Messages from Tetsuo Hatsuda (March 31, 2023)
Dear iTHEMS members Today is the last day of FY2022. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your efforts in overcoming the pandemic this year and continuing your research activities. I would also like to thank the following people who physically have left or are leaving iTHEMS for their great contributions to iTHEMS during FY2022. Bon Voyage! Etsuko Itou, Masaki Taniguchi, Naritaka Oshita, Takuya Sugiura, Yuki Yazaki, Matthias Berwein, Akira Matsumoto, Chris Bourne, Michiya Mori, Shou Yoshikawa, Don Warren, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Hiroshi Yokota, Gilberto Nakamura, Kazumi Kuwata. With best regards, Tetsuo Hatsuda
Farewell message from Dr. Euki YAZAKI
Our colleague Euki YAZAKI will move to the Research Center for Advanced Analysis, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization as a Research Scientist from April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Euki YAZAKI: As I prepare to leave after three wonderful years at RIKEN, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you. It has been an honor to work with such a wonderful group of theoretical and mathematical scientists and I have learned so much from each and every one of you. I would like to thank all my colleagues who have supported me during my time at iTHEMS. Your expertise and enthusiasm have been invaluable, and I am grateful for the time I have spent with you. I would also like to thank the staff at iTHEMS support for their many supports. Although I will be moving on to new adventures, I hope to continue to enjoy good research with iTHEMS members in the future.
Farewell message from Dr. Akira Matsumoto
Our colleague Akira Matsumoto will move to the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University as a Program-Specific Researcher from April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Akira Matsumoto: I have been a member of iTHEMS for almost one year, which is the first opportunity for me to work as a postdoc. In spite of the difficult situation of COVID-19, I was able to enjoy research activity thanks to a good environment of iTHEMS and great effort by assistants. It is interesting to join seminars and discussions freely with researchers from various fields. I would like to thank all the iTHEMS members for giving me nice experiences. I plan to be a visiting scientist of iTHEMS after leaving RIKEN. I am very happy to keep in contact with iTHEMS members and looking forward to collaboration in the future.
Farewell message from Dr. Hiroshi Yokota
Our colleague Hiroshi Yokota has moved to the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University as a CREST postdoctoral researcher from March 1, 2023. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Hiroshi Yokota: I had worked at iTHEMS as a postdoctoral researcher for almost 4 years. I would like to thank all the iTHEMS members for the valuable discussions on their researches including my own research. Moreover, in iTHEMS, I had very good opportunities to attend the exciting seminars and colloquiums which gave me brilliant ideas from the various fields: physics, biology, mathematics and information. I enjoyed the discussions, the seminars and the colloquiums in iTHEMS. I also would like to thank all assistants who gave us the comfortable research environment. Fortunately, I am allowed to be the visiting scientist in iTHEMS. I hope to discuss with iTHEMS members in future also.
Farewell message from Dr. Naritaka Oshita
Our colleague Naritaka Oshita will move to the Kyoto University as a Hakubi assistant professor from April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Naritaka Oshita: I enjoyed studying gravity and black holes while being a part of iTHEMS and participating in some iTHEMS events and activities. As of the end of this March, it has been almost two years since I started my second postdoc at iTHEMS as an SPDR fellow in 2021 April. From 2023 April, I will be a Hakubi assistant professor at Kyoto University and will start my exciting new research to understand the mystery of gravity. I enjoyed discussing with many iTHEMS members who are working on physics, biology, mathematics, (quantum) information theory, etc. I thank all faculties, researchers, and students at iTHEMS for having exciting discussions with me! iTHEMS assistants have been contributing to this group to improve the research environment at iTHEMS and they kindly helped me a lot when I needed their help and was in trouble. I appreciate all the assistants at iTHEMS for their support and for having fun conversations! Again, thank you to all members at iTHEMS for everything! I will still be a part of iTHEMS as a visiting researcher. I hope I can have exciting discussions and conversations with you in the future. See you again!
Farewell message from Dr. Masaki Taniguchi
Our colleague Masaki Taniguchi will move to the Kyoto University as an assistant professor from April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Masaki Taniguchi: I'd like to thank the program director and assistants for many helpful supports over these three years and also many research members for discussing with me. I spent three years in iTHEMS as a mathematical researcher(SPDR). During the three years, I could concentrate on doing my research and communicating with researchers in other fields. In particular, I had been attending a weekly seminar focusing on interactions between math and physics. It was a valuable experience to feel various viewpoints from physics. Also, I got a chance to give a presentation at an event of RIKEN for high school or junior high school students. In my final year, I was chosen as a research member of a program at MSRI and spent four months at Berkeley to communicate with many researchers in my field. I could also invite several researchers to the math seminar and had good opportunities to promote research. I appreciate a good environment in iTHEMS so that I could have these experiences. From this April, I’ll be an assistant professor at Kyoto University. But, I still have several collaborators in iTHEMS, so I’d like to continue discussing with many researchers in iTHEMS as a visiting researcher.
