About Tokyo Tech

Interviews with 2016 graduates

Interviews with 2016 graduates

Three graduating students shared their thoughts prior to the bachelor's graduation ceremony for the 2016 academic year, describing their studies and campus life at Tokyo Tech.

Life is a wonderful
journey filled
with adventures.

Junming Jiang

International Development Engineering

What prompted you to choose Tokyo Tech?

My mother lived in Japan on business, so I decided to study at a university in Japan when I was a high school freshman. After graduation, I came to Japan and enrolled in a Japanese language school, where I met some excellent Chinese students from Tokyo Tech. What I learned from them was very impressive ― the Institute has a reputation as one of the leading science and technology universities in Japan, attractive campuses, well-equipped research facilities, and support for international students. All these things motivated me to enter Tokyo Tech.

What has been your most memorable experience during your time at Tokyo Tech?

It would definitely be the various study abroad programs I joined. The very first was a short trip to Europe during my first-year spring vacation, which included attending classes at Oxford University and Imperial College London. The interaction with local students in particular was very stimulating. During my third-year summer vacation, I attended a fieldwork program called PSDT 2016 (Planning for Sustainable Development in Thailand) held in Rayong Province, Thailand. My fourth year featured another summer vacation in London, where I joined the Science Communication Research Group (SCRG). Every program gave me valuable experience and unforgettable memories.

Jiang in short-term European program (far left in back row) Jiang in short-term European program (far left in back row)

Jiang with SCRG participants (far right) Jiang with SCRG participants (far right)

Can you tell us about your graduation research?

Entitled “Development of Low Cost Indoor Localization System by using Raspberry Pi1”, my graduation thesis explores the configuration of a low-cost indoor localization system using BLE signals2 via a Raspberry Pi fingerprinting algorithm3. Currently, location-based services using GPS technology are widely applied and benefit people's lives, but when used indoors, the effect of the GPS falls below practical thresholds. This inspired me to develop a system capable of providing various applications such as advertisements, exhibition guides, and tracking the elderly inside nursing facilities.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I will proceed to a master's program at Tokyo Tech to further deepen my current research. My dream is to become a global engineer, so I want to enhance my expertise, polish my practical competencies, and apply my skills by actively participating in an internship. To achieve my goal, I'm determined to engage in various experiences through the program and channel them all into a fulfilling student life.

Do you have any message for younger students?

Tokyo Tech gives you chances to enjoy tackling various challenges. Life is a wonderful journey filled with adventures. In that sense, your experience at Tokyo Tech will add great adventure to your life. Tap into your courage and explore a wealth of unknown fields and ideas, as well as your specialty. Your world is bound to expand!

Breaking new ground can
cultivate the unknown and
expose you to new friends.

Misa Minegishi

Biotechnology

What prompted you to choose Tokyo Tech?

Science and math were my forte in high school, so I had a vague idea that I would pursue a related area. Actually, it was not easy to decide my major in university, until I learned about Tokyo Tech in detail. I knew it was a venue for world-class research and would allow me to change my major after enrollment. When the time came, I decided to specialize in life science technology, a field intended to unravel the mysteries of life from the perspectives of basic physics and chemistry. Studying the two scientific subjects included in the admission test helped to gradually awaken my interest in the field, despite my lack of biological knowledge at the time.

What has been your most memorable experience during your time at Tokyo Tech?

What stands out most is the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition for global synthetic biology students held in Boston, which I joined with the Tokyo Tech team during my third year. The contest attracted excellent students from around the world and it proved a thrilling and very rewarding experience ― especially since our team won the gold medal! During the preparations, which lasted almost a year, we found our project was breaking new ground and I remember this fueling our excitement. Thanks to this experience, all the team members have now become close friends who enjoy a healthy rivalry by sharing research updates.

iGEM participants (Minegishi, third from left in front row) iGEM participants (Minegishi, third from left in front row)

Lab's excursion to Lake Kawaguchi (Minegishi, third from left) Lab's excursion to Lake Kawaguchi (Minegishi, third from left)

Can you tell us about your graduation research?

