The Transdisciplinary Approach: A Creative Force
The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS) is a school for Master and Doctoral students that was established through comprehensive cooperation of all existing departments of the University of Tokyo. It is made up of the Division of Transdisciplinary Sciences, the Division of Biosciences, and the Division of Environmental Studies. All of them share the mission of solving the challenging problems facing humankind through the pursuit of education and research on the frontiers derived from established disciplines. This undertaking is courageously carried out using transdisciplinary approaches in which the school’s departments are organized to cover a broad cross-section of research topics, under the leadership of diversely experienced faculty members from not only the University of Tokyo, but also other research and educational institutions around the world. About 7,500 students have completed the school's program, and about 1,370 students are currently enrolled in its departments.
|Apr||1998||Graduate School of Frontier Sciences founded.|
|Apr||1999||Student enrollment begins.|
|Mar||2001||Bioscience Building constructed.|
|Mar||2002||Phase 1 of Transdisciplinary Sciences Building construction ends.|
|Apr||2003||Department of Computational Biology established.|
|Sep||2003||Second construction phase for Transdisciplinary Sciences Building concludes.|
|Dec||2003||Transdisciplinary Sciences Laboratory constructed.|
|Apr||2004||Department of Medical Genome Sciences launched.|
|2004||Kashiwa Research Complex constructed.|
|Apr||2005||Research Center for Total Life Health and Sports Sciences established.|
|2006||Construction of Environmental Studies Building finishes.|
|Apr||2008||Department of Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment established.|
|Center for Omics and Bioinformatics established.|
|Department of Frontier Informatics moved to Graduate School of Engineering.|
|Apr||2009||Bioimaging Center established.|
|Apr||2011||Functional Proteomics Center established.|
|2011||TJCC (UTokyo-JAXA Center for Composites) established.|
|Apr||2015||Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences established.|
The Hongo Campus focuses on traditional studies in specialized fields and on intrinsic development of those areas, while the mission of the Komaba Campus is to pursue interdisciplinary education and research. In contrast, the goal of the Kashiwa Campus is to pursue "intellectual adventure" by going back to the basics of existing disciplines and interlacing them into a transdisciplinary synthesis of education and research. The addition of Kashiwa Campus to the alliance formed by its sister campuses completes the University of Tokyo's vision for a tripolar structure.
●Operating as a new stronghold for pioneering education and research, the Kashiwa Campus pursues intellectual adventure and the creation of new academic fields through graduate-level education and research grounded on a fusion of disciplines at different states of maturity.
●In addition to functioning as the university's base for the first half of undergraduate studies, the Komaba Campus engages in interdisciplinary education and research at the second half of undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the specified areas based on interaction with other disciplines and the world outside the campus.
●Serving as the linchpin of the tripolar formation, the Hongo Campus undertakes education and research in traditional disciplines at the second half of undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Working together with the cities of Kashiwa and Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture, Chiba University, and local businesses, the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences actively engages in regional collaboration, university-industry partnerships, and international exchange in order to put its research achievements to work for society. As part of this mission, several major programs have been launched to use GSFS technologies to develop the Kashiwa area into a smart city that is friendly to seniors and the environment, starting with the founding of the Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha (UCDK) in 2006, and followed in 2008 by the opening of the University of Tokyo Future Center (UTFC) and the formulation of Kashiwanoha International Campus Town Initiative. This effort is further supported by the designation of Kashiwa City as an ITS Field Operational Test Model City in 2009, and as a FutureCity and a Comprehensive Special Zone for Regional Revitalization in 2011. Also, pilot studies are being conducted to identify technologies necessary for smart cities, and these technologies will be translated into new export industries. As a hub for regional collaboration, the UCDK hosts seminars for local residents, student-led events, and other such activities at its facility, which is located near Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station. The UTFC, which serves as a center for pilot studies, opened an office near that station in 2012, and constructed a 6,000-square-meter research building in the 2013 academic year. GSFS projects in partnership with industry include the incubation of UT-launched venture firms, which are run mainly at the Tokatsu Techno Plaza (Chiba Prefecture) and the Todai Kashiwa Venture Plaza (SME Support, Japan). As part of efforts to foster international exchange, the International Center, Kashiwa Office provides international students and researchers with support services for visa procedures and life in Japan. In addition, Kashiwa II Campus has dormitories for international students and researchers that are designed to be an “international village” where people from around the world live and learn together.
The Kashiwa Library on Kashiwa Campus offers students such amenities as spacious reading rooms and a media hall where various lectures are held. The university plans to open up a new welfare facility at Kashiwa Campus and a sports facility at Kashiwa II Campus. The Tsukuba Express has been increasing its daily number of runs, and the area around Kashiwanoha Campus Station is being developed steadily. The buildup of the surrounding community promises to make Kashiwa Campus?part of the University of Tokyo’s tripolar structure?even more attractive as a center for education and research.