To all new master's and doctoral program students:
Due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus, the Institute decided to suspend the traditional holding of the Tokyo Tech 2020 Spring Entrance Ceremony for master's and doctoral program students in the interest of health and safety.
Under these unprecedented circumstances, I would like to welcome warmly the 1,598 students entering the master's degree program, the 33 students entering the professional master's degree program, and the 263 students entering the doctoral degree program this spring. Among you, we welcome 275 students from overseas. Congratulations to you all. You are now valid representatives of Tokyo Tech — ambassadors of a diverse community which values the unique ideas and perspectives of each individual. Let us also congratulate and thank your parents and families who have dedicated so much time and effort to your lives.
For the past 139 years, this community has been developing professional leaders who create lasting impact through various fields in science and technology. These leaders not only responded to the needs of the times, they transformed the times in which they lived. They carefully examined themselves and their surroundings, and fearlessly pursued a better future for those around them. While the tools and paths provided by the Institute have changed with the passage of time, our goals remain the same: To enable all of you to pursue your passions, maximize your potential, and change the world for the better.
Later this year, Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza — a large international exchange hub — will be opening at the heart of Ookayama Campus. While this facility will be open to all students, Tokyo Tech has also expanded opportunities specifically for master's and doctoral students. Starting this academic year, the Institute, in collaboration with renowned business partners, will offer all of you comprehensive knowledge and training in data science and artificial intelligence. This will enable you to apply advanced data science and AI expertise to activities in your respective fields.
I also encourage you to explore the various other programs running parallel to your specializations. Programs at the Tokyo Tech Academy for Convergence of Materials and Informatics, the Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society, and the Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadership, for example, further encourage our master's and doctoral students to develop themselves while playing active roles both on and off campus.
And Tokyo Tech's DLab, a platform that unites the Institute's faculty, staff, and students with the public, offers an inclusive, interdisciplinary approach for creating the future together. I urge you to get involved. You can start by visiting Centennial Hall near the main gate of Ookayama Campus to view the Tokyo Tech Future Chronology.
When creating the future, we sometimes need to look to the past for motivation. The rich history of the Institute includes inspiring stories in which the qualities of Tokyo Tech's past trailblazers shine through. Today, I would like to introduce one of these stories to you.
In the early 20th century, it was not yet known for certain that absolute zero, the lowest limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale, equals -273.15 Celsius. Various groups around the world were trying to determine the exact value, and researchers Masao Kinoshita and Jiro Oishi from Tokyo Tech's Department of Physics also decided to take on the challenge. Despite their limited resources and the fact that they were latecomers, Kinoshita and Oishi derived the global standard for absolute zero after years of hard work. Their refusal to listen to their naysayers resulted in a valuable contribution to the fundamentals of science. Whenever you seek inspiration, I encourage you to delve deeper into the stories of these and other talents who joined Tokyo Tech before you.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the Institute's seal, the swallow by the window. This seal symbolizes the Institute as a hub of technical innovation from which the windows of the world open up to its members. You are all now peering in this window, perhaps seeking knowledge, skills, and guidance. I am confident that we will provide these to you. Meanwhile, I encourage all of you, as the newest members of the Institute, to be proactive, embrace the challenges that come your way, and wear your Tokyo Tech badge with pride!
Once again, congratulations, and welcome to the Tokyo Tech community.
April 2, 2020
President, Tokyo Tech