新板 窮理図解

How to choose your expertise
      To tell the truth, it was not my initial intention to focus on the network world. As a high school student, I was interested in aeronautical and space sciences. In my elementary and junior high school days, unlike today, rocket launching was still a rare event. Naturally I yearned for space travel.
      Although I chose the University of Tokyo to study aeronautical sciences, a year after, I switched my course to information and communication engineering because I didn’t like physics. Moreover, I was attracted to radio communication and Internet. When I was in the first year of high school, I got a short-wave radio. Taking this opportunity, I made an FM antenna on my own using two curtain rails at home and enjoyed FM broadcasts from Osaka. When a special ionosphere known as the sporadic E layer was formed in the upper sky, I happened to receive broadcasts from Hokkaido, which was otherwise unavailable. Thanks to these events, I was captivated by mysteries of radio waves. In those days, I used to write a letter to the U.K to request BBC’s latest short-wave broadcast programs, which I would receive a few months later. But these programs soon became instantly available via the BBC website, which was an exciting development.
      Recalling these events, I decided to major in information and communication technology, which dealt with information exchange via radio and the Internet. I chose “Mobile Internet” as the topic of my graduation thesis, “Mobility Support” for master’s thesis and “Network Architecture” for my doctoral thesis.

Transition of research topics
      I encountered a number of challenges as I was assigned to DMC and began 4K visual transmission tests. Although I strove to solve these problems by using every possible network technology that I had learned during my student days, it was often the case that they didn’t work. People around me (who are not network specialists) even advised me, “You don’t have to stick to network, do you?” I was made to think seriously about the significance and value of network. On the other hand, even if I successfully create a technology capable of delivering 4K high-definition visuals, the technology will be of no practical use unless there are people who wish to access them. Therefore, I came to think about creating an attractive world that would encourage viewers to access 4K content.
      The current situation is this: the more people can create digital information, the more easily such information gets buried. Therefore, it is essential that by linking as many contents as possible we offer opportunities to expose these contents to viewers so that they can easily access them. In fact, I find this vital to network digital content. The network I have in mind is trillions of times larger in scale than the current Internet. Then, what mechanisms should this network of tremendous content scale have in order to effectively facilitate scrutiny of information? This has become my current research topic.

What is scrutiny of information?
      First and foremost, you must get to the bottom of what is really true. You may believe something as being correct, saying, “This is what my teacher taught me”, “This is written in my textbook”, or “This is what I’ve already experienced.” But you shouldn’t take all of their authenticity for granted. It may be true in one facet of a certain phenomenon, but you should examine thoroughly whether you can find the same facet in the phenomenon that you are facing now or whether it is worth finding it in the first place. You should continue seeking the truth at all times while making the most of the knowledge you have gained in the past to seek for a relevant facet of the phenomenon. Never be content with looking at one facet of a thing. The more facets you have to explore, the closer you get to the truth. Of course, experiencing failure is inevitable if you are in an ongoing quest of truth. But if the failure allows you to discover a new facet of a thing, your quest will surely lead to a higher stage.
      In order to acquire knowledge from past experiences, it is essential that you accumulate various experiences and make thorough observations and inquiries.

Some words from a student
      Through my experience working part-time as a supporting staff of IT equipment repair, I wished to deepen my knowledge of network and chose to study at Dr. Kaneko’s lab. My generation takes Internet connection for granted, but I think it is important to understand each factor that allows the Internet to function properly. From Dr. Kaneko, I’ve learned to identify problems in the world and thinking about how to solve them. Meanwhile, Dr. Kaneko is a friendly teacher who always cares about us including our private lives.

Some words from Dr. Mayumi Ikeda (Dr. Kaneko’s wife)
      I teach English and liberal arts at the Faculty of Science and Technology. I became a member of DMC as I had been involved in a project to digitize the Gutenberg Bible owned by Keio University. Currently I’m engaged in creating museum contents under the MoSaIC project led by my husband. As a mother of a nine-month-old boy, I’m struggling with childrearing. My husband is an excellent father, who is in charge of taking the baby to and from the nursery school and bathing him everyday. But, he has never tried to make baby food for some reason although he is a good cook…

(Reporter & text writer: Akiko Ikeda)