Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.5

Report on the Program for Japan-India Top Level University Research Exchange Program in Advanced Information and Communications Technology

Report by Professor Reiji Suda
Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, the University of Tokyo

From June 23 to July 13, 2019, the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo invited a total of ten students (seven graduate students and three undergraduate students) and one teacher from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kharagpur and Madras.

The participating students were the most outstanding students from the computer science programs at the IITs, which are the most prestigious schools in India. The participants visited the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo. The graduate school is the world leader of information and communication technology in Japan. Participating students had the opportunity to conduct joint research at the highest level in the world. This marked the third year of the exchange plan which was adopted for multiple academic years.

At the completion ceremony

Based on past cooperation, this program consists of having related faculty at both institutions select outstanding students from the IITs. The selected students are given the opportunity to experience world-class research at laboratories on themes such as smart cities, high-performance computing and advanced algorithms, all of which are areas in which the graduate school possess world-leading capability. Students also obtain a comprehensive understanding of Japan's excellent scientific technology in information and communications. The Hyderabad, Delhi and Madras IITs and our graduate school have collaborated with each other in the past. However, for the first time, a student from IIT Kharagpur participated in the program. When the president of IIT Kharagpur visited the University of Tokyo, an agreement was made regarding the exchange of students with our graduate school. We look forward to more active exchange of students with IIT Kharagpur in the future.

As an experience of Japanese culture, a Japanese language class and a tea ceremony were held on the first day of the program. Also, during the second half of the program period, we organized a day bus trip to teamLab Planets and The Railway Museum. teamLab Planets is an exhibition created using computer graphics, user interface, AI and other forms of information science and technology. Students learned a great deal from examples of how technology is applied. On a different note, a high-speed railway project using the Japanese shinkansen system is currently in progress in India. I believe that the Railway Museum deepened the students’ knowledge of Japan's cutting-edge railway technology. Also, the supervising instructor from India gave an in-depth lecture, which was an opportunity for students of the University of Tokyo to experience part of cutting-edge research in India.

At a class on beginner Japanese
Experiencing Japanese culture (tea ceremony)

By experiencing world-leading research at the University of Tokyo, many participating students have realized their own research interests and the program has achieved steady results. For example, when visiting a laboratory, students can discuss their knowledge and prior experience with the professor or engage in some of the research themes that the laboratory is working on. These opportunities have given students a fresh perspective on research at our university. In addition, by fostering an understanding of Japanese culture and holding exchange programs with students of the same age in Japan, we have constructed a human network connecting Japan with India and have stimulated the continued interests of many talented research professionals in Japan.

At the final presentation

Through the support of the Sakura Science Exchange Program, our graduate school has accepted students from the IITs four times. Based on this experience, we have given students the opportunity to experience various aspects of Japanese culture even while providing a fulfilling research environment in a short period of time. Moving forward, I hope that more outstanding Indian students will experience the wonders of Japan and the exceptional research environment at our graduate school. At the same time, I firmly believe that accepting Indian students will be a great stimulus for our students and will contribute to the advancement of education at our university.

At the completion ceremony