Q. What made you choose the Department of Mathematics?

I discovered the fascination of mathematics in junior high and high school, and thought that I’d like to continue study it in college. The great attraction of mathematics is the thrill you get when you solve a problem. Another interesting point is that, whether you solve a problem by reading a graph or find a solution by going through the numbers, the two approaches are linked in some way and you arrive at the same solution.

Q. Some people say that college mathematics is completely different than math in high school.

I feel the gap very strongly. While I was in high school, mathematics was the process of finding out the answer to a given problem from existing expressions. However, in college math, we are asked questions like, “is that expression really the one you should be using?” and “how could you reach that answer?”, and we have to give strict proofs.
This difference was unsettling at first, but everything started coming together once I gained an understanding of the fundamentals, and my love of mathematics has never wavered.

Q. What lab do you belong to?

The Hajime Yoneda lab. (Applied Mathematics) I think the biggest thing I was looking for in a laboratory was its atmosphere. Also, I was attracted by the lab’s research policy of taking the grand theme of relativity and building it up from the ground floor.

The best part of college is meeting many different people.

Q. What do you think about picking a department during you second year in the School?

My first year in the School gave me the opportunity to meet many different people with different interests and values and build friendships, all while studying a great variety of common courses. I regard this as a great asset. You really meet so many people in college.
And there are so many different people at Waseda. The word “diversity” doesn’t begin to describe it. (Laughs)

Q. I hear that some people have second thoughts about entering the Department of Mathematics out of concern for employment opportunities?

Well, the Department you pick doesn’t determine what kind of job you can get, so I don’t think there’s any need to worry on that score. And there’s no reason for thinking that just because you studied in the Department of Mathematics, you have to choose a job that involves mathematics.
The internship that I experienced last summer was with an apparel company that caught my interest, and I don’t think any company would disqualify an applicant simply because they studied in the Department of Mathematics.
Of course, there are many great professors in the Department, and it goes without saying that I would love to find a job that allows me to make use of mathematics and pursue it even further.

Q. What do you see yourself becoming in the future?

I really like the apparel industry and would love to get a job in marketing or the like where I could make use of my skills in mathematics, but the work environment is also very important.
I’m working part time in an apparel company now, and the company does not discriminate between part timers and regular employees, but treats them all equally. The part timers have even gotten together and submitted project proposals to the company. In the work place, we don’t just do what we’re told, but are allowed to proactively think about work methods and how we use our time.
In the future, I would like to work in such a place, where people don’t advance according to seniority, but can make their own opportunities for advancement and grow as persons worthy of leadership.

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