UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2019 participants in front of UCL main building in close-up

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2019 participants at UCL

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge is a prestigious annual summer school programme which has a tremendous reputation and impact since 2015. Pre-university students from Japan and the UK attend a series of university-style lectures on a wide range of subjects by academics from leading UK universities including UCL (University College London), and engage in UCL Grand Challenge Workshop. Participants also experience British university student life through staying in halls of residence at the University of Cambridge and UCL.

 

In the seventh year 2021, we would like to hold our programme online, the same way we did last year due to COVID-19 guidelines. However, we believe that this virtual programme increases opportunities to participate in it, for those who would otherwise not be able to do so.

 

This programme was established in 2015 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Choshu Five and the Satsuma 19 students’ arrival at UCL. The Choshu Five were the first Japanese students who studied at a UK university, and upon return they played leading roles in modernising Japan. Since then, UCL and Japan have been enjoying close ties.

Why join us?

By participating in the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021, you can: 

Lecture

Experience university education by attending a series of lectures in various subjects, which cover biomedicine, technology and social science.

Kyoto, Japan

Learn Japanese culture from a wide range of lectures and interact with participants from 31 Japanese high schools across the country. You can make Japanese friends!

Travel plan

Learn how to get studentships to study at Japanese universities. The Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) London, a Japanese funding body, guide you through the studentships.

Video call

Get one complimentary ticket for HYPER JAPAN ONLINE 2021, per participant, to experience Japanese culture right before the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021.

Learning

Join the Japan Foundation’s programmes. The Japan Foundation London provides a lecture on information about their programmes.

Winner

Be selected for a free trip to Japan in 2022! Two UK based participants will be selected after the programme, based on their contribution to the programme. They are going to visit the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), the University of Tokyo and enjoy Japanese culture in Tokyo (subject to COVID-19 guidelines).

Theme: Art and Design for Sustainable Future

Through the past UCL-Japan Youth Challenge programmes, we have provided opportunities for young students to look into social problems mainly through science and technology. This year, we would like to highlight the cultural side of the issues and discuss how art and design could contribute to solving those problems and developing the sustainable future.

Art and Design for Sustainable Future

Once in the history, art and science were inseparable and the ultimate objectives of these disciplines were the same— understanding the world better. Although these two disciplines became more and more apart from each other through historical developments, these days we are, again, realising that art and science are both essential for our future. Pure technology is not enough to make our life better because we cannot live without culture and we cannot live without joy and delight to live a life. Design is likewise an unmissable element to achieve that together with engineering. We need to think about our future and solutions to make it sustainable through this wide perspective ranging between art, design, engineering and science.

 

We aim to use this year’s programme as an opportunity for young students to know the most advanced practice in art and design, which is not merely for visual aesthetics but also powerfully connected with social issues in various dimensions. Interactive discussions will be encouraged between professionals and students, wishing we altogether can gain a new vision to see our future through our programme.

UCL Grand Challenge Workshop

UCL Grand Challenges

As part of the programme, we host UCL Grand Challenge Workshop on this year’s theme: Art and Design for Sustainable Future, in Week 3 (please see Programme outline below).

UCL Grand Challenges is an initiative of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research) to bring researchers from across UCL interdisciplinarily, which have changed the way researchers investigate the world’s problems, since 2009.

There are six UCL Grand Challenges; Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Justice & Equality, and Transformative Technology.

UCL Grand Challenge Workshop during the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge focuses on one of these challenges every year.

UCL Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality
UCL Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology
UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health
UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities
UCL Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding
UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing
UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2020 participants discussing virtually
UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2020 participants discussing virtually
UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2020 participants discussing virtually

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2020 participants discussing virtually

Programme presented by Dr Hideki Yoshimoto

Hideki Yoshimoto is a designer, artist and researcher. Hideki graduated from the University of Tokyo with BS and MS degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics, then moved to London and completed PhD in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art. He founded his own studio TANGENT in 2015 in London, and has been leading the team’s creative projects utilising his inter-disciplinary knowledge. He was appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor in Art Science at the Osaka University of Arts (2018) and as a Project Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (2020), where he was one of the founding members of the Advanced Art Design Laboratory.

Hideki has received many awards in both of engineering and design fields, such as Best Conference Award from the Japanese Society of Artificial Intelligence (2010), Super Creator Certification from the Japanese Information-technology Promotion Agency (2010), Red Dot Design Concept Best of the Best Award (2012), Lexus Design Award Grand Prix (2013) and Milano Design Award Best Engagement Award (2016).

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), the University of Tokyo

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo

Mission: Exploring new areas of advanced science and technology

The Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) was established in 1987 and is the newest institute attached to the University of Tokyo. It aims to contribute to the development of science and technology by expeditiously taking on new challenges arising from the advancement of science and subsequent changes in society, and by exploring new areas of advanced science and technology for the benefit of humankind and society. Since its founding, RCAST has pursued interdisciplinary research activities in a wide range of research areas based on four principles: Interdisciplinarity, mobility, international perspective, and openness.

 

Building 13 facade, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo

More than 40 eponymous labs, with a wide variety of specialised fields, are pursuing advanced research in science and technology as well as in social sciences and the field of barrier-free research. These research areas are extended over a wide area ranging from basic and applied fields to the social system.

 

Education: The sole affiliated institution of the University of Tokyo offering graduate-level education to outside professionals

 

The Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) provides education and research training concerning burgeoning and pioneering basic and applied research in the fields of advanced science and technology. It also gives guidance in what is called “research on research” in those fields.

 

In addition to a traditional graduate school education, the AIS provides people in mid-career with the opportunity to resume their studies in an academic environment.