Farewell message from Dr. Etsuko Itou
Our colleague Etsuko Itou will move to the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University as an associate professor from April 1st. We all will miss her and wish her the best of luck in her latest endeavor. Here is a message from Etsuko Itou : I worked at iTHEMS for almost a year as a senior research scientist. I had the opportunity to discuss researches with people from various backgrounds, go on a short trip to Kawagoe, and give presentations at interdisciplinary research meetings, which was a valuable experience for me. I would also like to thank my assistants and PR staff for their support! I will be a visiting scientist of iTHEMS next year. I look forward to working with you again.
Interdisciplinary Science Conference in Okinawa (ISCO 2023) on February 27, 2023
On Feb.27 (Mon)-March 3 (Fri), ISCO 2023 (Interdisciplinary Science Conference in Okinawa 2023 - Physics and Mathematics meet Medical Science -) was held at OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology). The conference was co-hosted by RIKEN iTHEMS, Kavli IPMU and OIST, with 135 participants inside and outside Japan. This was the first in-person conference held in OIST after the Covid-19 pandemic. There were 28 invited talks and 9 contributed talks. From RIKEN iTHEMS, Gordon Baym, Catherine Beauchemin, Gen Kurosawa, Hiro Nagataki, Hidetoshi Nishimori, Tomoki Ozawa, and Takashi Tsuboi gave scientific talks, and Tetsuo Hatsuda gave a closing remark. The purpose of ISCO 2023 was to bring together leading researchers in the fields of physics, astrophysics, mathematics, data science, life science, environmental science, and medical science, and to discuss the latest advancements in their respective fields. In addition to the presentations held at the OIST auditorium, a tour inside the OIST campus as well as a special lecture about Sharks by Dr. K. Sato at Churaumi Aquarium were held. Participants have intensive discussions beyond the disciplines at the plenary, poster, and lunch sessions. Some of the presentation slides can be downloaded from the ISCO 2023 webpage.
RIKEN-Nara Women's University Joint Diversity Promotion Workshop was held on March 7, 2023
On March 7 and 8, sophomores, juniors, and seniors (16 students in total) from the Faculty of Science at Nara Women's University visited RIKEN's Kawakami Laboratory, Hou Laboratory, iTHEMS, RIBF facility, and Miyawaki Laboratory. In addition to experiencing some of the cutting-edge research at each of these laboratories, they had the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions about their research and learn about the daily lives of RIKEN researchers during a social event held in the evening of the first day of the program. It was also an opportunity for students from different courses in the Faculty of Science at Nara Women's University, including mathematics, physics, biology, and environmental chemistry, to interact with each other beyond their grade level. This diversity promotion activity is part of the RIKEJO training program jointly promoted by the Faculty of Science at Nara Women's University and RIKEN iTHEMS, and is combined with a series of lectures at Nara Women's University, and will be continued in the next fiscal year and beyond.
Farewell message from Dr. Shou Yoshikawa
Our colleague Shou Yoshikawa will move to the Tokyo Institute of Technology as an assistant professor from February 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Shou Yoshikawa: I spent almost a year at iTHEMS as an SPDR. I have had several opportunities to speak about my research at iTHEMS events and they have all been wonderful experiences. People from various fields actively asked me questions, which was a valuable experience. I would like to thank all the iTHEMS researchers and the iTHEMS desk staff for giving me a good environment in which I could concentrate on my research, even if it was only for a short time. I can fortunately continue to be a member of iTHEMS as a visiting scientist. I hope to get closer to more iTHEMS members in the future.
Ryosuke Iritani wrote an essay for The Big Issue Japan 445
Ryosuke Iritani (Research Scientist, iTHEMS) wrote an essay for The Big Issue Japan, and the latest volume (vol 445) is just published on 15th December. The Big Issue is a magazine dedicated to supporting people in difficult circumstances and helping them achieve self-reliance. Each issue costs 450 yen, out of which 230 yen is the direct income of the street sales staff. Ryosuke's comment: The essay is about my “third place,” a place separated from home and workplace for me. I hope as many people as possible take it a read and support the people!
Four Perspectives on Neutron Stars, Pulsars, and Magnetars
The recent work  on X-ray bursts from the neutron stars led by our colleague, Akira Dohi (Visiting Scientist, iTHEMS), was featured in the article "Four Perspectives on Neutron Stars, Pulsars, and Magnetars" appeared in Research highlights from the Journals of the American Astronomical Society (see related link below).
