Tokyo Institute of Technology: Tokyo Tech Academy for Convergence of Materials and Informatics (TAC-MI) holds 3rd International Forum online

The Tokyo Tech Academy for Convergence of Materials and Informatics (TAC-MI) held its 3rd International Forum online on December 7 and 8, 2021.

TAC-MI holds the International Forum once a year with the aim of improving international communication skills through English presentations to a diverse audience of students, academics, and industry players. This year, twenty-three 1st-year doctoral students and seventeen 2nd-year doctoral students presented their research achievements to the audience in English. The 2nd-year doctoral students were also in charge of overall event management, with one student chairing each session. In total, approximately 120 participants including industrial collaborators, TAC-MI program staff members, and TAC-MI students joined the forum.

Current research presentations by TAC-MI’s 1st-year doctoral students
On December 7 and on the morning of December 8, a total of twenty-three 1st-year doctoral students gave presentations under the guidance of TAC-MI’s 2nd-year doctoral students who chaired the session. Each 15-minute presentation was followed by a 5-minute Q&A session in English. These research presentations were also part of the TAC-MI Qualifying Examination, a critical checkpoint in the TAC-MI curriculum. Participating students confidently presented the significance and achievements of their research and, after the presentations, actively engaged in Q&A sessions with the audience.

At the closing ceremony on December 8, independent of the qualifying examination, the Best Presentation Award was awarded to the most highly evaluated TAC-MI student by a well-attended audience, and Good Presentation Award was awarded to the runner-up.

Award Winners
Best Presentation Award
Yu Fukunaga
1st-year doctoral student, Chemistry

Good Presentation Award
An Niza El Aisnada
1st-year doctoral student, Materials Science and Engineering

Keynote speech to stimulate participants
After the student presentations on the afternoon of December 7, participants were treated to a special lecture by Assistant Professor Natt Leelawat from Chulalongkorn University and Professor M. Michael Gromiha from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, who were newly appointed as overseas advisors for this program from this year.

Speakers and Lecture titles
Assistant Professor Natt Leelawat
Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
Data Science and Simulation in Disaster Risk Management

Keynote speech by Assistant Professor Leelawat

Keynote speech by Assistant Professor Leelawat
Professor M. Michael Gromiha
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India)
Bioinformatics: Concepts and Applications

Keynote speech by Professor M.Michael Gromiha

Keynote speech by Professor M.Michael Gromiha
TAC-MI’s overseas advisors — world-leading researchers located around the globe who guide the academy’s students throughout their studies — were not able to participate in this forum due to differences in time zones. The advisors will watch the recorded student presentations at the International Forum, hold online interviews, and offer valuable advice after completion of the actual forum.

Presentations on progress of self-designed thesis by TAC-MI’s 2nd-year doctoral students
On December 8, after the presentation by 1st-year doctoral students, seventeen 2nd-year doctoral students provided presentations about the progress of their TAC-MI Self-Designed Theses.

For the Self-Designed Thesis, students choose a topic different from that of their dissertation and conduct research on their own initiative. They present their research findings upon completion of their doctoral degree program to faculty members at TAC-MI who 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 an event in June or the International Forum in December during the second year of their doctoral program. At the 2021 forum, seventeen 2nd-year doctoral students, excluding the one who presented in June, provided presentations and received feedback from the audience.

Deepening of exchanges between industrial collaborators and students through interviews and exchange meetings
After the presentations at the International Forum, TAC-MI doctoral students held interviews with and received advice from their industrial mentors. TAC-MI students have the advantage of evaluating their strengths and weakness in face-to-face meetings with researchers, developers, technical experts, product planners, and marketing professionals from various industries. One industrial mentor is assigned to each student. Throughout the duration of this program, each student has an industrial mentor who continuously guides the student from enrollment to program completion.

After the presentations by TAC-MI students, exchange meetings were held on the evening of December 8 to deepen communications between industrial collaborators and students. At the meetings, participants were divided into small groups of five to six people in breakout session rooms, giving everyone a chance to participate actively.

Through its International Forums and other events, TAC-MI continues to cultivate multi-talented individuals required by industry who apply broad, global perspectives to create innovative ideas through a combination of materials and informatics.

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