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Message from the Dean

The abundant nature that surrounds our campus here in Gifu provides a symbolism that runs deep and wide and offers practical lessons for growth, nurture, and maturity.

 

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MURAI, Toshiaki
Dean, Faculty of Engineering
 
Lesson #1: Commitment to growth
Every spring (in April), cherry blossoms fill our campus with warm welcome as new students walk through the entrance gate ready to embark on a new educational path. Other varieties of trees including camphor trees, ginkgo trees, and red maples on the way to the Faculty of Engineering building extend their greetings along the way. As the season begins to warm up, shrubs such as azaleas and camellias assert themselves, too. For over 30 years, the meta-sequoia trees standing straight and tall on the west side of the lecture building have seen many seasonal changes and has eventually grown as high as the 7th floor of the Engineering building. As most of these
trees and shrubs shed their leaves in the fall season, displaying its bare branches in the approaching winter, growth and change begin to take place deep inside the roots, trunks, and branches. Metaphorically, the educational process is also like that. Trees and shrubs, just like students, are guided to learn and mature in time from the days of apparent early growth to its later
mature stage when they are able to stand deeply rooted in the ground of higher education 10 years or even 50 years later.

Lesson #2: Commitment to nurture
Education is nurtured when we allow our students the freedom to make choices and decisions for themselves even though they may not have possessed full understanding at the beginning. In their undergraduate
years, they may encounter discouragement or lack of growth, but with a commitment to continuous learning and improvement they begin to develop a
higher sensitivity to judge the possible importance of their field of studies for themselves. During their undergraduate years, they may not look impressive
or even reach their heights, but a commitment to this repetitive learning process and sustained effort will bring students to a “eureka moment” in
their engineering education. Later on as students mature, some will progress on to masters and even doctoral programs where they will further explore new issues and unknowns and propose new ideas in their own fields.

Lesson #3: Commitment to continuous maturity
As trees mature, they may bend but not break as long as their foundation is solid; in other words, rooted in sound knowledge base. At the Faculty of Engineering, one of our missions is to develop the professional identity of our students in order to help them become leaders in their various research fields. In particular, the scales of targeted fields are from pico- and nano-sizes to light-years. The temporal axes are also broad from ten to the minus fifteen to more than several hundred years. We have worked on various phenomena, the control and prediction of movement of objects and molecules. In our faculty, several groups are currently involved in such fields as drones, 3D printers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning where promising progress is expected. Visit our Web sites for more details.

As Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Gifu University, it is the opportunity to provide our engineering students the environment for growth, nurture, and maturity that excites me. May the "Force of Learning" be with you.