Naritaka Oshita presented his talk at the 12th Koshien of Science (Oita tournament) on November 3, 2022
The 12th Koshien of Science (Oita tournament), a scientific competition for high school students in Oita prefecture, was held on 3rd November 2022 at Oita city. Naritaka Oshita from iTHEMS presented his talk on “Black Holes Veiled in Mystery” after the competition. More than 200 high school students from Oita prefecture attended. Oshita talked about the history of science, recent progress, and remaining mysteries of black holes. A student asked a unique question “What if we fall into a black hole? Can our consciousness be recovered from the hole?”. Another student asked, “How can it be possible to detect the signal from a ringing black hole?”. The audience enjoyed the stimulating talk and questions from the students. During the competition, Oshita and an iTHEMS assistant Tomoko Iwanami observed the competition, where some students built their toy cars in each group and competed in a race.
Science Agora 2022 is held November 4-6, 2022
Science Agora 2022 is held online and in person in the period Nov. 4-6, 2022. There will be many fun sessions that you can join in person or online. There are English sessions too. RIKEN will have a session "Envisioning Futures: Navigating the research landscape with senior women researchers" in which Tetsuo Hatsuda from iTHEMS is one of the speakers. Enjoy !
Listening to Equation-of-State Changes
The collaborative work on the quark matter and gravitational wave  led by our iTHEMS colleague, Yongjia Huang, together with Shigehiro Nagataki, Tetsuo Hatsuda, Kentaro Takami, Hajime Soltani and others, was featured in the Physics Magazine published by the American Physical Society with the title "Listening to Equation-of-State Changes" (see related links below). See how the general relativistic simulations of the postmerger gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars could allow us to hear the phase transitions between exotic states of matter.
The RIKEN-Berkeley Center was featured in RIKEN Overseas Office Newsletter
The RIKEN-Berkeley Center was featured in the Oct. 2022 issue of "News from RIKEN's Overseas Offices". The title of the article written by Adam Phillips in the RIKEN International Affairs Division is "What makes institutional international collaborations work?". Enjoy the article!
MACS-iTHEMS Study Group Members visited Wako on September 20-21, 2022
MACS Program in the Faculty of Science, Kyoto Univ. has several Study Groups (SG) and one of them is the MACS-iTHEMS SG. In 2022, Ryosuke Iritani and Jeffery Fawcett from iTHEMS are actively participating in this MACS-iTHEMS SG and interacting with the students in Kyoto Univ. On Sep.20 and 21, nine students (including undergraduate and graduate students in various fields at Kyoto Univ.) together with three faculty members (Kobayashi san, Tomida san and Itami san) from MACS Program visited RIKEN Wako Campus. On the afternoon of Sep.20, they visited Enoto lab. to learn Enoto san's thundercloud project and NinjaSat project. Then they moved to CBS to see Brain Box exhibition. After that, they had a scientific session to explain their own research to each other at the iTHEMS common room. On the morning of Sep.21, after a brief introduction to the iTHEMS activities and facilities, they had a tour of the gigantic accelerator complex (RIBF) in Nishina Center. On the afternoon of the same day, they visited the Chemical Biology Lab. in CSRS, followed by a visit to Toyoizumi Lab. in CBS to attend Toyoizumi san's lecture on neural learning theory. It was a very stimulating and intensive program for the students. In particular, the Scientific Session on the afternoon of September 20, from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., featured lively questions and discussions between RIKEN researchers and students. We will continue this program and visit in the coming years.
Farewell message from Dr. Michiya Mori
Our colleague Michiya Mori moves on to a new carrier at Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Tokyo as of October 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Michiya Mori: I spent 1.5 years at iTHEMS as a special postdoctoral researcher. It was a very great experience for me (as a mathematician) to have an opportunity to communicate with scientistists from various backgrounds (not only mathematics). I am grateful to everyone. I can fortunately continue to be a member of iTHEMS as a visiting scientist. I hope to get closer to more iTHEMS members in the future. From October, I become a project assistant professor of The University of Tokyo at Komaba Campus. Luckily iTHEMS has a satellite office in Komaba (SUURI-COOL Komaba). Probably I will sometimes be there, and I hope to see you again there soon!
Featured articles on iTHEMS published in "Sugaku Tsushin"
iTHEMS was featured in the August volume of "Sugaku Tsushin" (Japanese magazine published by The Mathematical Society of Japan). Our colleagues, Tetsuo Hatsuda, Ade Irma Suriajaya, Yosuke Kubota, Hiroyasu Miyazaki and Yukimi Goto, have written essays on iTHEMS in the volume. Let's see mathematicians' thoughts on the iTHEMS atmosphere.
