3rd Summer School of Mathematical Biology
From the 23rd to the 25th of August 2023, the 3rd Summer School of Mathematical Biology took place at Sokendai University (Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture). It was a lecture camp organized primarily by our iTHEMS colleagues, Daiki Kumakura and Keiichi Morita. The topics included virus evolution, immune response, coexistence theories in biology and rapid evolution, human migration and its processes, optimization strategies in marine organism reproduction, and modeling biological metabolism. At the summer school, Tetsuo Hatsuda (iTHEMS Director) also participated as an attendee. In the end, there was a fruitful event, including an introduction to iTHEMS. The summer school will be held again next year.
The Discovery Evening was held on June 22 at Wako Campus
The second on-site Discovery Evening since the COVID-19 pandemic was held on June 22 at Wako Campus. 35 people attended the event, which was organized by the Research Personnel Affairs Section, RIKEN. José Said Gutiérrez-Ortega (Special Postdoctoral Researcher, iTHEMS) was one of the two speakers in the event. He gave a presentation titled "Natural history of cycads: Deciphering the Rosetta Stone of plant evolution." He explained that cycads existed from the time of the dinosaurs, but they were able to live on despite the dinosaurs going extinct. For more details, please visit the RIKENETIC website through the related link below. To access RIKENETIC, you will need to use the intranet.
iTHEMS Science Outreach Workshop 2023 was held on June 16-18, 2023
On June 16-18, we had Meeting on Outreach of RIKEN iTHEMS 2023 @Sendai & Zoom. This year the meeting was held at TOKYO ELECTRON House of Creativity 3F, Lecture Theater, Katahira Campus, Tohoku University. It was organized by RIKEN iTHEMS and Mathematical Science Center for Co-creative Society of Tohoku University and co-organised by Tohoku Forum for Creativity, Organization for Research Promotion, Tohoku University and RIKEN CPR, Prediction Science Laboratory. There were 37 people participated at TOKYO ELECTRON House of Creativity and 13 more by zoom. There were 19 talks at the venue and 2 talks by zoom. 4 talks were by members of iTHEMS explaining recent development in various fields in sciences. 8 talks were from universities or institutes on different aspects of research, where 2 were by ex-members of iTHEMS. 8 talks were given by journalists and 1 by MEXT. There was also 1 poster by a journalist, a display of photos of fingers of mathematicians, a display of monthly academic magazine. The participants consist of 9+4 members from RIKEN, 14+2 from universities and institutes, and 14+7 journalists (at venue + by zoom). The venue was so nicely organized and ideal for the meeting of 30 - 40 participants, and the lounge next to the conference room was comfortably clouded which greatly contributed the success of the meeting. We organized social gathering on the two evenings and which were also successful. We thank very much for the help of Profs. Yoshiaki Maeda and Hiroshi Suito for the warm hospitality. By the success of this meeting, we hope the continuation of Journalist in residence program and this workshop next year. Reported by Takashi Tsuboi
Ryosuke Iritani gave a scientific outreach talk at Mathcafe on May 14, 2023
On Sunday 14th May, Ryosuke Iritani gave a scientific outreach talk at Mathcafe. He focused on spatial biodiversity as a chief topic and how to use mathematics to estimate, and make inferences for, the biodiversity. He explained the measurement of biodiversity from the axiomatic viewpoint, that is, he explained what properties should be satisfied by the quantity that is supposed to measure biodiversity. He then moved on to explaining an application of generating functions to biodiversity measures. He finished his talk by saying that mathematics is not only useful to science but also a life-time fun hobby.
Thomas Hitchcock gave a short talk at Nerd Nite Tokyo on April 21, 2023
On Friday 21st April, Thomas Hitchcock gave a short talk at Nerd Nite Tokyo entitled “Sex Education: reproductive diversity across the tree of life”. There he talked to a general audience about the range of ways that organisms may reproduce, from those organisms that simply make copies of their own genes (asexual reproduction), to those that mix them with others (sexual reproduction), and those that can do both (facultative sex). He discussed the different mechanisms that organisms may use to decide whether to reproduce as a female (producing eggs) or male (producing sperm), and how genes may pass differently to offspring through these two routes, illustrating these ideas with stories about spoonworms, fungus gnats, and rotifers. Finally, he stressed how evolution may work differently in these different reproductive systems, and so the importance of understanding this diversity for guiding our efforts in conservation, agriculture, and medicine.