 

Education Outreach

 

RCAST provides various learning opportunities for K-12 students. It includes onsite or online study tours, special seminars, educational videos, and various other opportunities. It is opened to K-12 schools and students from around the world.

Programme outline

Dates: 3rd August – 24th August 2021 (4 weeks, weekdays only)

 

Time: 9.00 am – 12.00 pm in UK time (BST)

 

Activities:

1. UCL Grand Challenge Workshop

2. A series of lectures

We host a number of academic lectures, which cover science, technology, and social subjects.

This includes various lectures on Japanese culture, such as calligraphy, manga, anime, tea ceremony, and so forth.

UCL students from Japan share their experiences. UCL explains how to enter British universities. We also provide information on how to go on to Japanese universities for UK based students.

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
12nd

3rd

9.00 - 11.00

Introduction
4th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
History of Japanese Calligraphy and Sumi painting — Koshu



For participants from UK schools

10.00 - 10.30
Scholarship for Japanese University — Embassy of Japan in the UK

10.30 - 11.00
An introduction to the Japan Foundation — The Japan Foundation London



For participants from Japanese high schools

10.00 - 10.30
Introducing UCL’s International Foundation Year — UCL Centre for Languages & International Education



11.00 - 12.00
Stellar Astrophysics and the Milky Way — Prof Daisuke Kawata, UCL
5th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
Quantum mechanics and nanotechnology — Prof David Bowler, UCL



10.00 - 11.00
Foundation of current Japan was established by UCL — Prof Shin-Ichi Ohnuma, UCL



11.00 - 12.00
English-language haiku — Ms Caroline Skanne, British Haiku Society
6th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.30
Provide an environment for kids worldwide to create anime — Mr Yutaka Kamada, DoGA



11.00 - 12.00
Nanoengineering interfaces for energy and healthcare applications — Prof Manish K. Tiwari, UCL
29th

10th

9.00 - 11.30

Academic Lectures

Future Technology: Learning from Intelligence of Insects — Professor Ryohei Kanzaki, University of Tokyo

Design and Technology for Storytelling — Dr Hideki Yoshimoto, University of Tokyo

Lecture title tbc — Ms Corinne Julius
11th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
(2 options)

[1] Why all the fuss about Quantum Computers? — Prof John Morton, UCL

[2] Inherently soft – inherently safe: Robots of the future — Dr Helge Wurdemann, UCL



10.00 - 10.30
Overview of JSPS and International Programmes — JSPS London



11.00 - 12.00
Sculpting the embryo as we wish — Dr Masa Tada, UCL
12th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
Diversity & Inclusion in Education — Mr Yuta Hasumi, Ikigai Authentic Ltd



10.00 - 11.00
Japanese Tea Ceremony — Ms Yuko Kobayashi Boff



11.00 - 12.30
Cook-Along ONIGIRAZU — Ms Izumi Nakamura, Sozai Cooking School
13th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
(2 options)

[1] Cancer and Environment — Mr Jack Hopkins, UCL

[2] For participants from Japanese high schools

Scholarship program of Yanai Tadashi Foundation — Mr T Tanaka, Yanai Tadashi Foundation



10.00 - 11.00
The strange history of Go in Europe — Mr Gerry Gavigan, London Go Centre



11.00 - 12.00
(2 options)

[1] Using data to inform policies? Economist's perspective — Prof Toru Kitagawa, UCL

[2] Start a Football business in the UK & How to go on to postgraduate courses — Mr Hide Miyahara
316th

Lectures

9.00 - 10.00
Viruses can be our friends as Gene Therapy carrier + careers in Cell and Gene Therapy — Dr Yasu Takeuchi & Ms Noor Mujahid, UCL



10.00 - 11.00
Computational Modelling in Biomedicine - How we use mathematics and computer programs to predict future and help patients and doctors — Dr Ryo Torii, UCL



11.00 - 12.00
(2 options)

[1] Animal Evolution, Embryology, Human anatomy & General life science — Dr Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UCL

[2] Linguistics through identity crisis — Mr Wataru Tage
17th

9.00 - 11.30

UCL Grand Challenge Workshop
18th

9.00 - 11.00/12.00
(Guidance only, depending on the group)

Preparation for Presentation
(By group, 2 - 3 hours)
19th

9.00 - 11.00/12.00
(Guidance only, depending on the group)

Preparation for Presentation
(By group, 2 - 3 hours)
20th

9.00 - 11.00/12.00
(Guidance only, depending on the group)

Preparation for Presentation
(By group, 2 - 3 hours)
423rd

24th

9.00 - 12.00

Presentation, Discussion & Final Ceremony
25th

26th

27th

NB: Weeks 1-4 on Tuesdays (in bold in the table above) are the main programme events and full attendance is required.

Participants must also attend Preparation for Presentation on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Week 3.

Various lectures will be held on other weekdays. A minimum attendance of eight (8) lectures is required.

Fee

 

The fee below covers the complete cost of the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021.

To secure your place on the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021, you will need to pay your fees in full. Details of how to pay your fees will be provided as part of the application process.

 

£50

Homework

 

In order to deepen participants’ understanding of this year’s theme, homework will be provided in July.

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021 & the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

 

Normally, the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge may count for your Gold Duke of Ediburgh’s Award (DofE) through the Residential section.

Your participation in the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge on its own does not grant a DofE Award.

 

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021 is held fully online.

Therefore, this year’s programme does not count for your Gold DofE programme.

Academic Lectures in Week 2

 

We welcome three lecturers in the fields of art and design.

Prof Ryohei Kanzaki

Future Technology: Learning from Intelligence of Insects

 

Prof Ryohei Kanzaki

Director

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

University of Tokyo

Learn more

Ryohei Kanzaki is a director and professor of Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo.