Oita STEM Festa was held at Oita City
The Oita STEM Festa was held on 23 July 2022 at Oita city and Tetsuo Hatsuda from iTHEMS participated together with members from ADK Corporation. More than 50 high school students from Oita prefecture participated in Course B: "Let's deliver a message 1000 years from now using a black hole recorder” where the black hole recorder produced by the Useless Prototyping Studio was demonstrated. Also, the students were asked to write their Haiku to be recorderd in the black hole recorder. Over 150 high school students participated in the Oita STEM Festa. Course A: "Let's experience the lunar rover!, Course B: "Let's send a message 1000 years from now using a black hole recorder", Course C: "VR technology x solving social issues x SDGs", and Course D: "Let's think about jobs for Oita's future". iTHEMS was represented by Tetsuo Hatsuda and assistants Hitomi Wada and Chikako Ota contributed to the organisation of Course B on site.
The book “An introduction to deep learning” written by Dr. Masato Taki was recently featured in the column “La Toccata” by Dr. T. Otsuki
Dr. Masato Taki (iTHEMS Visiting Research Scientist/ Rikkyo University) wrote the book “An introduction to deep learning” while he was at iTHEMS. The book was recently featured in the column “La Toccata” by Dr. T. Otsuki (Sophia University) in the journal BUTSURI published by the Physical Society of Japan in Aug. 2022. The features of this textbook are: 1. it understands what readers with a physics background will find difficult; 2. the examples are neither too simple nor too obvious so that the reader feels he/she understands by reading the examples; 3. the volume is reasonable; 4. each section is divided into small sections so that it is suitable for the reading club, and 5. the appendices are also very informative. Recommended for those who want to learn deep learning from scratch and for those who want to organize a reading club.
iTHEMS Science Outreach Workshop 2022 was held on July 29-31, 2022
On July 29-31, we had Meeting on Outreach of RIKEN iTHEMS 2022 @Kobe & Zoom. This year the meeting was hosted by Suuri Cool Kobe and the venue was the auditorium (8F) + the cafeteria (6F) of Kobe Integrated Innovation Building (IIB). This meeting was hit by the big growth of infected population by Covid-19 omicron BA.5. However, under careful preparation and precaution taken, 27 people participated at Kobe IIB and 24 more by zoom. There were 11 talks at the venue and 6 talks by zoom. 4 talks were by members of iTHEMS explaining recent development in various fields in sciences. 3 talkes were from universities on different aspects of research or fostering young researchers. 10 talks were given by journalists. There were also 3 posters (2 on research and 1 on a monthly academic magazine), in addition, the Black Hole Reacorder was exhibited at the cafeteria. The participants consist of 9+10 members from RIKEN, 6+4 from universities and 12+10 journalists (at venue + by zoom). By the success of this meeting, we hope the continuation of Journalist in residence program and this workshop next year.
iTHEMS and RIKEN-Berkeley Center is featured in RIKEN at a Glance 2022
RIKEN's pamphlet "RIKEN at a Glance 2022" features iTHEMS and the newly opened RIKEN-Berkeley Center. Please see the related link for details.
RIKEN-Berkeley Center was opened
RIKEN iTHEMS and N3AS Physics Frontier Center have started a joint research center, RIKEN-Berkeley Center (RBC), physically located on the 3rd floor of the physics building in Univ. California, Berkeley. This new Center aims to enhance the collaboration on nuclear astrophysics and quantum information science between the two institutions. On May 27-29, 2022, the first annual meeting of N3AS was held in Berkeley together with their international partners, RIKEN iTHEMS and CNRS Centre Pierre Binetruy. iTHEMS members are encouraged to use RBC as a base to interact with researchers in physics, mathematics, biology and related fields at Berkeley.
Ryosuke Iritani was interviewed by The Big Issue of Japan
Ryosuke Iritani (Research Scientist, iTHEMS) is interviewed by The Big Issue Japan, and the latest volume (vol 432) is just published on 1st June. The Big Issue is a magazine dedicated to supporting people in difficult circumstances and helping them achieve self-reliance. Each issue costs 450 yen, out of which 230 yen is the direct income of the street sales staff. The content is about mathematical biology and is accessible for anyone. We hope as many people as possible take it a read and support the people!
iTHEMS x academist online event was held on April 24, 2022
As the alternative for the lectures at RIKEN’s annual open house, iTHEMS held another online lecture event for the general public with the help of Academist Inc., on April 24th, 2022. This year, the lectures were Masaki Taniguchi, Hidetoshi Taya, Akira Harada, Yingying and Euki Yazaki, who all gave splendid public lectures accessible even to junior-high school students. Each lecturer also served as a commentator to another lecture, asking questions on behalf of the audience. During the lunch break, Program Director Hatsuda showed the offices of iTHEMS and around. The event was moderated by Ms. Michibayashi from Academist; Her facilitation with a wit kept the event lively. At one time during the event, more than two hundred audiences participated.
iTHEMS Starter Meeting for FY2022 on April 8, 2022
The iTHEMS Starter Meeting for FY 2021 was held over Zoom as past two years’ meeting to kick off its activity for FY 2022. Over seventy iTHEMS members, frequent visitors and colleagues from other institute got together and introduced each other.
iTHEMS NOW & NEXT FY2021 was held on March 25, 2022
The annual in-house gathering entitled iTHEMS NOW and NEXT FY2021 was held on March 25th online. The gathering is an occasion that we discuss the current status and future perspectives on our research and organization. The event started with five keynote talks given by Takeru Yokota, Yalong Cao, Ryosuke Iritani, Ryo Namba, Keita Mikami. After a short break a session on the proper practices in conducting scientific researches followed during lunch time. In the session, the participants discussed their research practices in small groups and later shared their discussions with all. In the afternoon, each working group and study group made their progress reports. Program Director Hatsuda’s remarks concluded the gathering.
