2023 Activity Report Group 5 : (University) Tokyo University of Science

SAKURA SCIENCE High School Program Group 5

Experiencing the Fun of Mathematics at Tokyo University of Science

On Tuesday, August 1, a total of 112 people, specifically, 96 high school students from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Laos and 16 supervisors, visited the Kagurazaka Campus of the Tokyo University of Science.

When they entered the campus, they were greeted by University's students wearing green happi coats with the logo of TUS (Tokyo University of Science). Firstly, Mr. Makiuchi Hiroyuki, Director of the Center for Promotion of Internationalization at the Tokyo University of Science, gave an overview of the university, the study abroad system, and the history of science in Japan.

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Overview of the University Given by Mr. Makiuchi, Director of the Center for Promotion of Internationalization

After the explanation, it was time for a special lesson given by mathematician Hitoshi Akiyama, which all the high school students had been looking forward to. Akiyama-sensei, who appeared with his trademark bandana and his long hair, was given applause and was cheered on by the people in the venue. Speaking of Akiyama-sensei, he is famous for his fun explanations of mathematics by using a variety of tools. On this day, why is the manhole cover round? (Figures with Constant Width: Reuleaux triangles and fixed width shapes), "Why can I play music CDs even if they are scratched?" (Error Correcting Code Theory), "What is the shortest distance from point A to point B?" (Soap Bubbles are amazing: Steiner point) and other mathematical theories were introduced to the students in an easy-to-understand way by combining them with familiar questions. When Akiyama-sensei said, "You can buy this experimental material at Tokyu Hands," one of the high school students seriously answered, "we don't have Tokyu Hands in my country. What should I do?". After that, the venue was filled with laughter.

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The high school students also experienced experiments using props. The high school students' eyes showed their interest because they could understand mathematical theories such as making rectangles and heart shapes with two pieces of paper tape using topology, and number matching games using binary methods that felt like playing a game. Lastly, they took a commemorative photo with all of the students surrounded by Akiyama-sensei and Makiuchi Director of Center, and the class ended.

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High School Students With Bright Eyes Concentrating in Class
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Akiyama-sensei Politely Answers Questions from High School Students
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Commemorative Photo with Everyone Surrounding Akiyama-sensei and Mr. Makiuchi , Director of Center

In the afternoon, the students were divided into six groups and were given a tour of the Mathematical Experience Plaza and the Kindaikagaku Museum on campus and they held a symposium meeting with the international students. The Mathematics Experience Plaza was opened in 2013 under the guidance of JinAkiyama-sensei. It is a facility where you can experience mathematics with your five senses. While listening to the staff's explanations, the students saw and came into contact with the cycloid curve and the Pythagorean theorem. In addition, at the Kindaikagaku Museum, the students toured the history of modern science in Japan and the achievements and related items of Professor Omura Satoshi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

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Listening to the Staff's Explanations; Students Saw and Came Into Contact With Difficult Mathematical Theories

At the symposium, it was said that international students rarely had the opportunity to listen to their voices, so questions about the scholarship system and the goodness of studying abroad at Tokyo University of Science were actively asked and answered. Some international students have visited Japan in the past for the Sakura Science Program. "The Japanese are kind and the food is delicious, so I decided to study in Japan. They appealed the good things about Japan including "when I decided to study abroad, it was a better country than I expected."

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High School Students Listening Carefully to International Students

During this, there was a raging thunderstorm, so we worried about what would happen for a while, but by the end of the day, the weather had recovered, and the students left the university with smiles on their faces.