Ryuichi Oka

Ryuichi Oka
Chairperson of the Board of Executives and President,
The Public University Corporation, the University of Aizu

The University of Aizu (UoA) is a university specialized in information technology, but at its core, it is an organization supported by people. The quality of the people who support the university determines its success or failure. Eventually, the university is evaluated by society. These truths are self-evident. I will discuss these facts in terms of society, information technology, and IT education.

In the course of industrial development, the leading player has changed with the times. "information" is currently playing the leading role. On the side of the coin opposite of "information" are "things". As people are flesh-and-blood creatures, our lives rely on things such as clothing, food and housing. However, these "things" are closely related to many different kinds of information, such the financial information that drives our economy, the information technology we use in agriculture and industry, communication information that connects people together, and the cultural information that composes our "cultural capital." It stands to reason that information is now the most productive industry.

Under any circumstances, however, the main mission of a university that remains unchanged is developing students into productive members of society through its education and research. The questions we must ask are what exactly this means, how it can be achieved, and whether this is what will truly make these students happy.

We should never regard flesh-and-blood human beings as tools of industry, even if our goal is to produce students who can succeed in society within four short years. During their four years at a university, students should gain experiences for personal growth in many different aspects. For example, students should develop themselves, in order to "find something extraordinary from among ordinary matters." They should be aware of their inner adolescent inspiration to touch the seeds of innovation buried in nature. As it was said by Ryotaro SHIBA, a Japanese author; creation begins with his own "boy's pure and honest mind." They should also be able to pay attention to details, as it is said that "God is in the details."

Without the personal growth in such aspects, students cannot become truly productive members of society, even if they have strong aspirations to work in industry. Those aspects are very important, but they cannot be taught by others. Students should proactively try to develop themselves in those aspects, having a passion for continual learning in their specialized fields.

While encouraging our students to develop themselves, the UoA will provide them with support more than ever before, in terms of technological education and research. In addition, the UoA appreciates further collaboration and cooperation with the community, industry, domestically and worldwide.

As we were selected for the MEXT's Top Global University Program last year, we will take the initiative and act in the betterment of our university toward the goals set forth in our proposal. We will also promote the contribution to Fukushima's post-disaster reconstruction efforts, specifically in the field of robotics technology, as well as other fields of research.

The University will seek to become being an indispensable existence in the productive cycle of education and research to contribute to the development of a better world.

April, 2015


1970 Graduated from The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Engineering
Professional Activities
1970 Ministry of International Trade and Industry,
Electro-technical Laboratory, Researcher
1984 Visiting scientist, National Research Council of Canada (in Ottawa)
1993 Real World Computing Project,Tsukuba Research Center,
Director of New Function Division,Chief of Multi-modal Integration Department and Information Bases Department
2002 Professor, The University of Aizu
2014 President, Chairperson of the Board of Executives of The University of Aizu

The detail of my introduction is here.

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