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Pioneering new fields with reintegrate the scientific knowledge

Prof. Masaki Hirota
Dean of the Graduate
  of Integrated Frontier Sciences
Kyushu University

Even at the time of writing this greeting, we are still living in an uncomfortable way, assuming basic infection prevention measures, but looking at the situation overseas, it seems that we are steadily heading for the endemic stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. It seems that new lifestyles such as telework and online meetings have become firmly established, but what form will the “exchange of knowledge” take in the post-corona era? It's not clear yet, but I think it's going to return to the natural way before the corona outbreak.

The Graduate School of Integrated Frontier Sciences was established in 2009 with two departments, the Department of Kansei Science (master’s program) and the Department of Automotive Science (master’s and doctoral programs), for the purpose of training students to understand and solve problems of modern society through the convergence and creation of knowledge. The Graduate School has developed its present form by adding the Department of Library Science (master’s program) and the doctoral program in the Department of Kansei Science in 2011, as well as the doctoral program in the Department of Library Science in 2013.

The Graduate School of Integrated Frontier Sciences features unique departments designed by Kyushu University that are not seen at other universities. Each department has its own subject (core ideas), kansei (emotional response), vehicle and library, and under each subject matter, conducts out-of-the-box research and educational activities that cannot be achieved through conventional disciplines. All three departments emphasize the importance of working on issues of modern society in addition to learning in their areas of expertise and relevant areas. To this end, in addition to Kyushu University faculty members, we invite as instructors well-known researchers in each field or those active in their fields.

The Department of Kansei Science strives to offer learning opportunities for students to explore the science of “psychological feelings,” the development and expression of emotional responses, and the mechanisms of new value creation based on the integration of technology and emotional responses. For this purpose, the department provides students with a unique curriculum that incorporates PTL (project team learning) programs to participate as a team in various projects involving real-life situations in society, as well as classroom lectures.

The Department of Automotive Science enables students to learn about problems to be solved toward creating more fuel-efficient vehicles and achieving a safer and more comfortable automobile society, as well as ways of solving these problems by mobilizing knowledge not only from natural and engineering sciences but also from the humanities and social sciences and then integrating this knowledge. It also offers opportunities for students to gain practical experience through long-term internships at automobile or automobile-related companies.

The Department of Library Science enables students to learn ways of solving problems related to the management and provision of various types of information by integrating knowledge of library and information sciences, archival science, information science and other scientific areas. The department aims to provide practical learning opportunities through PTL programs and internships at libraries, archives, or companies involved in recordkeeping.

Another feature of the Graduate School of Integrated Frontier Sciences is that it is an independent Graduate School. Because it is independent from other faculties and schools, a variety of students—e.g. graduates from Kyushu University and other universities and technology colleges, international students, and adult students—enroll in the Graduate School. Furthermore, since each department’s approach is interdisciplinary, students’ majors at their home universities or colleges vary widely. This lets you meet other students with different points of view than yours and be exposed to a variety of intellectual stimulation through such students.

The Graduate School of Integrated Frontier Sciences aims to train students who actively try to solve, without fear and from a broad perspective, problems in each field that cannot be solved by traditional approaches of segmented academic disciplines, and who can generate creative ideas that can only be achieved by integrating knowledge. Our mission is to send these students out into society. We ask you, from young people to adults, who are highly motivated to study with an open mind, to join the Graduate School of Integrated Frontier Sciences. We believe that this school will help you open up new worlds beyond your imagination.