新板 窮理図解

Why and how did you come to teach at Keio?
      I applied for a position in response to Keio University’s public recruitment call in 2001 when I was in the third year of my doctor’s course. Since I had no relations whatsoever with Keio, I thought I would never be employed.
      The atmosphere of Keio as a private university was very different from the schools I had studied at because the junior-high, senior-high schools and the universities I experienced as a student were all public/national schools. Students at Keio are bright learners but their range of interest and activity is wide. Looking at myself, I’ve been involved in pursuits like basketball and music. In this sense, my character agrees with the Keio culture you might say. I’m often asked, “Are you a graduate of Keio Senior High School?” It may be because some people sense in me something in common with the Keio culture (Laughter).
      Then I went over to the United States to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2007 to 2008. At Wisconsin, I engaged in research relating to purification of diesel engine exhaust gas. As the very first overseas study for me, I had difficulties with English, but studying there was a truly challenging and rewarding experience. At the same time I was able to appreciate good aspects of Japan as a very livable country with highly advanced social systems. It also seems to me that Japanese students are superior when it comes to basic scholastic ability.
      Regardless of being a researcher or not, I strongly suggest you to go overseas at least once in order to have another, objective look at our home country. Currently I’m serving as a member of the International Committee at Keio, strongly encouraging our students to study abroad.

What do you think are good points of Keio University?
      The philosophy of the Keio founder Yukichi Fukuzawa is thoroughly shared by all teachers, administrative staff and even by senior alumni. This allows Keio as a whole to always keep the proper, desirable direction. For example, Keio has an established system to offer satisfactory support to those who study abroad. I’m especially grateful to our administrative staff for their dedicated support. Keio really has an excellent environment, where all of us can work and learn unrestrictedly and comfortably. As a person who came from outside Keio, I can see these merits clearly more than anyone else. The importance of “looking at things from different viewpoints” comes home to my heart.

Some words from students
Student : Dr. Okuda is a very earnest teacher. But when we are wrong, he is reasonable enough to criticize us. I think there are few teachers like Dr. Okuda who guide us as to how to speak and how to make presentations – considerations to ensure that we can do well when we go out into the world. On the other hand, when we are OFF, he joins us for a drinking party, enjoying sports and the like. This positive, lively atmosphere is a great asset to all of us.

(Reporter & text writer: Madoka Tainaka)