He received his B.S., M.S. and D.Sc. degree in Neurobiology from the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba in 1980, 1983 and 1986, respectively. From 1987 to 1990 he was a postdoctoral research fellow of the Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona. From 1991 to 2003 he was successively an assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba. From 2004 to 2006 he was a professor of Department of Mechano-Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo. Since 2006 he is a professor of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo.

He is interested in clarifying behavioral and neural basis of adaptive behaviors (or biological intelligence) using interdisciplinary approaches combining biology, informatics and engineering.

Lecture details

From Prof Ryohei Kanzaki:

When you think of intelligence, you probably think of artificial intelligence (AI), but animals have acquired much greater intelligence (so-called biological intelligence) in the process of evolution. Biological intelligence, the capability to respond with adaptive behaviors to ceaselessly changing environmental conditions, is a hallmark feature of animals. Insects display a diversity of sophisticated behaviors adapted to their environments by the processing of a tiny brain system. Insects will become an excellent model for understanding the biological intelligence and in turn, inspire control and communication in engineering applications including AI.

In order to understand the biological intelligence in insects, we work at multiple levels, from genes, single cells of the neural system to the actual behavior. To examine the neural basis of behavior, we reconstructed a realistic neural circuit of insect brain in a supercomputer (A), and made model of the neural circuit in a mobile robot. Moreover, in order to understand the dynamics of the neural circuit, we have been developing an “insect-robot hybrid system” in which the insect (B. insect-controlled robot) or an isolated insect brain controls a robot (C. cyborg insect).

In this talk, focusing on the odor-source orientation behavior in the male silkmoth, brain mechanisms generating adaptive behavior revealed by using multidisciplinary approaches (biology, engineering, computer science, and robotics) will be shown.

Dr Hideki Yoshimoto

Design and Technology for Storytelling

 

Dr Hideki Yoshimoto

Project Associate Professor

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

University of Tokyo

Learn more

Hideki Yoshimoto is a designer, artist and researcher. Hideki graduated from the University of Tokyo with BS and MS degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics, then moved to London and completed PhD in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art.

He founded his own studio TANGENT in 2015 in London, and has been leading the team’s creative projects utilising his inter-disciplinary knowledge.

He was appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor in Art Science at the Osaka University of Arts (2018) and as a Project Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (2020), where he was one of the founding members of the Advanced Art Design Laboratory.

Hideki has received many awards in both of engineering and design fields, such as Best Conference Award from the Japanese Society of Artificial Intelligence (2010), Super Creator Certification from the Japanese Information-technology Promotion Agency (2010), Red Dot Design Concept Best of the Best Award (2012), Lexus Design Award Grand Prix (2013) and Milano Design Award Best Engagement Award (2016).

Lecture details

From Dr Hideki Yoshimoto:

In this talk I want to share my work experience of combining design, art, craft and technology for storytelling. For the past 8 years or so, I have been working on various creative projects, in many of which my role was representing the client’s company with my artwork. The key in this activity was storytelling. Instead of “explaining” the company with literal information, I used metaphors and created an attractive, poetic story through which people could feel and understand about the company. This talk will share my thinking behind those activities. I hope students find some hints for their own projects.

Corinne Julius

Ms Corinne Julius

Journalist, broadcaster and curator

Learn more

Corinne Julius is a leading champion of new design talent in the United Kingdom.

A judge of many applied arts and design awards, she is an astute and passionate critic of contemporary craft and mentor to contemporary craftspeople.

In 2008, Julius was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and in 2014, she launched ‘Future Heritage’, a ground-breaking showcase of contemporary craft which is the highlight of design trade show, Decorex International.

Lectures

 

Science/medicine

Prof Daisuke Kawata

Stellar Astrophysics and the Milky Way

 

Prof Daisuke Kawata

Professor of Astronomy

Department of Space & Climate Physics & Mullard Space Science Laboratory

UCL Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Learn more

Daisuke Kawata is studying the formation history of the Milky Way at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), UCL. His main research topic is so-called Galactic Archaeology, revealing the formation history of the Milky Way from the detailed observation of the current picture of the Milky Way. Galactic Archaeology is now having an exciting time, because European Space Agency (ESA)’s Gaia mission (launched in 2013) is providing the unprecedentedly accurately measured position and motion (astrometry) of about one billion stars in the Milky Way. Combining the Gaia data with the other data from the space- and ground-based telescopes in the world, they are studying how the ancient merger with another galaxy about 10 billion years ago impacted the formation of the Galactic disk structures, when and how the bar structure of the Milky Way formed, the physical mechanism creating the beautiful spiral arm structures in the Galactic disk and where the Sun formed in the Milky Wan and travelled to the current location, using the numerical simulations and data science techniques. He is also involved in the future astrometry missions in Japan, JASMINE (Janan AStrometry MIssion for INfrared Exploration) as the Project Scientist and in Europe, GaiaNIR mission concept as a member of the expert science group. He obtained his Doctor of Science from Tohoku University in 2000. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Swinburne University, Australia (2000-2005) and Carnegie Observatories, USA (2005-2008, partly as a JSPS fellow). He is working at UCL since 2008.

Lecture details

From Prof Daisuke Kawata:

I will give an introductory lecture of stellar astrophysics. The lecture will introduce the Sun as a star, and explain the different evolution pathes of the stars depending on their mass. The lecture will also cover end points of stellar evolution, including the neutron stars and black holes.

