AY2020 Presentation about Research Findings by Doctoral Students

Twenty doctoral students in the Tokyo Tech Academy for Convergence of Materials and Informatics (TAC-MI) held an online session on June 30, 2020 to present their latest research findings. Tuning in to the presentations were approximately 120 TAC-MI program staff members, students, and industrial collaborators.

TAC-MI, established in January 2019 under the auspices of the Doctoral Program for World-leading Innovative & Smart Education (WISE) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, aims to cultivate multi-talented individuals who can play leading roles in the creation of new industries and academic fields involving materials science, information science, and social services. The program also places strong emphasis on working closely with industry.


Part 1Research findings presentations by 1st-year doctoral students
Part 2Self-Designed Thesis progress presentations by 2nd-year doctoral students

Part 1: Research findings presentations by 1st-year doctoral students

In the first half of the event, sixteen 1st-year doctoral students gave presentations on the progress of their research and the development of future research that fuses materials and information. After brief opening words from Professor Takeo Yamaguchi, the director of TAC-MI, the presentations kicked off under the guidance of TAC-MI’s Associate Professor Yu-ichiro Matsushita, who chaired the session.

The six-minute presentations, followed by two-minute Q&A sessions, provided all students the opportunity to appeal to the audience regarding the findings of their research thus far. In particular, students were able to rethink how they can convey their research to people from different fields. As students advance from the master’s program to the doctoral program, the research skills required of them change, and TAC-MI continues to support this evolution together with industrial collaborators.

Part 2: Self-Designed Thesis progress presentations by 2nd-year doctoral students

In the second half of the event, again moderated by Matsushita, four 2nd-year doctoral students provided presentations about the progress of their TAC-MI Self-Designed Thesis.

For the Self-Designed Thesis, students choose a topic different from that of their dissertation and conduct research on their own initiative. They present the research findings upon completion of their doctoral degree program, and faculty members at TAC-MI review the presentations. Through this process, students acquire the ability to conduct unique research independently based on new ideas supported by knowledge of materials science and information science, transcending their individual specializations. TAC-MI students present their research progress at either the event in June or the International Forum in December during the second year of their doctoral program.

In the beginning of each presentation by 2nd-year doctoral students, the background and purpose were thoroughly explained so that the audience could easily understand the content. The presenters, who had already conducted TAC-MI presentations at the event in June and the International Forum in December last year, had clearly experienced personal growth in the past 12 months.

Moderation by Dr. Yu-ichiro Matsushita
Q&A session during presentation by 1st-year doctoral student
Presentation by 1st-year doctoral student
Q&A session during presentation by 2nd-year doctoral student

After the event, TAC-MI program staff members and industrial collaborators who listened to the presentations provided feedback to the presenters. Based on the feedback sheet received later from industrial collaborators, expectations are clearly high regarding the materials and informatics research being conducted by TAC-MI students:

  • The research presentation on “Materials X Informatics” was very meaningful because it made clear the strength of the technology that has advanced to the practical stage from the initial stage. I hope that this technology, developed by teachers and students, will be a strong tool to support Japanese industry in the future.
  • Regarding the combination of “Materials X Informatics” in each student’s research topic, there were some studies in which information science was consciously introduced. This is wonderful because it helps to broaden the range of students’ research methods in choosing the most suitable approach.
  • I think the presentations of the TAC-MI students were of a very high level. Based on the expertise cultivated by the students so far, under the various circumstances of the TAC-MI program, we expect to be able to create human resources who will create new value from different perspectives.

Other advice from industrial collaborators included the following:

  • Since the fields of research are very diverse, I think that it would be easier for corporate researchers to understand the topics through an introduction of the research and emphasis on the novelty of the research.
  • I think it would be great if students clearly indicated the value and purpose of the research at the very beginning. They could also describe the positive effects achieved by their research and how it can contribute to society.

Despite being held online to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the event was a success thanks to the cooperation of many industrial collaborators, program staff members, and students. Participants even pointed out various advantages of holding the session online, including the clarity of graphs and screens used during the presentations. In the future, TAC-MI hopes to ensure more time for Q&A sessions and a platform to interact with students after presentations, as requested by some participants.

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