Bulletin of Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology
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10 Yukio Nozaki 3 Concentrate on what you’re doing, especially when you  are at a loss

Is distinction between research and your private life difficult?
      Before marriage, research work was everything in my life. But after I got married, I changed my lifestyle and became able to distinguish my private life from research work, especially with the birth of my first child. Because preparing for lectures for the following day is demanding and time-consuming, I sometimes have to do it at home. But I completely enjoy private time when communicating with my children. In fact, dealing with children is a great task itself and my hands are full. Frankly speaking, physics is the last thing I can think of. I have little idea of what my children are thinking of, and their thinking is not logical at all. But their pointlessness and unmanageable behavior are fun, maybe. For sure, children are a matter of greatest interest for me.

photoWhat do you want your students to learn?
      As advice based on my own experience, I’d like my students to identify a research theme they find intriguing. The field doesn’t matter. If there are some who have already identified their themes, they should proceed that way. For others who have not found their themes yet, I’d like them to focus on something at hand even for the time being, by suppressing their mind that is indecisively wandering this or that way.
      Some may say it’s not cool to focus on one particular thing. But remember that you are in an enviable environment where you can study. Then why not take advantage of it? When you focus on something, soon you may run into one obstacle after another. But by overcoming such obstacles one by one, there may be a moment when your horizon expands dramatically. It must be this moment that you can appreciate the true width and depth of the world.
      As students, you may have to deal with many things aside from academic learning. But please remember to concentrate on something especially when you are at a loss of what to do or which way to go. I’m sure that by doing so you will have a moment when things formerly in question get interrelated with each other and emerge as something convincing before your eyes. I’d like all my students to capture such a moment.

Just a word from . . .
Student A : While in the general education course, my impression of Mr. Nozaki was one of a strict teacher. But this impression changed completely when I joined his lab. When I asked a question during research work, not only did he give me the correct solution, but he also explained step by step how to climb the stairs of understanding while encouraging us to think on our own. His approach often convinced me, the questioner, as well as other members of the seminar. Thanks to Mr. Nozaki’s educational approach, it became possible for me to address and understand difficult challenges.
Student B : With Mr. Nozaki, distinction between research work and other things is very clear. While in the lab, he talks only about the research work in question. But outside the lab, for example in the cafeteria, his topics range widely even to the outcome of World Cup Soccer. This makes him even more attractive. This year falls on the third year of the Nozaki lab. So we are planning to have a boarding session (for study and friendly communication). I’m looking forward to it as we may find new aspects of Mr. Nozaki’s personality.

(Reporter & and text writer: Kaoru Watanabe)

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1 As a child I disassembled  a camera – for curiosity about  its mechanism
2 Knowing the fun of physics in  classwork by my respected teacher
3 Concentrate on what you’re doing, especially when you  are at a loss
Profile Yukio Nozaki Mr. Nozaki’s specialties are spin dynamics and spin electronics. His current research theme is the control of spin angular momentum dynamics that is strongly coupled, in ferromagnetic metals, with electronic and electron-phonon systems. He is developing his research work from basic research to applied research for practical applications. In 1998, after acquiring a doctorate (physics), he became a postdoctoral research assistant for Kyushu University’s Graduate School and Faculty of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, assuming the position as an associate professor in 2006. In 2010, he assumed the current position as an associate professor for Department of Physics, Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology.

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