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Cancer and Environment

 

Mr Jack Hopkins

PhD student

Institute of Ophthalmology

UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences

Learn more

Jack Hopkins is a final year PhD student working in the Ohnuma Lab group at UCL’s Institute of Ophthalmology. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Nottingham where he first became interested in the genetic changes leading to the initiation of cancer. Jack then moved to Imperial College London to continue his studies and obtained a Master’s degree. Here, he developed his understanding of cancer and performed research projects in three laboratories alongside leading experts in the field. Jack first examined the relationship between the immune system and acute myeloid leukaemia in mice before studying the role of ion channels on breast cancer aggressiveness. His final project was in identifying novel drug candidates to target against cancer genes. The research focus of his PhD is on the progression of an eye cancer called retinoblastoma that develops in children. He is attempting to understand the connection between retinoblastoma and the surrounding environment to develop new treatments for the disease. Upon achieving his doctorate, Jack aims to continue his current research with Professor Shin-Ichi Ohnuma before establishing his own projects and goals within academia.

Lecture details

From Mr Jack Hopkins:

My lecture will cover the background and new developments of my research in Professor Ohnuma’s laboratory. Retinoblastoma is the most common, intraocular cancer of infancy with a frequency of 1 in 20,000 of live births. Current treatments are invasive and often lead to loss of sight. Thus, new treatments need to be developed. Recent evidence suggests that secreted proteins can enhance or suppress the development of retinoblastoma. My research attempts to understand the relationship of retinoblastoma with the surrounding environment, and we have identified a potential new candidate for retinoblastoma. Initial analysis of retinoblastoma found a complete suppression of the PRELP gene which is normally expressed in retinal tissues. Removing this protein in mice increased proliferation of the retina that is not observed in typical mice. We investigated the pathways responsible for this proliferation and found strong similarities with human retinoblastoma. Therefore, we studied the functional role of PRELP by applying PRELP protein on isolated retinoblastoma cells in culture. We found that PRELP could regulate a large number of cancer-associated mechanisms, inhibiting progression. Now, our experiments employ novel technologies to produce a more detailed model of the interaction of PRELP on retinoblastoma, such as single cell RNA profiling. In the future, we aim to confirm our current data on freshly isolated retinoblastoma tissues with the goal of establishing clinical trials using PRELP either as a primary treatment or in combination with chemotherapy to help preserve vision during treatment.

Dr Masa Tada

Sculpting the embryo as we wish

 

Dr Masa Tada

Reader in Developmental and Cellular Biology

Department of Cell & Developmental Biology

Division of Biosciences

UCL Faculty of Life Sciences

Learn more

Masazumi (Masa) Tada was born in Hiroshima in 1960 and graduated from Motomachi high school. He entered University of Tsukuba and started orienteering, a sport involving fell running with a map reading, at the international level and won a gold-medal at Pan-Pacific championship in 1982. Having obtained MSc in Physical Sciences, he decided to move on a PhD in Biochemistry at Tsukuba. After moving to National Cerebral Cardiovascular Center (Osaka) then to Hokkaido University, he came to London as a postdoc in the field of Developmental Biology in 1995. He moved to University College London in 2000, and was appointed as a Reader (equivalent to Associate Professor) since 2013.
Dr. Tada’s research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying morphogenetic processes that shape the embryo. To do this, he uses zebrafish as a model system based on live imaging. Currently, he focuses on what happens at the interface between two distinct populations from basic science to clinical applications. See details: http://zebrafishucl.org/tada-lab.

Lecture details

From Dr Masa Tada:

A human baby gives rise from a fertilised embryo through a series of developmental processes, which include the generation of different cell types and the coordination of cell movements and cell shape changes in three dimensions. Indeed, the fundamental mechanisms behind these processes are highly conserved from fish to humans. This lecture focuses on how the cells communicate each other in the same cell population and interact with neighbours of different populations. Also, it discusses how mechanical forces are integrated across the cells in geometry of the tissue.

Dr Yasu Takeuchi

Viruses can be our friends as Gene Therapy carrier + careers in Cell and Gene Therapy

— in collaboration with Ms Noor Mujahid

 

Dr Yasu Takeuchi

Associate Professor in Molecular Virology

Division of Infection and Immunity

UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences

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Yasu Takeuchi is Associate Professor of Molecular Virology at Division of Infection and Immunity, UCL. He has been based in London since 1990 initially at Institute of Cancer Research and then UCL working on a variety of projects. He studied Biochemistry at University of Tokyo and obtained 2-year MSc on physicochemical study of nucleic acids and then PhD on molecular biology of small nuclear RNA (study carried out at National Cancer Center, Tsukiji, Tokyo). He started his research on retroviruses at Gunma University, Japan in 1986. Since then he has been working on human viruses, HIV and HTLV and mammalian gammaretroviruses. Yasu’s translational research has been mainly focused on Retroviral/Lentiviral Vector production and safety in Gene Therapy and xenotransplantation. Since September 2016, he has been seconded for 30% of time to Advanced Therapies at NIBSC from UCL.

Lecture details

From Dr Yasu Takeuchi:

Evil viruses can be used for our benefit. For example, the AIDS virus (HIV) can be made harmless and carry therapeutic genes to be used to treat patients in so called Gene Therapies. This lecture will cover (i) current progress in gene therapy, (ii) principles of viral vectors, (iii) challenges in gene therapy clinical application. Additionally, the current PhD student in Biochemical Engineering, Noor Mujahid who has experience in working in the hospital and industry, will discuss career in the cell and gene therapy field.

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Ms Noor Mujahid

PhD student

Department of Biochemical Engineering

UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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Noor Mujahid graduated from UCL School of Pharmacy in 2017 with a Masters in Pharmacy. She went on to do her clinical training at Cambridge University Hospital before moving to GSK. At GSK Noor trained in formulation of early-stage oral solid dose medications before transitioning to Cell and Gene Therapy process development. Here she worked to support the development of new cell therapies with a focus on Lentiviral Vectors. Having enjoyed this area of research Noor decided to pursue a PhD. She is now working towards a PhD at UCL Biochemical Engineering department on downstream vector purification strategies. Noor still practices as a Clinical Pharmacist as it allows her to appreciate the final step in delivering these therapies.