Farewell message from Dr. Akinori Tanaka
Our colleague Akinori Tanaka moves on to a new carrier at RIKEN AIP as of April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Akinori Tanaka: First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues, assistants, and all the people for sharing time in iTHEMS. I really enjoyed discussing and chatting, even though I spent a lot of time online. In fact, this is the 2nd time for me to leave here. When I started my research as a member of iTHES, not iTHEMS at that time, I was working on theoretical physics. But, in addition to my own research, I also enjoyed chatting with my colleagues and getting new concepts: machine learning and related topics, and it opened up my next career. As a result, I returned to iTHEMS as a machine learning researcher, as you know. It was very surprising for me that all the activities were really sophisticated compared to the ones in iTHES, and I was happy to participate in the activities in information theory study group, SSP workshop, and chatting after the coffee meeting. Now I leave this message as if this was farewell, but it's not. I will move to RIKEN AIP from this April as a senior research scientist, but hold a post in iTHEMS also. I would like to deepen my thoughts on machine learning from mathematical, biological, and physical perspectives, so I'm happy if all of you discuss/chat with me as I have so far, even after April.
Farewell message from Dr. Kanato Goto
Our colleague Kanato Goto moves on to a new carrier at Kyoto University as of April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Kanato Goto: I am leaving iTHEMS to move to Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University. I have been very happy to have had the opportunity to work with you all for the past three years. The experience of discussing with scientists from various fields at iTHEMS is invaluable for my research carrier. The first year I joined iTHEMS, I stayed in the U.S. Regrettably, the Corona disaster struck during my stay, and I was deprived of the opportunity to interact with you all in person, even after returning to Japan. I hope to visit iTHEMS in the near future and discuss you again. I cannot thank the assistants enough for their great help. Thanks to them, I could devote myself to my research without any inconvenience. Thank you very much, all the iTHEMS members! See you again soon!
Farewell message from Dr. Naomi Tsuji
Our colleague Naomi Tsuji moves on to a new carrier at Kanagawa University as of April 1st. We all will miss her and wish her the best of luck in her latest endeavor. Here is a message from Naomi Tsuji: Since I joined iTHEMS in April 2020, my research life at iTHEMS completely overlapped with the pandemic. At first, I found it difficult to get to know each other and communicate with the other iTHEMS members through online meeting systems, but gradually it became possible and comfortable to me. I have been working on mainly data analysis of X-ray or gamma-ray observations from astrophysical objects at iTHEMS, a group of theorists. I was glad that some members showed their interest in my study, and it was so exciting and stimulating to discuss about it. I wish I could have more discussion with many of the iTHEMS members in person and hope those days will come in the near future. Until then, let us stay healthy and have good science!
Farewell message from Dr. Yukimi Goto
Our colleague Yukimi Goto moves on to a new carrier at Kyushu University as of April 1st. We all will miss her and wish her the best of luck in her latest endeavor. Here is a message from Yukimi Goto: It may not be obvious to those in other fields, but iTHEMS is a unique place for Japanese mathematicians. Japanese mathematicians do not have many opportunities to talk with researchers in fields other than their own. I am an applied mathematician, but I did not have a chance to talk casually with physicists at university. After coming to iTHEMS and talking with physicists and biologists, I found that they are very interested in and expect a lot from mathematics. When I talked about my research, they always tried to understand it and asked me what kind of problems we could solve in mathematics. I enjoyed discussing with them, and it motivated me to do research. Although it was only two years and I met most of them online, I am grateful that I had such a wonderful time with them.
Farewell message from Dr. Takashi Okada
Our colleague Takashi Okada moves on to a new carrier at Kyoto University as of April 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Takashi Okada: I joined iTHEMS in 2018. My main workplace was in Hallatschek group, UC Berkeley. I researched on biophysics & evolutionary dynamics and learned a lot of things there. I also enjoyed working with iTHEMS members on interdisciplinary projects. I believe that some projects were made possible only by collaboration with wonderful iTHEMS members. I really appreciate iTHEMS' support during my long-term stay in Berkeley. Thanks to iTHEMS support, I could focus on work without any problems during this pandemic. From this spring, I am moving to Mochizuki Lab (Kyoto Univ) as a Program-Specific Associate Professor. The scientific atmosphere of ITHEMS is so great, and I hope that I can continue to collaborate with great members in iTHEMS. Let's keep in touch!
