What “starting a lab life” means

I think you might have heard in various places already, but your “passive” school life now: Attending a class, taking an exam, earning credits… is much different than you imagine from the research life starting (probably harsh and exciting). Comparing to an infant that has been raised and breastfeed but now starting having baby food finally and reaching then to the ordinary meals. Certainly the lectures you have attended may have been the best way for you to enjoy enough nutrition and times (and love) for you. However, from now on, in order to acquire the technique of living by your own power, You will have to eat and digest what you chose by yourselves. Belonging to a laboratory, it is for you to “prepare” to gain new rights. If you are not prepared, you will soon get an upset stomach. In that case it is wiser to return back to the breast-milk life.

Interest in vision

In our laboratory we are studying about the visual function. Since vision is a routine function too close to our daily life, you might not have thought about it deeply. But please have a minute to think about it a bit. Why can we easily understand “What is where”? First of all, what is “color”? Why are the three primary colors “3” and why is it “RGB”? Why can we dodge from a ball and even why do you understand a ball is flying towards yourself? In order to have a fruitful time in our laboratory, “curiosity” of “why does it looks like” is necessary first. Whether you are conducting basic research or applying applied research, this curiosity will be the “driving force” to break through difficulties. Although it may seem like a glamorous research field at the first glance, persisting a top-notch research in this field in this global research field, requires more patience than you imagine.

Joining a conference

It is a truly exciting time when things are progressing as expected and you achieve your results. You will have the opportunity to announce at an academic conference at least once before you complete your master’s degree. Visual researchers can get cross-cultural experience not only from the engineering department but also from a very wide range of fields like the literature department, psychology department and the medical department. So you can acquire cross-cultural experiences even while staying in a national academic conference. It might be a little harsh for the Gikadai students, but will be a fizzy day. It is not rare to meet people with their names on a paper and discuss with them directly. In this laboratory, we will teach responsibly the world of “Post Meeting” as well as to get acquainted with participating in the conference.

the Lab with a wide horizon to the world

We are encouraging participation in overseas practical training and international conferences in our lab as well as in Japan. You have to practice every chance you get so that you don’t become something like “eh,,, umm,,, ahh,,” overseas. Of course, you have enough opportunity to try your own heartbreak. For example, there are several overseas research institutes that are conducting a joint research, so we frequently have opportunities to talk with foreign guests. Also, from our laboratory, total of 27 overseas practical trainees head to Finland since 2004. They seemed to be enthusiastically welcomed by Finnish ceremony, and they returned to Japan even skilled up. Every year, international students from Finland join as VPAC members. Of course, everyday conversation is in English.

More about international interaction → International Exchange

At last

Research life is tough. However, there are discoveries and the joy of creation. There is a mind to feel it, this is the research life. Better research results are not born from just a harsh life alone. To my great pleasure, there are 6 students rewarded as the Best Research Presentation Award since fiscal year 2003, 7 students in the Excellent Research Presentation Award, 5 students in the Best Graduation Research Presentation Award, and 11 for the Excellent Graduation Research Presentation Award from this laboratory. In that sense, I think that our laboratory is very fulfilling in research. In addition, apart from this, we have a prize for master’s degree students and undergraduate students who were most active in the year, named “Master of the Year” and “Bachelor of the Year”. Sometimes you will hit a wall in your research and have a tough time. At that time, please have a refresh. Various fun and feeling-refreshing events are prepared in the laboratory. I believe these research life will create a tough and delicate spirit for you.