Dr Yoshiyuki Yamamoto

Animal Evolution

Embryology

Human anatomy

General life science

 

Dr Yoshiyuki Yamamoto

Associate Professor

Department of Cell & Developmental Biology

Division of Biosciences

UCL Faculty of Life Sciences

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Using data to inform policies? Economist’s perspective

 

Prof Toru Kitagawa

Professor of Economics

Department of Economics

UCL Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

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Toru Kitagawa is a Professor of Economics at UCL, specialising in econometrics methods and practice.

He was born in Aichi-prefecture in Japan and studied Urban Engineering in the Unversity of Tokyo.

Toru joined UCL in 2009 after obtaining Ph.D in Economics from Brown University in the United States.

Lecture details

From Prof Toru Kitagawa:

How to use data to improve our policies? My lecture will cover how economists make use of data and statistical tools to assess and design public policies.

Engineering/physics

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Quantum mechanics and nanotechnology

 

Prof David Bowler

Professor of Physics

Department of Physics & Astronomy

UCL Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

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David Bowler is a computational physicist, using computers to run quantum mechanical calculations of the properties of materials. Working in close collaboration with groups in Japan and France, he has developed an approach that can provide accurate calculations for millions of atoms. David applies these methods to understanding the properties of nanometre scale structures on semiconductor surfaces.

Lecture details

From Prof David Bowler:

I will give a brief introduction to some of the ideas that underlie quantum mechanics and nanotechnology, and explain why both are important. I will then describe how we can use some of the features of quantum mechanics to perform extremely sensitive measurements of atomic structures on surfaces, and to perform calculations of these same surfaces. I will discuss how it is important for experimental and theoretical approaches to work together to understand fully the properties of the nanoscale.

Dr Helge Wurdemann

Inherently soft – inherently safe: Robots of the future

 

Dr Helge Wurdemann

Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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Helge Wurdemann is a roboticist and Associate Professor of Robotics leading research on soft haptics and robotics at UCL Mechanical Engineering. He is also Co-Director of the Intelligent Mobility at UCL (IM@UCL) lab, a full-size driving simulator. His Soft Haptics group focuses on the hardware design and application of soft material robotic systems that have the ability to change their shape and stiffness on demand bridging the gap between traditional rigid and entirely soft robots. Dr Wurdemann creates and embeds innovative stiffness-controllable mechanisms as well as combine advanced Artificial Intelligence with control strategies in robotic prototypes emerging from his lab.

Dr Wurdemann has authored/co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed papers. The majority of his journal papers are in the top journals of the field, including top transactions and journals of the IEEE and ASME and proceedings of the leading national learned societies in the field, IMechE and IET. He has published his research findings in refereed conference papers in the proceedings of leading conferences in his field. He currently is Associate Editor for prestigious robotics conferences (ICRA and IROS) and serves as Associate VP within the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Conference Activities Board and as member of the IET Robotics and Mechatronics TPN Executive Board. He is Co-General Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2023, the premium robotics conference, which will be hosted for the first time in the UK.

Lecture details

From Dr Helge Wurdemann:

Departing from traditional types of robots, which are based on an arrangement of rigid link elements connected via joints, soft material robots are made of fundamentally different structures. With the increased interest in the use of soft materials for the creation of highly dexterous robots, soft material robotics has established itself as an important research topic within soft robotics. This talk will present a number of soft material robots with applications in healthcare, industrial settings and autonomous driving. Examples include miniaturised soft, stiffness-controllable manipulators for minimally invasive surgery and large-scale structures that guide drivers when changing between different levels of autonomy in highly automated vehicles. Scalability, stiffness controllability and modelling are challenging topics in the field of soft robotics that will be discussed along with innovative opportunities for future systems.

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Why all the fuss about Quantum Computers?

 

Prof John Morton

Professor of Nanoelectronics & Nanophotonics

London Centre for Nanotechnology

UCL Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

 

Director

UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute (UCLQ)

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John Morton is Professor of Nanoelectronics & Nanophotonics at UCL, and Director of the UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute (UCLQ).

John’s research involves the development of electron spin-based quantum technologies such as quantum computers and quantum sensors, and includes the application and development of novel electron spin resonance methods, and performing ESR in new regimes.

After reading Electrical Engineering at University of Cambridge, John undertook at PhD (D.Phil) at University of Oxford on the use of molecular electron spins as quantum bits. He moved to UCL in 2012 and his research has focused increasingly on spins in semiconductors.

John was a Royal Society University Research Fellowship from 2008-16, and he has held back-to-back European Research Commission (ERC) grants.

His awards include the Nicholas Kurti European Science prize (2008), the Institute of Physics Moseley Medal (2013) in experimental physics, and the Sackler International Prize in Physical Sciences (2016).

John has published over 120 papers and has an h-index of 45. He has founded three companies in the are of quantum technologies. He is active in the public engagement of science, including public exhibitions, documentaries, radio broadcasts and popular articles on quantum science and technology.

Lecture details

From Prof John Morton:

I will present an introductory lecture to quantum computing, from the history and fundamental ideas, to the latest developments and world-wide efforts to build quantum processors able to out-perform the largest supercomputers on the planet.

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Nanoengineering interfaces for energy and healthcare applications

 

Prof Manish K Tiwari

Professor of Nanonengineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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Manish K Tiwari is a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow and Professor of Nanoengineering in University College London (UCL). He directs Nanoengineered Systems Laboratory in UCL Mechanical Engineering, which he founded in late 2013. Prof Tiwari received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2009. After graduating, he first did postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies at ETH Zurich. After two years as a postdoc, he became a Group Leader in the same Laboratory and stayed on at ETH Zurich for two more years. Prof Tiwari joined UCL in late 2013 as a Lecturer and became a Professor in 2018.

