iTHEMS Weekly News Letter

Seminar Report

iTHEMS public lectures at RIKEN Open Day


iTHEMS public lectures at the RIKEN open day on April 20, 2019, were held with an extreme success.
The lectures are (1) Surprising Theorem of Gauss (Y. Kubota), (2) Mystery of Circadian Rhythm (G. Kurosawa), (3) Mechanism of Artificial Intelligence (M. Taki), (4) Coldest Place in the Universe (T. Ozawa), (5) What is Dark Matter ? (N. Hiroshima), (6) Evolution through Copy and Paste of DNA (J. Fawcett).
Thank you all who have contributed to make this happen!

Hot Topic

Virtual reality a huge success at RIKEN Open Day


At RIKEN’s Open Day, ABBL and iTHEMS members joined together to let residents of Wako (and beyond) explore astrophysics data using virtual reality. The demo, developed by Gilles Ferrand, had two major components. In one, visitors could watch as a supernova remnant expanded, compressing 500 years of evolution to just 10 seconds (and sweeping up the visitors if they were standing in the right spot!). In the second, guests could explore the chemical composition resulting from a thermonuclear explosion (a.k.a. Type Ia supernova), looking at how elements from carbon to iron formed complex structures; identifying similar structures in supernova remnants (hundreds or thousands of years later) may offer clues to how the supernovae occurred.

Importantly, the demo was not just pretty pictures for the public to look at (though it certainly was pretty). The guests got to enjoy actual scientific data, which was published in real academic journals. And there was a lot of interest in the demo: about 160 people tried out the demo on two headsets. Many more tried to get tickets for a VR experience (Gilles’ conservative estimate is that 400-500 people visited the demo room; Don Warren’s more optimistic guess is more than 600). There is clearly an appetite for exciting visualizations of scientific data.

If you want to explore the demo yourself, send Gilles or Don an email. Many people in ABBL and iTHEMS contributed to make the VR booth a success. If you want to join us and help make next year’s event even better, we welcome the support!

Seminar Report

Report on ZetaValue2019 Conference by Chacha (Dr. Ade Irma Suriajaya)


The conference "Value Distribution of Zeta and L-functions and Related Topics" has successfully ended on March 27, 2019. The whole conference program started with a colloquium, ZetaValue2019-iTHEMS Special Mathematics Colloquium, on March 21, followed by the main conference held from March 22 to 26, and concluded with a one day workshop on March 27. We had more than 120 participants in total, among we had over 100 number theorists and overall about 111 mathematicians. We managed to gather people from over 20 different countries, and more precisely there were 50 participants coming from overseas from 40 different institutions. Number theorists from over 30 different institutions in Japan also took part in the conference. As far as we, the organizers, know, this is very rare achievement for a math conference in Japan; at least in analytic number theory field, this was the first ever conference in Japan to gather this many people coming from various places. We had 2 invited colloquium talks, 14 invited plenary talks, 9 contributed short talks, 15 contributed poster talks (excluding mine), and 9 contributed workshop talks.

I would like to thank iTHEMS members and a few other RIKEN scientists who attended the colloquium. I hope that the talks were interesting enough and I really hope to maintain this communication and even boost our interdisciplinary connection further.

Finally, the most important thing I would like to address here is: I deeply thank iTHEMS, and further, RIKEN who supported and assisted this conference, who made all of this possible. Thank you very much!! To all the assistants who helped me a lot from the preparation until the concluding process, please accept my sincere gratitude.


Lectures on Quantum Computing by Dr. Shunji Matsuura thumbnail
Dr. Shunji Matsuura thumbnail

Lectures on Quantum Computing by Dr. Shunji Matsuura


Dr. Shunji Matsuura will visit iTHEMS to give a series of lectures on Quantum Computing. The lectures will be held from May 13 (Mon.) through May 15 (Wed.) in Wako Campus, RIKEN. The details will be announced later.

