Greetings from the Dean of the Graduate School

Akio GOFUKU
Dean, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in Health Systems
Okayama University

Japanese society becomes a super-aged one and is facing various new problems to be solved. The world societies are also becoming aged ones and it is necessary to prepare the problems that will arise in a near future. In order to solve the problems, it is necessary to consider the impact and influence of technologies to human societies as well as to make technological developments of medicine and engineering. From the background mentioned above, the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in Health Systems was established in April, 2018 as the eighth graduate school of Okayama University and two years has passed after the establishment.

This graduate school is performing interdisciplinary education and researches in order to cultivate the viewpoints and skills that make possible various interdisciplinary activities as well as to deepen the knowledge and skills in specific fields such as engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, health science, humanities sociology, etc. that students learned in their bachelor and/or master courses. The educational goal of this graduate school is to develop human resources that can make innovations in industrial productions and/or social systems through the collaboration with specialists in various fields by creating/applying academic findings, understanding the problems and future directions of human societies, especially in the fields of medicine and welfare. The education of this graduate school focuses on cultivating the abilities to circulate the innovation cycle that “extracts” and “organizes” (issue discovery) the problems and their backgrounds in actual systems (elements and their interactions) for health and happiness of humans, “assigns” subjects to be solved (assignment settings) by analyzing the actual problems, “creates” novel ideas and artifacts (solution creation), and “adapts” them to the actual settings (solution application) resulting in “improving” the actual settings. For the educational goal, this graduate school performs unique educational activities based on the new academic field of what is called “interdisciplinary science”. Students will learn the viewpoints, methodologies, and academic methods in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, health science, humanities sociology, and engineering through lecture subjects and experience the extraction and assignment of problems and creation and application of solutions through practical subjects. By this education program, students will grow up advanced specialists who can create novel technologies and systems that support future development of humans and implement them to human societies through social innovations in the fields of medicine and health sciences.

A student who graduates this graduate school will take a master degree named “Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies” in the master course and a doctoral degree named “Doctor of Philosophy” in the doctor course. It is the first time in Japan that the term “interdisciplinary studies” has been permitted by the national government to be used in the name of an academic degree. I believe that the education and researches of this graduate school that are characterized by medical-engineering cooperation and integration of arts and sciences are novel and timely ones in the human societies moving to aged societies and will contribute to develop human resources for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are proposed by United Nations and promoted in Okayama University. This graduate school will contribute to develop industry-academia collaborations and regional collaborations by utilizing the unique features, strengthen the mutual international collaborations with foreign Universities and research institutes and promote dispatching students, accepting international students and joint researches.

I hope you, students, will develop advanced human resources that can pioneer the future of human societies by pursuing the new academic field of “interdisciplinary science” with us.

April 1, 2020