With diverse and international team, and a wide-range of collaborators, their research focuses on interfaces – encompassing small scale manufacturing and transport phenomena for new healthcare and energy technologies. He also leads a platform in UCL’s Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) and is a joint-lead on the manufacturing research at UCL EAST, the new UCL campus being built at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He has been fortunate enough to win the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and the Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship.

Lecture details

From Prof Manish K Tiwari:

Nanoegineering has a remarkable potential for a positive impact on humanities biggest challenges such as sustainable energy production and healthcare technologies. In this presentation, I will share our work on nanoengineered materials which are broadly motivated by a desire to help address these challenges. To start with, I will introduce our work on nanoengineered and non-wetting surfaces and coatings. Such surfaces, among other things, can help control phase change processes (such as vapour condensation, water freezing etc.) and enable robust self-cleaning features. This can not only help design better umbrellas and raincoats, but can have a major impact on transport systems and infrastructure (roads/buildings/bridges) for example. It can also improve the efficiency in several energy production systems such as condensers in steam power plants, solar panels in photovoltaic systems, and blades for wind turbines, etc. Next, I will share some insights on how by adding mechanical flexibility to such surfaces we can improve their robustness and widen potential applications to protection against harsh weather. Finally, I will share some new findings on flexible piezoelectric and piezocatalytic nanocomposites which can harvest otherwise wasted mechanical energy. These piezoelectric/piezocatalytic materials have self-poling feature that enables ready prototyping of piezoelectric sensors and energy harvester. Additionally, these materials are also able to clean harmful dyes from wastewater without requiring any light source. This opens exciting possibilities for future energy harvesting, water remediation and sensing for healthcare applications. I will finish by sharing a personal perspective on future opportunities.

Dr Ryo Torii

Computational Modelling in Biomedicine – How we use mathematics and computer programs to predict future and help patients and doctors

 

Dr Ryo Torii

Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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Dr Ryo Torii is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London (UCL). He received a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 2003. Following the period that he spent as a researcher at University of Tokyo, Rice University (Texas, USA) and Imperial College London, he joined UCL in 2012 as a lecturer. His expertise is development and application of computational methods in cardiovascular biomedicine. He has been enthusiastically working towards translation of computational modelling to address clinical problems, especially those related to aortic and coronary artery diseases, which is achieved through his multidisciplinary and international collaborations with 26 hospitals and institutions in 13 countries.

Lecture details

From Dr Ryo Torii:

Computational modelling is to use mathematical formula that represent physical phenomena, in order to simulate or predict various real-world events. In this lecture, you will learn how computational modelling is used in biomedicine, to help patients and doctors, along with some basics – examples of mathematical equations and how those are described in computer programs (i.e., coding).

Computational modelling started for industrial applications, such as air flow computational simulation for aerodynamic design of automobile body or aeroplane wings, but in more recent years, its application is widened to vast variety of problems in engineering, chemistry, medicine and even finance. One typical example relevant to our daily life is weather forecasting, for which atmospheric aero and thermodynamic equations are solved on supercomputers to make the forecast more accurate. Modelling in biomedicine – predicting disease progression and/or outcome of medical treatment – is clearly another example with a significant impact to our life.

The lecturer, Dr Torii, started his research career as a mechanical engineer/computer scientist, developing his own software to simulate blood flow in brain aneurysms for prediction of their risk. He continued to work on development and application of computational modelling tools in cardiovascular biomedicine, primarily related to simulation of blood flow, and work extensively with medical doctors in different specialities. Based on his experience, the lecture will cover topics from basic knowledge of modelling to advanced research examples, including his recent aerodynamic analysis of COVID-19 spread in hospitals.

Humanities/the arts

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Linguistics through identity crisis

 

Mr Wataru Tage

JAPAN AT UK LIMITED

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Wataru Tage, who hails from Japan, was educated in England and graduated from UCL with a BA with Honours in Linguistics, in 2018.

His international background led him study language and languages, in which he explored the relation between second language acquisition and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), such as dyslexia.

He currently resides and works in London.

Education & beyond

Hide Miyahara

Start a Football business in the UK

 

Mr Hide Miyahara

Chief Operating Officer, JAPAN AT UK LIMITED

Director, Football Samural Academy

Prof Shin-Ichi Ohnuma

Foundation of current Japan was established by UCL

 

Prof Shin-Ichi Ohnuma

Deputy Director and Professor

Institute of Ophthalmology

UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences

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Shin-Ichi Ohnuma is Chair of the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge.

Shin-Ichi started this summer school after celebration of the 150th anniversary of UK-Japan Academic Interaction in 2013 and 2015, aiming to facilitate interaction between UK and Japanese young students and to educate future leaders in an international society.

This summer school is supported by many lecturers and supporting staff.

He hopes that all of the participants enjoy the programme.

Lecture details

From Prof Shin-Ichi Ohnuma:

In 1863, five Japanese students came to UCL. They are Hirobumi Ito, Kaoru Inoue, Yozo Yamao, Masaru Inoue, Kinsuke Endo and are known as Choshu-Five. Two years later, other 19 students came to UCL. They are known as Satsuma 19. After their returning to Japan, they had outstanding contribution to foundation of modern Japan after Japanese revolution in 1867. UCL Japanese Alumni created the first Cabinet of Japanese Government in 1885. Hirobumi Ito became the first Prime Minister. Kaoru Inoue, Arinori Mori, and Yozo Yamao became Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education, and Law, respectively. I will talk the history of UCL and Japan interaction and its environment in the UK and Japan. I hope that you contribute to the interaction between the UK and Japan in the future.

