Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
  kyurizukai interview  
AkikoTakeda I’d like “optimization” to be known and used by more people

photoIt’s possible to apply the optimization method of OR to such a diversity of areas, isn’t it? Very impressive!
      Yes, indeed. That makes it interesting. I always want to maintain a wide range of choice just as I did as a student when going on to the university. In other words, I don’t want to limit my theories to only one application field. This is why I make it a rule to team up with people from many different fields according to research theme.
      It is true that mathematics contains areas of purely theoretical pursuit regardless of whether they can serve practical purposes of our society. In my case, however, I’m not happy unless I can see how theories are put into practical use, and how they can contribute to society. Theories without concrete applications have little appeal to me. Of course when teaming up with specialists from different specialties, there may be some conflict or friction due to the difference in academic cultures and areas of specialty, but that’s why it is interesting.
      Furthermore, I’d like to stress that only OR can offer quantitative advice for a business judgment that previously had only been dependent on intuition and experience. Yesterday, I heard from a fellow researcher that he persuaded a government official regarding their plan to reduce the number of cell phone base stations and that by using the optimization method, the minimum number of base stations that no radio wave interference would occur could be calculated. Optimization can be useful in such cases as well.
      Machine learning is one of my current research projects. I’m developing a machine learning method concerning the diagnosis of diabetes using Blood blood glucose concentration, insulin value and other data enabling judgment looking at such data and not having to depend only on the doctor’s diagnosis. As these examples indicate, the great attraction of the optimization method is that it not only allows us to enjoy mathematics but it can also be applied to various aspects of our modern society. I’d like to promote and let OR and optimization studies be better and widely known among more and more people so that they would say “Wow, I didn’t know optimization was used in such-and-such a thing!”

Just a word from . . .
A student: Ms. Takeda has a great power of concentration and often suddenly comes up with new ideas. On the other hand, she becomes almost blind to things other than the target that she is concentrating on. (laughter) She never fails to give advice whenever we ask her a question. She also always gives us new ideas one after another. She is always cheerful and optimistic so the lab’s atmosphere is always bright.

(Reporter & and text writer: Madoka Tainaka)



A complete change from an elementary school dropout to a scientist
Return to my alma mater after working as a scientist for an industrial company
I’d like “optimization” to be  known and used by more people
Profile AkikoTakeda Ms. Takeda engages in the development of optimization techniques that take uncertainty factors into account. She addresses the development of algorithms for efficiently solving optimization problems in fields such as financial engineering and statistical machine learning. After obtaining the degree of Doctor of Science in 2001, she joined Toshiba Corporation’s R&D Center as a staff researcher. She then became Assistant Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering. From 2008 to present, she serves as Assistant Professor at Keio University’s Faculty of Science and Technology.

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