Naritaka Oshita (Visiting Scientist, iTHEMS) contributed to the chapter “Researches” in the membership journal of the physical society of Japan on the universality in a black hole ringing and its application to probe the near-horizon physics of black holes. Also, a picture relevant to Naritaka Oshita’s research on a black hole ringing was selected as the cover art of the journal. You can visit the following web site of the Physical Society of Japan to access the contributions.
RIKEN iTHEMS signed a new MoU with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Reiner Kruecken (Director of the Nuclear Science Division of LBNL) and Tetsuo Hatsuda (Director of RIKEN iTHEMS) are the principal coordinators for LBNL and RIKEN iTHEMS, respectively, for this MoU . The photo was taken in front of the desk of Ernest Lawrence , which is preserved at LBNL.
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.
3月7日と3月8日の2日間、奈良女子大学理学部の2回生、3回生、4回生（合計16名）が理研の川上研究室、侯研究室、iTHEMS, RIBF施設、宮脇研究室を訪問しました。それぞれの研究室で、最先端研究の一端に触れるとともに、初日夕方からの理研研究者との交流会では、より深く研究内容について質問したり、研究者の日常を知る機会も設けられました。また、数学、物理学、生物学、環境化学など奈良女子大学理学部の異なるコースの学生たちが、学年を越えて交流する機会にもなりました。 このダイバーシティ推進活動は、奈良女子大学理学部と理研iTHEMSが共同で推進するリケジョ育成事業の一環として、奈良女子大学での連続講義とセットで行われているもので、次年度以降も継続する予定です。
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.
2022年7月23日に大分STEMフェスタが大分市で開催され、iTHEMSから初田哲男ディレクターが参加し、（株）ADKと協力して、Bコース「ブラックホール・レコーダーで1000年後にメッセージを届けよう」において、５０名を越える大分県各地から集まった高校生にブラックホールの解説と、Useless Prototyping Studioで制作したブラックホールレコーダーの実演を行いました。 また、情報ストレージとしてのブラックホールに、未来に託す俳句を記録する内容を高校生同士で話し合い、最近撮像されたブラックホール写真に書き込んでもらいました。 大分STEMフェスタには１５０名を越える高校生が参加し、Aコース「月面ローバー体験をしよう！」、Bコース「ブラックホール・レコーダーで1000年後にメッセージを届けよう」、Cコース「VR技術×社会の課題解決×SDGs」、Dコース「大分の未来に必要な仕事を考えよう」に分かれて、たいへん有意義な一日を過ごしました。iTHEMSからは、初田プログラムディレクターに加えて、アシスタントの和田ひとみさんと太田千賀子さんが現地でBコース開催に貢献されました。
瀧雅人氏（iTHEMS客員研究員/立教大学)がiTHEMS在籍中に執筆された著書「これならわかる深層学習入門」が、日本物理学会誌（2022年8月号）のコラム“ラ・トッカータ“で、大槻東已氏（上智大学）により取り上げられています。この教科書の特徴として、1. 物理をバックグラウンドにした読者がつまずくところをわかっている、2. 例が簡単すぎず自明すぎず、例をよむことでわかった気になる、3. 分量が適度、 4. 各節が細かく区切られているのでゼミに最適、5. 付録も勉強になる。など絶賛 。深層学習を１から学びたい方、ゼミで輪講したい方にお薦めです。
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.
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
「数理の窓から世界を読みとく」についてのコラム記事がイマジニア社のテンミニッツTVに掲載されました。 iTHEMSの若手研究者たちが執筆陣を担った共著「数理の窓から世界を読みとく: 素数・AI.生物・宇宙をつなぐ」 (初田哲男・柴藤亮介編著、岩波書店)をもとに数理の魅力が紹介されています。 詳細は関連リンクをご覧下さい。
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.
