We invited leading experts in “integrating mathematics and science” to a seminar and panel discussion that took place on June 10, 2016. University President Keizo Yamaguchi, a mathematics graduate, also joined us.This special seminar began with President Yamaguchi delivering a lecture titled “Don’t be Misled by Mathematical Formulas! Let’s Foster ‘Math Senses,’” which emphasized the importance of conscious reform in learning. Next was the lecture “A Mathematical Alien’s Adventure in the Physically Actual World,” delivered by Professor Masao Hirokawa of Hiroshima University Graduate School, Institute of Engineering. He combined stories of his experiences to introduce challenges of conducting research that fuses multiple disciplines and communication methods when collaborating. Subsequently, first-term students Satoru Handa and Jin Mingu introduced their activities—a fusion between the disciplines of mathematics and science. Then, they presented issues and stated what they hoped would propel interdisciplinary studies in university education.
At the final panel discussion, Professor Yasumasa Nishiura, Tohoku University, Advanced Institute for Materials Research, was invited to moderate, and in addition to Professor Masaharu Nagayama, Research Center of Mathematics for Social Creativity, Electron Science Institute, and Coordinator Koichiro Ishimori, all of the speakers debated the future of integrating the disciplines of mathematics and science. The program students who spoke appealed for an environment in which working as a team is easy. Even though students had often heard of the importance of integrating the disciplines of mathematics and science, they are difficult to execute alone. As teachers introduced the state of these efforts at Hokkaido University and other organizations, Professor Nishiura summed up as follows: young program students’ candid opinions are highly valuable; we need future organizational follow-up on integrating mathematics and science; and we must create mechanisms for promoting that. During the meeting, President Yamaguchi received a request for support for group discussion opportunities across specialized frameworks, as implemented in the Leading Program, throughout the university. I am eagerly anticipating these students’ future activities after they heard messages from speakers who are at the forefront of the integration of mathematics and science.
Report: Hirotoshi Kuroda (Program Faculty)