Study abroad — For UK based students

Embassy of Japan in the UK

Scholarship for Japanese University

 

Mr Toshinori Sano

Counsellor

Embassy of Japan in the UK

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Toshinori Sano is a counsellor working for the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

Lecture details

From Mr Toshinori Sano: 

I will talk through Scholarship program (MEXT) from the UK to Japanese universities.

JSPS London

Overview of JSPS and International Programmes

 

Ms Moeko Oshiro

International Programme Associate

JSPS London

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Moeko Oshiro is International Programme Associate at JSPS London.

JSPS is a research funding agency to support research and research collaboration inside and outside Japan.

She hopes that participants are interested in various funding agencies and enjoys the programme.

Lecture details

From Ms Moeko Oshiro:

If you would like to pursue your research during your university days or be interested in collaborative research with Japan, today’s lecture will be helpful in the near future. JSPS is promoting collaboration in scientific research in Japan and other countries. I will explain what JSPS is and introduce fellowship programmes to young researchers.

Japan Foundation

An introduction to the Japan Foundation

 

Mr Michael Salter

Assistant Programme Officer

Japan Foundation

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Michael Salter has been working at the Japan Foundation for 3 years in the Japanese Exchange and Intellectual departments – before that he worked in Japan as a teacher of English and a Paralympic fencing referee. A large part of his job is to work with academics and students who study about Japan on a wide range of topics, helping them to fund and present their research.

Lecture details

From Mr Michael Salter: 

I will give the students an overview of the Japan Foundation’s work and activities in the UK across the three main areas – Language, Arts and Culture, and Japanese Studies. Some of the important previous projects we have done will be discussed alongside the importance of the Japan Foundation’s work in the context of intercultural relations.

Study abroad — For Japanese students

UCL

Introducing UCL’s International Foundation Year

 

Mr Martin White

Marketing, Communications & Business Development Manager

UCL Centre for Languages & International Education

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Martin White leads on student recruitment strategy and operations for the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE). He overseas marketing and communications for UCL’s pre-degree courses for international students, raising the profile of these courses across 5 world regions alongside UCL degree programmes. This includes: conversion activities; building relationships with key educational, governmental and commercial stakeholders; market and competitor research; managing a network of educational agents.

After leaving university Martin lived in Japan for three years, teaching English. His love for travelling and different cultures continues.

Lecture details

From Mr Martin White:

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates are foundation courses for international students whose high school qualifications do not allow direct admission to an undergraduate degree.

Students from Japanese high schools will need a foundation year if they wish to study their undergraduate degree at UCL.

The session will introduce the course and what we are looking for in suitable applicants.

Yanai Tadashi Foundation

Scholarship program of Yanai Tadashi Foundation and Yanai scholars’ session

 

Mr T Tanaka

Yanai Tadashi Foundation

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T Tanaka has been in charge of scholarship program at the Yanai Tadashi Foundation for three years. He would like you to understand our founder’s aspiration, our mission and vision.

Lecture details

From Mr T Tanaka:

We will share our scholarship program for Japanese students who are going to enter University of US or UK.
In addition this, we have these program below with Yanai Scholars.

  • Introduction to UK universities
  • The Application Process
  • Panel Discussion: why we chose the UK
  • Q&A

The Yanai Tadashi Foundation supports aspiring and passionate students to acquire advanced knowledge on a global level. At the same time, it fosters community connecting the scholars to each other intellectually, encouraging them to utilize and enhance their talents. We hope that Yanai Tadashi Foundation scholars will lead various fields of society with a sense of mission in the future and take action with us to realize a better society and pass it on to the next generation.

University student stories

Hide Miyahara

How to go on to postgraduate courses

 

Mr Hide Miyahara

Chief Operating Officer, JAPAN AT UK LIMITED

Director, Football Samural Academy

Masako Shimato

The reasons to study medicine abroad

How to apply medical schools in the UK

Scholarships available for undergraduate degree in the UK

How to balance extracurricular activities

 

Ms Masako Shimato

UCL medical student

Moe Kishima

UK medical school/US university application process

Life in medical school (curriculum, what do we actually do? etc)

Living in London, studying abroad

Living through the COVID pandemic as a medical student (volunteering/working during the first wave and the second wave)

 

Ms Moe Kishima

UCL medical student

Japanese culture

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English-language haiku

 

Ms Caroline Skanne

Editor of Blithe Spirit (journal of the British Haiku Society) & hedgerow

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Caroline Skanne is the founder & editor of ‘hedgerow: a journal of small poems’ & has edited ‘Blithe Spirit’ (the journal of the British Haiku Society) since 2019. Born in Stockholm Sweden, she now resides in a village by the river Medway, UK.

Gerry Gavigan
London Go Centre

The strange history of Go in Europe

 

Mr Gerry Gavigan

Founding trustee of the London Go Centre

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Gerry Gavigan is a founding trustee of the London Go Centre, a charity and permanent home for the promotion, study and playing of the game long associated with Japanese culture.

Lecture details

From Mr Gerry Gavigan:

Go has been played in Japan for about 11 centuries. Even if a Japanese does not play, a little bit like Chess in the West they will know about it. As I will be talking to two audiences, I will start by introducing the game to UK students, most of whom will not have heard of this game. I will then discuss some structural aspects of the game that might not be so obvious to everyone. I will use this to support my concluding remarks about the origins of Go in Europe, but will start my journey going back in time with that famous win in 2016 by a British player against the world’s #1 which absolutely no-one expected.