Farewell message from Dr. Hiroyasu Miyazaki
Our colleague Hiroyasu Miyazaki moves on to a new carrier at NTT Communication Science Laboratories as of March 1st. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Hiroyasu Miyazaki: My academic life is full of precious memories with iTHES and iTHEMS members. When I first joined the group, I was a bit worried since there were only a few mathematicians in RIKEN. But that was unnecessary. Everybody was very kind to me and every communication was really enjoyable. And the pleasure kept becoming larger and larger. I will certainly miss you and the heart-warming atmosphere in iTHEMS, but the life never stops. I am moving to a private research institute called NTT-IFM (Institute for Fundamental Mathematics) on March 1st. I am supposed to work as a mathematician. So there will still be a lot of opportunities for discussion with you. If you will find me wandering in Wako campus (or anywhere else), please catch me and talk to me! Of course you are very welcome to visit NTT-IFM if you are interested. Let’s keep in touch and see you again soon!
What’s inside a black hole? U-M physicist uses quantum computing, machine learning to find out
Dr. Enrico Rinaldi (iTHEMS Visiting Scientist) has been featured in institutional website. "Dude, what if everything around us was just … a hologram? The thing is, it could be—and a University of Michigan physicist is using quantum computing and machine learning to better understand the idea, called holographic duality." See related links for details.
The Mysterious Forces Inside the Nucleus Grow a Little Less Strange
In the recent article posted in "Quanta magazine”, iTHEMS Director Tetsuo Hatsuda, visiting researcher Tetsuo Hyodo and their collaborator Laura Fabbietti in Munich are interviewed about the ongoing studies on the mysteries of nuclear forces using the Japanese supercomputers and the European Large Hadron Collider (LHC). See related links for details.
"RIKEN AIP-Suri-joshi Joint Seminar" was held on January 29, 2022
On 29th January, a joint seminar of RIKEN AIP and Suri-Joshi took place and Ryosuke Iritani served as one of the guest speakers (including the iTHEMS affiliates Drs. Motoko Kato and Ade Irma Suriajaya). Unfortunately, the overwhelming COVID-19 situation in Tokyo did not allow for an in-person seminar as had been originally planned, which was indeed a bit disappointing for me. Nevertheless, thanks to the huge effort of AIP staff as well as Suri-Joshi organizers, we had a very successful talk session as well as Q&A session. I found the high diversity among the speakers considerably enriched our discussion. In this pandemic era, I can easily imagine many students struggling how to find dreams or what they want to be, which would have been already difficult even under normal circumstances. We emphasized that learning what you are interested in is a precious experience, which is the best motivating factor to work as a scientist. I hope the audience enjoyed our discussion, but as usual, I bet it was me who enjoyed best as-if one of the audience. I cannot thank too much to Suri-Joshi organizers and AIP staff for inviting me, to the speakers whom I was not able to meet in person this time but look forward to meeting in the near future, to the mathematically enthusiastic, professional announcer Naoko Shinozaki for her moderation of the sessions, and of course to the promising students who are deeply interested in learning and studying, for attending the seminar and asking excellent questions! Reported by Ryosuke Iritani
SSH Seminar "When high-school mathematics is useful in biology" was held on February 4, 2022
On February 4th, 2022, Ryosuke Iritani gave an online lecture on mathematical biology, entitled “高校で学ぶ数学が生物研究で活きるとき”（“when high-school mathematics is useful in biology”） for a Super Science High-school program at Takatsuki Junior and Senior High School. I started off with how a scientific career develops and what it is like to work as a scientist. I then delved into a scientific world, and demonstrated high school mathematics is a powerful tool to research in biology, drawing examples from the Fibonacci series in genetics, Price equation using recursive equations, game theory with matrix algebra, and kin selection theory for ants' society. I closed the talk with an encouragement for the motivated, budding scientists, that learning and studying are both extremely fun. I thank Kanda-sensei for inviting me to such a fantastic opportunity, as well as Suri-Joshi for giving me the opportunity to write an article that made this lecture possible by drawing Kanda-sensei's attention! Reported by Ryosuke Iritani
Reading the World through the Window of Math Focusing on the Sensitivity of Young Researchers
A column article about "Reading the World through the Window of Math" appeared on Imagineer Co., Ltd. Ten Minutes TV. The article is based on the co-authored book "Reading the World through the Window of Math: Exploring Prime Numbers, AI, Biology, and the Universe" (edited by Tetsuo Hatsuda and Ryosuke Shibato, Iwanami Shoten), which was written by young researchers from iTHEMS. Please see the related link for details.
