Division of Transdisciplinary Sciences

The primary objective of education in the Division of Transdisciplinary Sciences is to develop human resources who can create a new paradigm by boldly going beyond the borders among various related disciplines with a profound understanding of standpoints to solve the pressing issues humans are facing. Although intensively specifying problems and tightly focusing on problem setting were successful approaches, they may conceal the relationship among those disciplines. Unaware of such relationships, you may miss a chance to solve long-lasting problems using already obtained wisdom in other disciplines.

The division name "Transdisciplinary Sciences" should not be interpreted as a name of one big discipline that covers various fields in the three departments Advanced Materials Science, Advanced Energy, and Complexity Science and Engineering but as a network extensively connecting all the fields in the departments. Let yourself enter this mega-network instead of staying only with your own specific research topic. Visit different fields that are new to you, though you need to be brave to do so. You will find that the same thing is discussed with different technical terms and different values in different fields. Sometimes an unsolved problem in your field may have already been solved in other fields. Our education aims to provide you with opportunities to acquire an ability to achieve a breakthrough to solve unsolved problems in your field by noticing the hidden relationship among various fields.

The Department of Advanced Materials Science engages in pioneering research and in comprehensive and systematic education at the frontiers of materials science. The Department of Advanced Energy offers courses and research programs that comprehensively deal with issues relating to energy in such areas as cutting-edge physics, materials, systems, and the environment. The Department of Complexity Science and Engineering aims to create multi-scale complexity sciences and technologies from the nano to cosmic levels through an approach that fuses science with engineering.

In addition to the above three departments, our division provides special educational programs in a transdisciplinary approach. The Nuclear Fusion Research Education Program nurtures talented individuals who will become leaders of international nuclear fusion research in the future, bringing together the best of what has been achieved in nuclear fusion research at the University of Tokyo. The Education Program for High-Dimensional Data-Driven Science explores new methodologies and philosophies in imaging, simulation, and data analysis, all of which are commonly indispensable in any field. The Deep Space Education Program fosters future professionals who have scientific imagination and engineering sense in space exploration with a strong intention of science and engineering collaboration. In addition, we are expanding our field of activities through collaboration with other institutes at the University of Tokyo like the Institute of Solid-State Physics, and those in its outside, such as JAXA. We provide the opportunity to learn how to go beyond a border that often exists between one field and another.

Chair, Division of Transdisciplinary Sciences

Division of Biosciences

In the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS), the Division of Biosciences covers diverse fields of life sciences, as if all life science sections interspersed on the Hongo, Yayoi, Asano, and Komaba Campuses are condensed in the Kashiwa Campus. The Division of Biosciences consists of two departments -- the Department of Integrated Biosciences (IB) and the Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences (CBMS) -- holding professors with various life science backgrounds. The faculties of both departments also include cooperating professors from laboratories outside GSFS, the Intra-university Cooperative Laboratories, and those from outside the University of Tokyo, the Inter-institutional Cooperative Laboratories. Closely cooperated with the Life Science Data Research Center (LiSDaC) in GSFS, we also attend to fostering literacy on data science. We eagerly accept students with diverse backgrounds and conduct unique research and education in various research fields.

Based on our school's motto, "Transdisciplinary Approaches," our mission is to integrate different fields beyond the boundaries that divide specialties. One of the educational programs shared with IB and CBMS is Internationalization Exercises (Short-term global program). IB has a partnership with Zhenjiang University, China, and CBMS has a partnership with the University of Lyon, France. Based on these agreements, we send students from and receive students in both IB and CBMS in each short-term exchange program. We also hold joint symposiums with these universities for the faculty and students for research exchange.

We provide the Data Scientist Training/Educational Program (DSTEP) through LiSDaC as a common program in the Division of Biosciences for doctoral students. We emphasize recurrent education and make these programs available to part-time students and company workers interested in DSTEP.

Moreover, we recently began Seminar in the Aging Control Design in association with the Division of Environmental Studies, as an education program to develop transdisciplinary solutions to realize a society of healthy longevity.

IB tackles various bioscience questions, ranging from the most basic/pure to the most advanced/applied areas, in laboratories with far-reaching interests such as food, health, bioresources, diversity and evolution, crossing molecular, cellular, organismal and population/ecosystem levels, focusing on various organisms such as yeasts, plants, nematodes, insects, fishes, mice, primates and humans, and utilizing various research tools, methodologies and approaches of "wet", "dry" and field studies.

