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Message from the President

Dean, The Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics, School of Applied Information Technology

Shinji Tomita

President, The Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics
Shinji Tomita
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Doctor of Engineering, Kyoto University (with major in electrical engineering)
  • Professor of Engineering, Kyoto University, Former Dean of Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University Former Director, General Media Center, Kyoto University, Former Professor, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, Former Professor, Kyushu University, Former Adviser, Harbin Institute of Technology
  • He served as a member of the Multidisciplinary Program Committee for Leading Education in Doctoral Programs (Information), a member of the IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) TC 10, a director of the Information Processing Society of Japan, the Kansai Branch Director of the Information Processing Society, a visiting research director of the Kyoto Institute of Advanced Technology, a member of the IT Advisory Board of Kyoto Prefecture, an expert committee of the Council for Science and Technology Policy, a member of the "Exascale Supercomputer Development Project" Evaluation and Review Committee, and a chairman of the Advisory Committee for Information Policy of Kyoto Prefecture, a fellow of the IEICE and Information Processing Society.
  • In charge of Computer Organization Class and Honors Master Thesis

Pioneering a New Era with a Challenging Spirit

Almost 80 years have passed since 1945, when the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania proposed a built-in program that would become the prototype for today’s computers. I myself have lived with computers for a long time, and the development of computers has been astounding. In the 1950s, the commercialization of computers began, and programming languages such as FORTRAN for numerical computation, COBOL for office use, and LISP for artificial intelligence were developed and applied in various fields. In 1964, the IBM 360 marked the completion of the large general-purpose computer. From then on, it was all about downsizing, and around 1970, new technologies such as the UNIX operating system, structured programming, the ARPANET (the prototype of the Internet), 1kbit DRAM, the Intel 4004 4-bit microprocessor, the C.mmp shared-memory parallel computer, and many others came into commercial use. I was in my late twenties around this time, and research was very fun and exciting no matter what I was doing. I actually designed and built a rather large computer with an innovative structure.

Since the 1970s, processor, memory, hard disk, communication, and sensor technologies have been integrated and developed. Without any of these technologies, computers wouldn’t be as widespread as they are today. Today’s fastest computer exceed 1018 operations per second of computing power (to compare, the first computer, EDSAC which was developed in 1949 at Cambridge University, had 667 operations per second).

In addition to improvements in computing power, new processing methods for large amounts of data (Big Data), from the World Wide Web and data mining for example, have been used since 1989. Since the 2000s, neural networks, which have been studied since the 1960s, have evolved further and are now widely used as deep learning algorithms not only for pattern recognition in natural language, speech, and image understanding, but also for corporate business strategy planning and decision making in the business world.

I hope that young students will use computers to their full potential as an integrated science and technology in new fields, such as artificial intelligence and data science, and that they will pioneer in other new fields as well to truly contribute to the well-being of humankind. These are exciting and challenging times, just as I experienced in the 1970s, and I hope that you will enjoy research and learning as much as I do.

Amidst the growth and development of Information Technology, we established Japan's first and only graduate school specializing in IT. We welcomed the first students in April 2004 and next year will be the 20-year anniversary. We started with an enrollment capacity of 80 students and from this year’s enrollment, capacity has been increased to 700 students. There are also Satellite Schools in Sapporo and Tokyo. Our university is based on the Kyoto Computer Institute, which was established in 1963 in the beginning of the computer age, and has inherited its traditions and achievements.I did not know myself that computers existed until the late 1960s (of course, Kyoto University had a computer center for shared use, so I am sure that researchers used it). The FORTRAN Study Group had already been established by 1963, at the very beginning of computers, and I believe they had extremely good foresight.

The university's founding philosophy states, "To train highly-qualified information technology professionals with strong practical knowledge of the current business practices, a solid theoretical background, and a creative and innovative spirit which will enable them to meet the demands of society and to be responsible for the current and future generation."To achieve this, we established the Department of Web Business Technology at the Kyoto College of Graduate Studies, and developed specialized fields from a wide range of Applied Information technology, including Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Web Systems Development, Network Administration, Global Entrepreneurship, ERP (enterprise resource planning), IT Manga Animation, and IT Tourism. Incoming students choose one of them.In addition to these specialized fields, there are Elective Courses and Concentration Courses (Agriculture, Education, Content Marketing, Finance, Marine, Medical, etc.) from which students can freely choose courses.

We hope that all students will pursue their studies while maintaining close communication with their teachers. Asking questions will help you to better understand the subject matter, and it will also help the teachers to review the content of their classes. It is also important to realize the importance of the basic subjects. You can learn about a variety of different technologies at this schooland solid basic knowledge is necessary to learn about them. In particular, knowledge of linear algebra, calculus, and statistics is essential. Many of our students come from liberal arts backgrounds. We encourage these students to study the basic subjects carefully.

The Master Project (MP) is a required program at this school and students can find their own research topics, investigate research trends, and gain new knowledge. We hope that you will be able to compete with researchers from around the world. I am sure you will find this research quite enjoyable.

In addition to teachers with advanced research achievements at our school, we have many teachers with real-world experience, such as former CIOs and entrepreneurs, as well as non-Japanese teachers, so that students can acquire a good balance of ICT theory and practice.

We hope to foster human resources who can fully understand the impact of ICT on society and guide them in the right direction.We open our door to aspiring students regardless of age, background, nationality, or liberal arts and sciences. We welcome from the bottom of our hearts, not only those who have just graduated from university, but also those who are already active in the real world and aspiring to improve their careers, as well as international students who are interested in studying in Japan.