The School of Fundamental Science and Engineering encompasses the academic domain of materials science from micro materials to macro materials used in large-scale structures. Besides basic research, we conduct research that targets requirements of industry from the point of view of machine science. Further, we pursue research and development of next-generation materials from the perspective of mathematical science.

Department of Materials Science

Q. What sort of discipline is the Materials Science Major?

— Taking account of the principle of working toward a “fusion of materials, machines and mathematics,” our teachers are specialists in those fields. The subject is very broad in scope, ranging from micro materials to macro materials. Nonetheless, the diverse qualifications of our teachers cover almost all areas. Furthermore, we are also focusing on applying mathematics to the development of next-generation materials.that a function to express it can be readily found. Between these two there is a gap.

Q. How do teachers of mathematics relate to the field of materials?

— The major includes mathematics as a compulsory course, which is rather unusual for a graduate school. The lectures are called the “Advanced courses A and B in mathematical modeling of materials.” Through these lectures, we provide a thorough foundation of mathematical knowledge for teaching principles and mathematical methods of simulation for modeling at all levels, from the atomic scale to macro. This is the first area to which our teachers of mathematics devote their efforts. What’s more, their knowledge plays an important role in advancing the field of material science itself. My own specialty is amorphous materials. This is the sort of structure that is found in materials like glass. There remains much to be elucidated about such materials, so I am keenly aware of the requirement for help from mathematics.
 For example, suppose we want to characterize an amorphous structure using X-rays. Material experts could not discern any regularity in structure from examination alone. However, hidden regularity could be found by homological analysis through collaboration with mathematical experts. Such analysis can be regarded as a prerequisite to opening new horizons in materials science.

Research is all about tackling unanswered problems

Q. What sort of expectations do you have of your students?

— Unlike undergraduate school, graduate studies are centered on research. Research means tackling problems that have not been previously answered. That means students must be mentally resilient. No matter how much effort is poured into a problem, sometimes results are not forthcoming. But this is exactly why obtaining results can be such an inexpressibly joyous occasion.
 We teachers, too, are partners in the opening of new frontiers. We do our best to provide students with whatever backup is needed to support them in their effort to obtain significant results, an experience that can give them confidence as they go out into the world. I want all our students to enjoy their research.

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