The IB's Japanese name, sentan seimei kagaku, is meant to create a new research frontier. This is meant to be accomplished not through approaching an existing branch of a research field, but by making research unique. By creating new frontiers of own research field, others will join and follow. In this way, initial small field will grow into an influential large research area.

CBMS was established in 2015, integrating the Department of Medical Genome Sciences and the Department of Computational Biology, which specialized in medical science and bioinformatics, respectively. The CBMS aims translates the most up-to-date scientific findings such as those on gene expression mechanisms and biomolecule functions into the medical care practices to realize innovative medical treatment through accelerating data science.

The Medical Innovation Course in CBMS is unique in GSFS in conducting research and education on issues of ethics, intellectual property and laws relevant to scientific research and on social systems enabling novel scientific knowledge to be extended to medical-care and industrial practices.

Through the "Transdisciplinary Approaches" in research and education with the variety of bioscience projects in IB and of the medical science/bioinformatics projects in CBMS, the Division of Biosciences aims to contribute academic outcomes to the general public and nurture not only professional scientists but also competent people with researcher mindset and global viewpoint.

Chair, Division of Biosciences

Division of Environmental Studies

The Division of Environmental Studies (formerly the Environmental Studies Department) was established in 1999. In its research and education programs, the Division aims at providing solutions to complex and diversified environmental problems through close collaboration among experts from different disciplines based on the core principle of "transdisciplinarity." We aim to shift from the science that merely pursues truth or principles by analyzing phenomena and events to a science that establishes a new academic field that encourages synthesis of the different components associated with complex environmental issues and postulates plausible approaches to conflicting issues.
The Division of Environmental Studies consists of six departments: Natural Environmental Studies; Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment; Environmental Systems; Human and Engineered Environmental Studies; Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies; and International Studies. These departments are not structured according to specific traditional disciplines. While having their own unique viewpoints and focus areas, they embrace multiple disciplines with the aim of treating various environmental issues in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Based on this structure, the Division of Environmental Studies aims at establishing environmental studies as a new academic field that will lead to the design and creation of the future environment through a transdisciplinary approach.
"Knowledge Explosion" represents how remarkable the every-increasing speed of the evolution of intelligence and technology has become. In addition, the development of means to communicate information has greatly altered the quality of human life. Today's world has diverse needs for an affluent society and for the expansion of living space. On the other hand, global-scale social problems such as regional differences and economic disparities have become more evident. What is more, the global environment, notably the issue of climate change, has become a critical issue for all humankind. The problems that need solving extend spatially and temporally, and they are complexly intertwined. When we ponder the problems of the environment under such conditions, aiming for the optimization of a snapshot at each moment does not suffice. We must develop a clear image of the vision of an ideal future, and we must also consider rational and practical ways to connect the goals and the present moment through a seamless transition. Acknowledging the diversity of values and then discovering far-reaching optimized solutions is challenging; yet all the more reason for creating a new paradigm through transdisciplinarity beyond existing academic frameworks and for making this the mission of environmental studies and research.
The Division offers inter-department educational programs in addition to the individual curricula of the departments. They include the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative, a degree course in which all the courses are taught in English; and certificate programs such as the Environmental Management Program; and the Integrated Environment Design Program. These programs are intended to provide students with the skills required for solving multi-tiered environmental problems through a broad perspective and for developing human resources capable of creating new industries based on the same outlook. The university-wide transdisciplinary programs in the Department of Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment are good examples of how integral interdisciplinary education is to the Division
Internationalization is another important theme for the Division of Environmental Studies, with its emphasis on creating an environment where students from all over the world can study together by taking such concrete steps as increasing the number of lectures in English, providing more scholarships for foreign students, and providing various services to foreign students to support their living experience in Japan in addition to supporting their research and academic experience at The University of Tokyo.
The Division of Environmental Studies has a one-of-a-kind structure for research and education under the concept of "transdisciplinarity," and has gained a renowned position internationally as a center of excellence in the field of environmental studies.

OKUDA Hiroshi
Chair, Division of Environmental Studies