Farewell message from Dr. Jason Chang
Our colleague Jason Chang moves on to a new carrier at LinkedIn as of November 14th. We all will miss him and wish him the best of luck in his latest endeavor. Here is a message from Jason: It was truly a pleasure to be part of iTHEMS. I have matured so much during this time through all the opportunities that have been made available to me because of how much iTHEMS has supported me in the decisions that I made. I certainly will miss everyone as well. I will move on to a data science position at LinkedIn. If anyone from iTHEMS is curious or has interest in transitioning to some industry position especially around the Bay Area, feel free to reach out to me. I will be more than happy to help with the process and introduce the person to the right recruiters as well. I believe I can convince LinkedIn to let me continue research in quantum algorithms for around 1 day / week as well. So perhaps in the end, I am not going away as far as one might think. The world is quite small after all. My direct manager at LinkedIn was Aida’s postdoc when I was her graduate student. One never knows which doors life decides to open. Kind Regards, Jason
Can social issues be solved by mathematical science? -attempts and challenges
On Oct.26, the symposium "Can social issues be solved by mathematical science? -attempts and challenges" was held under the leadership of Takashi Sakajo (Kyoto Univ.) and Shingo Iwami (Nagoya Univ.) who are also iTHEMS colleagues. The symposium was held in a hybrid matter with more than 220 participants. After the presentations on various approaches to bridge the academia and industry, there were lively discussions on how to cross the valley between the mathematical science and social needs.
Shigefumi Mori will be awarded the Order of Culture
We are very happy to hear that Shigefumi Mori, Director-General and Distinguished Professor, KUIAS and Senior Advisor of RIKEN iTHEMS, will be awarded the Order of Culture in recognition of his “outstanding achievements in mathematics, especially in algebraic geometry, in creating Mori Theory, a theory of minimal models of algebraic varieties, which has had a significant impact on a wide range of fields in the mathematical sciences, and for his outstanding contributions to the development of this field”. Mori-san’s field of expertise is mathematics, especially algebraic geometry. He was awarded the Fields Prize at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1990 for his great work on the classification problem of algebraic varieties, a central theme in algebraic geometry, and has continued to vigorously lead research in related areas. An algebraic variety is, roughly speaking, the set of solutions of algebraic equations. For example, the (real) solution of the equation x2 + y2 = 1 is a unit circle, which is an algebraic variety. The notion of algebraic varieties enables us to transform algebraic problems into geometric problems. It is an important task in algebraic geometry to study the properties of algebraic varieties. However, it is not efficient to study each algebraic varieties one by one. So, mathematicians identify similar varieties as the same “species”, and try to make a “biological dictionary” of algebraic varieties. Here, we say that two algebraic varieties are “similar” if they map to each other under an operation called birational transformation. Birational transformation is an operation to modify low-dimensional part of an algebraic variety. Since birational transformation preserves main part of algebraic varieties, we can naturally regard two varieties that are transformed to each other by this operation as the same species. In such a biological species, there are many (non-isomorphic) individual algebraic varieties. Which individual should we choose to show in the dictionary as a “standard example”? In this kind of situation, mathematicians usually want to bring the simplest possible representative example, which algebraic-geometers call “minimal model”. For example, let’s think of 1-dimensional algebraic varieties, i.e., curves. A curve has singularities in general, but we can birationally transform the curve into a non-singular curve. In fact, inside a “species”, there is only one non-singular curve. So it is obvious that we should choose this non-singular curve as a minimal model. In 2-dimensional case (surface case), we can still make any surface into non-singular surface. However, this time, there are many non-singular surfaces in a species, so not all of them are the simplest as possible. If a surface is not minimal, then we can alway find a special types of curve, called “(-1)-curve” on a surface and contract them into one points to get a smaller surface. By iterating this process, we can obtain a non-singular surface with no (-1)-curves, which is the minimal model. What happens in higher dimensions? In any dimension, fortunately, we can always transform an algebraic variety into a non-singular one by birational transformation (This is an important result by Heisuke Hironaka, another Fields Medalist). But if the dimension is greater than or equal to 3, in the process of creating smaller algebraic varieties, it is sometimes inevitable to allow some singularities to re-appear. This makes the classification problem much more difficult in higher dimension. However, Mori-san proved that we can always find the minimal model in three dimension if we allow the existence of mild singularities called “terminal singularities”. It is very hard to construct smaller algebraic varieties without causing bad singularities, but Mori-san constructed a theory to overcome this essential difficulty. After Mori-san’s breakthrough, there has been a big development in classification problems in dimensions higher than 3. Moreover, the theory has had (and will have) vast applications in various areas of mathematics. I have introduced only a small part of the great achievements of Shigefumi Mori. We congratulate Mori-san on his award and on the progress of higher dimensional minimal model program. iTHEMS wishes him further progress in Mori Theory and in the promotion of mathematical sciences. Hiroyasu Miyazaki (on behalf of iTHEMS)
Prof. Motoko Kotani was elected as the next president of the International Science Council
Prof. Motoko Kotani (Senior Visiting Scientist, iTHEMS) was elected as the next President-elect of the International Science Council (ISC) at the ISC General Assembly held on October 14, 2012. The term of office is for three years starting in 2024. To read more, please see the related link (in Japanese).
