Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
  kyurizukai interview  
Dr. Junichi Ushiba Attraction of universities allured me to teach at my alma mater

photoYou are a happy person since you could directly develop your interests and talent that had budded in your elementary school days, which became your calling. Don’t you agree? Didn’t the idea of finding employment with a company ever occur to you?
      I’ve had familiarity with campus life partly because I was raised in a scholastic family and partly because I visited university campuses from time to time since my elementary school days.
      Through such experiences, I found that universities are a wonderful world where everyone is doing creative work and both the young and the experienced are getting along with each other in friendly and liberal manners. This impression remained unchanged even after I became a university student myself. I was so attracted by the university that I found it as a place of my calling. Actually I didn’t stop even for a moment to look around for opportunities of employment with prosperous businesses.
      I like Keio’s unrestricted climate. I also like Keio because it maintains a campus-wide collaboration and network that allows, for example, university instructors to visit its elementary school and junior high students to visit the university for learning. Even alumni visit the campus to give lectures. When I decided to work for the university, I found Keio much more attractive compared with businesses.
      As a junior high student, I was given a stimulus by Dr. Mikoshiba. Following suit, I myself sometimes visit the junior high school to talk about my specialty – research on BMI. This year is the fourth year since I began this initiative. Only recently I visited Keio’s girls’ high school. It would be good if I could repay to young students some of what I was given as a youngster.

A little over five years have passed since you began to teach at the university.
What is your impression of actually having worked there? When do you find your job rewarding or difficult?

      It’s delightful to see my students doing good jobs in the business world. I feel extremely rewarded as a teacher especially when some of my former students tell me something like, “Your advice at that time was so precious and encouraging.”
      On the other hand, I always feel a certain kind of difficulty because I’m always dealing with students – “humans.” There were occasions where my sincerity couldn’t be understood by students, which was so depressing I lost confidence. I know it’s not good if I’m too obtrusive when giving students advice or instruction, but there are students who want to be advised more specifically and attentively. Really puzzling, isn’t it? Some say, “What you say is too difficult” whereas others say, “It’s too simple.” By trial and error I’m always looking for the medium acceptable by most students.
      For undergraduates, I teach biocybernetics and statistics. I’m also in charge of experiment classes. When it comes to actual research work, I may be a bit too exacting toward my students. Aside from research and education, the number of tasks I carry out is increasing, such as coordination with School of Medicine, general tasks for the campus, lectures at medical or engineering academic society meetings, and tasks related to industry-academia collaboration.



Interest in computing and interest in the brain
Attraction of universities allured me to teach at my alma mater
Wish to make BMI a useful tool for patients
Profile Dr. Junichi Ushiba He has been engaged in research on the motor control mechanism concerning human autokinesia and reflex. For the past several years, he focused on the development of Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) applying scientific knowledge accumulated so far. In 2003, he became a visiting researcher at the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction of Alborg University, Denmark. In 2004, he obtained a doctorate (engineering) and became a Research Associate at Keio University. From 2007 to date, he serves as an Assistant Professor at Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology.
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