I studied bone metastasis under the guidance of Professor Shinae Kondoh. Ninety percent or more of cancer deaths are directly due to metastasis and bones are the most common metastasis sites for cancers of the breast and prostate. My research involved deciphering how and why this happens. Even though some theories suggest the cancer-friendly environment provided by the bone marrow may foster resistance to anti-cancer drugs, no specific mechanism has yet been elucidated. I specifically focused on analyzing how cancer cells interact with surrounding cells as they move to the bone marrow and settle there to proliferate.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I want to further my research in a master's program at Tokyo Tech to develop my idea base and explore options as a researcher. To do so, I will actively join academic communities and engage in discussion with researchers from diverse projects, including non-cancer-related fields, while establishing effective methods to present my research. As part of these efforts, I aim to participate and present in cancer association meetings in the US during my master's studies.

Do you have any message for younger students?

I recommend that you actively engage with various communities. As well as academic activities, part-time jobs and hobbies are worth challenging. Breaking new ground can cultivate the unknown and expose you to new friends and good rivals. Strike while the iron is hot! This is my tip to getting the most out of your experiences.

The excellent students
around you all motivate
one another.

Ryutaro Kamata

Chemistry

What prompted you to choose Tokyo Tech?

Among various subjects taught in high school, mathematics, physics, and chemistry had great appeal to me and I wanted to study them in more depth. The Tokyo Tech system allows applicants to choose a broad-based academic field on admission so that they can decide on their final department* later in their 1st year after getting a feel for various subjects. I was enticed by this, because I had not yet decided what I wanted to specialize in.

*
Since April 2016, undergraduate departments have been unified with those of graduate schools at Tokyo Tech.

What has been your most memorable experience during your time at Tokyo Tech?

I was absorbed in my extracurricular activities at Ajiwai, an a cappella club set up very recently at Tokyo Tech. Planning for various events and practice always ran alongside each other. As a student, balancing academic and club activities was very challenging, given that things often failed to go as expected! Gradually, however, our efforts paid off and we expanded the scope of our activities. I believe my Tokyo Tech experiences and encounters will become lifelong milestones.

Kamata performing at Open Mic Event (far right) Kamata performing at Open Mic Event (far right)

Kamata performing at Tokyo Tech Festival (center) Kamata performing at Tokyo Tech Festival (center)

Can you tell us about your graduation research?

I focused on photochemistry using metal complexes and semiconductors, and artificial photosynthesis in particular. This involves replicating what plants do artificially ― namely, converting water to oxygen and carbon dioxide to carbon resources by extracting energy from sunlight. This research is very promising because, once practically applied, it will help reveal clues for solving environmental issues such as global warming and energy shortages caused by the depletion of carbon resources.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I will enroll in a master's program at Tokyo Tech so that I can continue my current work. I can't wait to have a full two years to focus purely on research, as it will allow me to study the theme from various angles, and hopefully in the end publish a master's thesis on the subject in an academic journal.

Do you have any message for younger students?

For those pursuing a science or engineering career, there is no better environment than Tokyo Tech. This is a venue housing active research in various fields, a wealth of specialized books lined up in libraries and the ideal lab set-up to meet your needs! Moreover, this is also an environment where you can deepen your academic abilities while the many excellent students around you all motivate one another. Believe me, a fulfilling university life awaits you!

Heartfelt congratulations to all students graduating from Tokyo Tech this spring!

Heartfelt congratulations to all students graduating from Tokyo Tech this spring! We are looking forward to seeing you succeed on the global stage with the experience you gained at Tokyo Tech.

1 Raspberry Pi

A singleboard computer with an ARM processor developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK

2 BLE signals

Beacon signals transmitted with ultra-low power using Bluetooth technology

3 Fingerprinting algorithm

A method of identifying a specific user by integrating the user's characteristic information

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Published: March 2017