be hard to understand and it may be commonplace now that so many fields are using it, but it’s actually quite profound. It would be nice if we could convey that in easy-to-understand Japanese, without using things like PowerPoint or complicated numerical formulas.

Profile

Department of Information Science and Technology, School of Information Science and Technology

Professor OKUDA Takashi

Areas of Specialty: Telecommunications Traffic Theory, Information Communication Systems, Social Robotics, Service Science

Attracted to American culture since middle school, he was a Major League Baseball addict even before the pitcher Hideo NOMO went to America. After finishing graduate school, he found a job once, but he realized “I’m not the corporate type,” so he returned to university a year later. Currently, while engaging in teaching and research about information networks, he is aiming to put the language of baseball legend Shigeo NAGASHIMA into words and embodied knowledge as one part of an in-progress research project on humanoid robots. He sweats a lot, so he calls himself “Professor Handkerchief” instead of “Prince Handkerchief” (the nickname of pitcher Yūki SAITŌ).

Interview: YAMAGUCHI Aya; Writer: MIYAMOTO Yumiko

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