この度、京都大学高等研究院院長で理研iTHEMSの特別顧問でもある森重文さんが、「数学、とりわけ代数幾何学の分野において、代数多様体の極小モデル理論である「森理論」を創造し、数理科学の広範な分野に大きな影響を与える顕著な業績を上げ、斯学の発展に多大な貢献をした」功績を認められ、文化勲章を授与されることになりました。森重文さんのご専門は数学、特に代数幾何学です。当該分野の中心的テーマである「代数多様体の分類問題」における大きな業績により1990年の国際数学者会議でフィールズ賞を受賞された後も、関連領域の研究を精力的に牽引し続けてこられました。 代数多様体とは、大雑把には、代数方程式の解集合として表される幾何学的な対象（の一般化）です。例えば、x2 + y2 = 1という代数方程式の（実数範囲での）零点集合は原点を中心とする単位円ですが、これは代数多様体の一種です。代数多様体を考えることで、代数に関する問題を幾何学の問題に変換することができます。 代数多様体の性質を調べることは代数幾何学の重要な使命ですが、一つ一つの代数多様体について逐一調べていてはきりがありません。そこで、よく似ている代数多様体は同じ「生物種」と見なして、それを「生物図鑑」のように分類しようというのが「代数多様体の分類問題」です。ここで「よく似ている」とは、「双有理変換」と呼ばれる操作によって互いに移りあうことを意味します。双有理変換とは、代数多様体の低次元の部分のみを変形する操作です。双有理変換を行っても、代数多様体のほとんどの部分は変わらないので、この操作でうつりあうものは自然に同じ種類と思うことができます。 では、そのような「生物種」の中で、一体どの「個体」を図鑑の中に代表例として載せるべきでしょうか？こういう時「可能な限りシンプルな代表例」を持ってきたいというのが数学者の考えることです。そのような「可能な限りシンプルな代表例」のことを代数多様体の「極小モデル」と呼びます。 例えば、１次元の代数多様体（曲線）は一般には特異点を持ちますが、双有理変換により、特異点のない曲線に変換できます（そして、同じ「生物種」の中に特異点のない曲線はただ１つしかありません）。これが曲線の場合の極小モデルです。２次元の代数多様体（曲面）も、やはり双有理変換により特異点のない滑らかな曲面に変換できますが、実はこの場合には、同じ「生物種」の中に、特異点のない曲面が無数に存在します。そこで、曲面の中に存在する「(-1)-曲線」と呼ばれる余分な膨らみを次々に潰していくと、それ以上は小さくできない滑らかな曲面に到達します。こうして得られた最も無駄のない曲面、すなわち極小モデルを、「生物種」の代表例とするわけです。 では、３次元以上の、高次元の代数多様体についてはどうでしょうか？この場合にも、双有理変換により特異点のない滑らかな代数多様体に変換できます（これは同じくフィールズ賞受賞者である広中平祐氏の重要な業績です）。しかし、３次元以上の場合には、代数多様体の中の余分な膨らみを潰していく過程で、どうしても特異点が出現してしまうケースを排除できないため、問題がより難しくなります。しかし森さんは「端末特異点」と呼ばれる緩やかな特異点のみを許せば、３次元の代数多様体の極小モデルを構成できることを証明しました。特異点の悪さを最小限に抑えつつ、余分な膨らみを潰し切ることは大変難しいのですが、森さんはそれを可能にする理論を構築したのです。森さんが２次元と３次元の間の分厚い壁を突破したことにより、現在では４次元以上の分類理論も大きく進展しています。また最近では、整数論などへの応用も広がりつつあり、これからもますます目が離せません。 森重文さんの偉大な業績のごく一部をご紹介させていただきました。 森さんの受賞と高次元極小モデル理論の進展をお慶び申し上げるとともに、森理論の更なる進展と数理科学振興へのますますのご活躍をiTHEMS一同祈念しております。 宮﨑弘安 (iTHEMSを代表して)
10月14日に開催された国際学術会議（ISC：International Science Council）総会で、小谷元子客員主管研究員が、国際学術会議の次期会長（President-elect）に選出されました。任期は2024年から3年間です。 詳細は、関連リンクをご覧ください。