Shunji received his Ph.D in string theory from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Tokyo. Previously, he was a member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (University of California, Santa Barbara), McGill University, Riken, YITP (Kyoto University), and the Niels Bohr Institute (University of Copenhagen). Shunji's current research focuses on the fundamental aspects of quantum-enhanced optimization, such as error correction and speedup.

Upcoming Events


iTHEMS Math Seminar

Gauge Theory and Symmetries of 4-Dimensional Spaces

April 26 at 16:00 - 18:10, 2019

Dr. Hokuto Konno (Special Postdoctoral Researcher, iTHEMS)

Plan of the seminar: we separate each talk into two. In the first 60 minutes the speaker gives an introductory talk for non-mathematicians. After a short break, the second 60 minutes is spent for a bit more detailed talk for mathematicians (working in other areas). We welcome you joining both parts of the seminar or only the first/second half.

Venue: Seminar Room #160, 1F Main Research Building, RIKEN

Event Official Language: English


Berkeley-iTHEMS Seminar

Berkeley-iTHEMS Seminar by Dr. T.Tada

May 1 at 15:40 - 17:30, 2019

Dr. Tsukasa Tada (Coordinator, iTHEMS / Vice Chief Scientist, Quantum Hadron Physics Laboratory, RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (RNC))

Title: Three quantizations of conformal field theory

Venue: Old LeConte Hall 402, UC Berkeley

Event Official Language: English

Special Lecture

How did the Universe Begin? -Inflation Theory & Road to the Proof-

May 21 at 15:00 - 16:30, 2019

Dr. Katsuhiko Sato (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo / Director, Research Center for Science Systems, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)

Venue: Okochi Hall, 1F Laser Science Laboratory, RIKEN

Broadcast: R511, Computational Science Research Building, R-CCS, Kobe Campus, RIKEN / SUURI-COOL (Kyoto), #204-205, 2F Maskawa Building for Education and Research, North Campus, Kyoto University / SUURI-COOL (Sendai), #303, 3F AIMR Main Building, Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR), Tohoku University

Event Official Language: Japanese


AIMR Main Building venue photo

g-RIPS Sendai 2019

June 17 - August 9, 2019

GRIPS (Graduate-level Research in Industrial Projects for Students)-Sendai program was held last summer (June 18 - Aug. 10, 2018) with the support of iTHEMS as well as other institutions and companies. Two industrial projects were launched under the suggestion of TOYOTA and NEC, and two teams composed of US and Japanese students have worked intensively to find solutions of these problems. See for the details of the GRIPS program and the summary of activities at GRIPS-Sendai 2018.

This year, GRIPS-Sendai program will be held from June 17 through Aug. 9, 2019 with a larger scale under the support of iTHEMS. Stay tuned for further information.

Venue: 4F Research Space, AIMR Main Building, Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR), Tohoku University

Event Official Language: English


Workshop on Sine-square deformation and related topics 2019 thumbnail

Workshop on Sine-square deformation and related topics 2019

July 11 at 10:00 - 18:00, 2019

Sine-Square Deformation (SSD) is a newly found boundary condition that involves the spatial modulation of the coupling constant of quantum systems.
Since its discovery, it has received broad attention in the context of various research field. This workshop aims at offering the opportunities for the researchers interested in SSD to convene and exchange ideas on the subject.

Venue: #435-437, Main Research Building, RIKEN

Event Official Language: Japanese

Person of the Week

Dr. Hiroshi Yokota thumbnail

Self-introduction: Hiroshi Yokota


I am Hiroshi Yokota, a physicist, who have joined iTHEMS since April, 2019. For 5 years, I have investigated a polymer physics, especially, theoretical framework of polymer crystallization.

The polymer is a string-like large molecules whose characteristics play important roles in crystallization process. In contrast to the conventional crystal such as metals, the polymer crystal is a solid composed of crystal and amorphous regions due to the characteristics of the string-like molecules, where the polymer crystal is applied to production of industrial products, for example, films and threads (stuff of our clothes).

In iTHEMS, by using the knowledge of polymer crystallization and of theoretical treatments of the polymer chain, I will investigate biophysics, especially, dynamics of the formation of the chromosomes.

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