Message from the Dean

The Establishment and
Evolution of ‘New Information Sciences’

Nei KatoDean of the Graduate School of Information Sciences

GSIS was established in 1993 as one of the stand-alone graduate schools at Tohoku University.  Advocating for the integration between natural sciences and liberal arts, GSIS is pursuing the goal of promoting fundamental sciences based on interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and advanced research to bring about age-defining contributions to society. Currently, GSIS is comprised of four departments: Computer and Mathematical Sciences, System Information Sciences, Human-Social Information Sciences, and Applied Information Sciences. Since its inception, the three principles of 'Open Doors', 'Research First', and 'Practice Oriented Research and Education' that have been the spirit of Tohoku University since its foundation are followed by our graduate school, and all our members have been working together to achieve the goal of leading the world by excellent research and development results. I am proud to be able to witness that in a short amount of time, GSIS has built up a strong reputation in the fields of natural sciences and liberal arts domestically and internationally. By the end of the fiscal year of 2023, 959 doctoral course and 4,099 master’s course students have graduated from GSIS, all of whom I believe with confidence are the important human resource that will support the development of academia and industry.

In recent years, GSIS has accelerated various research activities. Some of them are introduced below. In 2019, the Tough Cyber Physical AI Research Center (TCPAI) was established based on the world-class track record of its members to spearhead efforts foreseeing Society 5.0 and beyond. TCPAI features various joint projects through industry-government-academia collaboration. In 2020, the Joint Research Course for Quantum Computing was established in the Department of Applied Information Sciences to combine the strengths of academia and industry to extract and solve common problems beyond individual fields and to develop quantum-related basic and applied technologies. Thanks to such kind of effort and prominent achievements, Tohoku University was certified as the Center of Excellence for quantum solutions in 2021 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. In our GSIS, the Collaborative Mathematics Research Unit (CMRU) was founded in 2011 aiming at promoting the development of a collaborative study of mathematics and other fields of science, e.g., information sciences, life sciences, social and environmental sciences, among others, by riding on the strength of abstractness and versatility of mathematics. Through this approach, we will realize an interdisciplinary fusion ranging from fundamental research areas to new unexplored fields. In 2013, the Research Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics took over this role to promote further development. In 2023, NEC x Tohoku University Co-Creation Institute of Space-Integrated Network for Resilient Digital Transformation, a collaboration project between NEC Corporation and Tohoku University was initiated. It aims at developing new technologies for B5G and the implementation of those technologies for the society. 

Looking at the educational aspect, in 2017, the Graduate Program in Data Science (GPDS) was initiated under the collaboration of six departments at Tohoku University and overseas universities aiming at developing superior talents who will lead industry and academia in Japan, emphasizing interdisciplinary and international collaboration. In 2021, a MEXT scholarship program for foreign students called “Development of Human Resource of Data Science and AI Promoting Digital Transformation” was adopted where GSIS functions as a leading organization in collaboration with several graduate schools of Tohoku University. This program aims at nurturing high-quality global human resources for problem-finding and problem-solving skills in the real world. Later in 2023, the successor program “Fostering human resources in new interdisciplinary fields in the Society 5.0 era” was also adopted to further promote the internationalization of GSIS. In 2021, with the leadership of GSIS, a “Joint Research Laboratory” with BRIDGESTONE was launched to experiment with new methods of industry collaboration at Tohoku University. Its goal is accelerating the DX in the industry through the approach of bringing theory with practice. 

Looking toward the future, GSIS is expected to play a more important role in our society. I am looking forward to working with you and know that with your help we can move forward together.

Thank you for your continued support.

1st April, 2024