Mathematics and Physics: Topology, Insulators and My Research Life
Dr. Tomoki Ozawa (Visiting Scientist, iTHEMS) writes on the website "SURI-JOSHI" about topological insulators and his research life and daily life. Please see the related link for the article.
RIKEN-Vancouver Joint Workshop on Quantum Computing was held on August 24-25, 2021
RIKEN-Vancouver Joint Workshop on Quantum Computing was held online on August 24-25. The main aim of this workshop is that the quantum people in RIKEN (iTHEMS and RQC) and Vancouver (Quantum BC) get together online to discuss scientific activities and explore future collaborations. There were altogether 164 registrations (90 from Japan, 62 from Canada and 12 from other countries). 12 scientific talks were presented together with 3 introduction to iTHEMS, RQC and Quantum BC. From iTHEMS, Jason Chang, Etsuko Itou, and Takumi Doi gave talks respectively on the Schroedinger equation, the U(1) gauge theory and combinatorial optimization. After each session, there were one-hour breakout sessions, so that people can ask further questions to the speakers, which worked very well. The workshop was an excellent first step toward a close tie between RIKEN quantum activities and Vancouver quantum activities.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun: Utilizing the Power of Quantum Computers in Combination
Dr. Hirotaka Irie (iTHEMS Visiting Scientist (Industry)) was interviewed in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He talks about the "hybrid type" that combines the best parts of conventional computers and quantum computers. Please see the related link for details.
iTHEMS Science Outreach Workshop 2021 was held on July 11-12, 2021
On July 11 and 12, we had Journalist in Residence Workshop 2021 on Zoom. This year as last year, Tambara Institute of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Tokyo is closed because of COVID-19 and we again organized it on Zoom. The participants included more than 20 journalists, more than 20 participants from RIKEN and 10 from universities. 9 iTHEMS members mainly explained their working field and recent important achievements to the nonspecialists. There were 24 talks in total in a variety of fields. The discussion among the participants continued with joy in the evening of July 11 in ZOOM. We hope to organize it next year, in principle face to face and including remote participants by online.
The work of a research group, including Dr. Maria Dainotti and Enrico Rinaldi, has been featured in several institutional press releases and websites
The work of a research group, including Dr. Maria Dainotti and Enrico Rinaldi, has been featured in several institutional press releases and websites. One of the most famous open problems of modern cosmology is the Hubble constant (H0) tension. This consists in the discrepancy (>4 sigma) between the values of H0 measured with the late universe local probes, namely the Supernovae Ia (SNe Ia), and the early universe observations, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. With our investigation we found that a slow evolution with redshift is present in this constant thus allowing to alleviate this discrepancy. The study is published in ApJ. The investigation started when Dr. Maria Dainotti (now Assistant Professor at NAOJ) and Enrico Rinaldi (now Research Fellow at Michigan University) were Senior Research Scientist and Visiting Scientist both at iTHEMS, respectively. See related links for details.
Event to celebrate the publication of "The Future of Useless Research was held on April 28, 2021
On April 28, 2021, an online event "Ai Nishida x Tetsuo Hatsuda x Sayaka Oki x Ryosuke Shibato: What We Need to Talk About Now for a Happy Relationship between Researchers and Citizens" was held at B&B, a bookstore in Shimokitazawa. The event was held to celebrate the publication of "The Future of Useless Research," which was released on April 14. For details, please see the related link.
iTHEMS x academist online public event was held on April 18, 2021
Following last year’s precedent, iTHEMS held an online lecture event for the general public with the help of Academist Inc., on April 18th, 2021. The event was planned as an alternative for the lectures at RIKEN’s annual open house. The event was started by Kanato Goto with his talk on Blackhole and its information problem. His compelling narrative evoked a lot of questions from high school students; some of them were very sharp. Next, Jeffery Fawcett talked about genome science. Among other topics he studied, he also mentioned the mutation of COVID-19 virus. During the lunch break, Program Director Hatsuda talked with Mr. Shibato from Academist about related books, the exhibition of Black Hole Recorder at Miraikan, and the attempts with RIKEN SUURI. In the afternoon, Sugiura-san talked about the supercomputers and the analysis of subatomic physics, followed by Naomi Tsuji's talk on supernovae and their remnants. The talk included several polls from the audience. Keita Mikami concluded the event with his talk on Mathematics, in particular inequality and differential equations. All the talks were compered by Ms. Michibayashi from Academist; Her facilitation with a wit kept the talks accessible even to high school students. The event was viewed by as many as more than three hundred audiences at one time.