Izumi Nakamura
Sozai Cooking School

Cook-Along ONIGIRAZU

 

Ms Izumi Nakamura

Sozai Cooking School

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Izumi Nakamura is from Amakusa-island, at the south of Japan and used be a backpacker. She has moved in London since 2010 with her family then became a food educator. Izumi is a member of Japanese culinary academy UK. In the last 7 years, she has taught over 5000 students how to make sushi. Izumi is a big believer that delicious foods are good way to communicate with everyone, so that’s why she loves sharing the joy of cooking.

Lecture details

From Ms Izumi Nakamura:

Join us an interactive cook along to make own ONIGIRAZU.

ONIGIRAZU is wrapped on the outside with seaweed, just like a traditional ONIGIRI, and includes rice with various fillings as well. Essentially, ONIGIRAZU may be thought of as a hybrid Japanese rice ball sandwich.

 

Onigirazu

Sozai Cooking School: Onigirazu

 

Onigirazu fillings

Sozai Cooking School: Onigirazu fillings

Koshu

History of Japanese Calligraphy and Sumi painting

 

Koshu

Koshu Japanese Art

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Akemi Lucas, also known as Koshu is a shodo calligraphy master and painter specialising in sumi artwork.

She was born in Japan, small town called Mito, Yamaguchi prefecture and started learning calligraphy from the age of eight.

Koshu was qualified as a calligraphy teacher at the age of 24. Her distinct style of calligraphy builds on traditional skills and further embodies the fusion of the ancient and the modern, the eastern and the western, and the before and the after.

Currently Koshu is based in the UK, working on teachings and also creating her artworks. She has worked for the Rugby World Cup and the British Olympic team and her artworks have been exhibited in countries such as Japan, America, Georgia and the UK.

Lecture details

From Koshu:

  • About me (intruding myself briefly).
  • Origin of Chinese characters.
  • How calligraphy started in China and calligraphy brushes and papers at that time. The role of the master calligrapher Wang Xizhi (王羲之) from 4th Century.
  • How calligraphy was introduced in Japan along with Buddhism. The role of Prince Shotuku (聖徳太子) from 7th Century and a Japanese Buddhist monk & calligrapher Kukai: Koho Daishi (空海: 弘法大師) from 8th Century.
  • The development of brushes and calligraphy papers in Japan.
  • How Sumi-e ink painting became popular in Japan and the role of Sesshū Tōyō (雪舟) the most prominent Japanese master of ink and washi painting from 15th Century.
  • Modern state of Japanese calligraphy and Sumi-e ink painting.
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Japanese Tea Ceremony

 

Ms Yuko Kobayashi Boff

Member & lecturer of the Omotesenke Tea School

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Yuko Kobayashi Boff is a member and lecturer of the Omotesenke Tea School. She has been studying Tea since she was a teenager in Tokyo, and currently practises both in Japan and London.

Lecture details

From Ms Yuko Kobayashi Boff:

Long used to welcome honoured guests and mark significant occasions, the ancient Japanese Tea Ceremony involves much more than preparing and serving tea. Sometimes known as the Way of Tea, it brings together many elements of Japanese culture and art: pottery; calligraphy; flower arrangement and kimonos; all suffused with the aesthetic and philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Japanese Tea Ceremony offers a tranquil and beautiful space to clear the mind and soothe the soul.

  1. Ryurei-shiki Tea Ceremony: Originally introduced to welcome foreigners, it uses a table and chair. I will present and demonstrate some of the procedures and utensils we use.
  2. Outline of history of ‘Sado’ (Tea Ceremony): How was Tea Ceremony established.
  3. About ‘Matcha’ (Japanese green powder tea): why is it so green?
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Diversity & Inclusion in Education

 

Mr Yuta Hasumi

Ikigai Authentic Ltd

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Yuta Hasumi leads the worldwide Diversity & Inclusion business strategy and implementation for over 12 years. Yuta advises organisations and drives leadership accountability through goals and metrics to achieve a diverse & inclusive workforce, workplace, and marketplace for business growth around the globe.

Yuta obtained a MBA with honors in Human Resources Management at Waseda Business School, and holds a BA Degree in International Law at Waseda University.

Other responsibilities:

  • Director of GEWEL, Japan
  • Certified Coach, COF, Rosinski & Company
  • Chair of D&I Advisory Board, Medito Foundation, Netherlands & UK
  • Member of U.S.-Japan Council, US & Japan

Lecture details

From Mr Yuta Hasumi:

Diversity is reality, Inclusion is action

 

In this lecture, We will have a journey to explore what diversity you have in UCL-Japan Youth Challenge, and how you demonstrate inclusive leadership to your classmates, family, faculties and the society.

What is your diversity? What is different from your friends?
D&I have been aware and discussed in communities, schools and society where you belong. Are you fully yourself there? How would you mitigate when you face conflicts or different objectives from yours? By knowing yourself and others, you will build your self-confidence and be able to respect, embrace, value and leverage these differences for your growth and the better place that you will thrive.

We will have a discovery session to interact, discuss and present along with other students and faculties.

DoGA

Provide an environment for kids worldwide to create anime

 

Mr Yutaka Kamada

DoGA

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Yutaka Kamada founded DoGA, a computer graphic animation promotion organisation, while he was at university. It later became a joint-stock company. He developed Japan’s first 3D CG animation production system that runs on a PC. Yutaka established “CG Animation Contest”. Currently, he produces a large number of top creators who are active in Japan and worldwide.

Lecture details

From Mr Yutaka Kamada: 

There are children and young adults all over the world who want to make their own animations, but they can’t make them like professionals.
If we could make it possible, there would be a big market for it.
In this presentation, I will show you our technology and introduce you to the business of creating a new visual culture.

In this business presentation, I will make a concrete proposal of a feasible business and ask for your support. I am looking for people who are willing to do this business. After the presentation, we will freely discuss the problems and actions to be taken.

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