Activity Report of Open Application Program 2020 vol.9 (Online)
Online exchanges relating to leading edge phase-geometry graph theory used in information technology
Report from the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University
With the support of the Sakura Science Exchange Program, Yokohama National University, Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences (hereinafter "the University"), conducted on January 12-14, 2021 an online exchange project with Prince of Songkla University (hereinafter referred to as "PSU") in Thailand, which is a school with an academic exchange agreement.
Every year, about 10 faculty and students from PSU are invited to Yokohama National University for face-to-face activities. The same activities were planned for this year, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to invite people to the event. For that reason, we decided to conduct our event online.
In person, you can make gestures and use different expressions and devise ways of speaking and see the other person’s live reaction, but this is difficult to do when talking via a webcam or the like. For this reason, the explanation from the university side was shortened compared to normal years, and instead we focused on group work with small groups of 5 to 6 people. Furthermore, we assigned at least one undergraduate student from our school per group to lead discussions. Individual questions were asked and they encouraged comments so that all participants could engage in active discussions.
The activity also touched upon the basic ideas of nature and graph theory, for example, by having each group play a game-like match and think about "how to win." The purpose of this activity was to develop human resources who can contribute to the development of future research by touching on "phase geometry graph theory" which is actively being researched at our university. However, we believe that we have adequately attained what would be inferior in implementing this face-to-face.
There were online difficulties like the above, but on the other hand, there was no limit to the number of people who we could invite, so 7 teachers and 19 students participated from PSU. Three faculty members and seven students also participated from our university. We offered an even wider range of activities than we do every year.
Also, this activity was also a good experience for our students. This time, the hurdle was higher than usual because we had to learn to communicate without being able to see whom we were speaking to up close, so many students and teachers spent more time than usual preparing for the activities. They all tried hard to communicate in their group work. It seems that everyone got a real taste of the importance of being able to communicate in English. We believe that we were able to develop deeper international awareness in our students.
We would of this express our sincere gratitude to the Sakura Science Exchange Program and other relevant parties for the indispensable opportunity to participate in this kind of international exchange.