Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)Waseda University

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Newsletter Autumn 2013 (Vol.5)

Researchers

Enchanted by ancient Egypt

Nozomu Kawai, Associate Professor

Egyptology at Waseda University has a history that spans half a century. Ever since I was in elementary school, I dreamt of studying Egyptian archaeology at Waseda University. When I was accepted into Waseda, I asked its Egyptian Culture Centre (now Institute of Egyptology) to take me in, and thankfully, I have been fortunate to take part in field excavation studies from my undergraduate years.
During my studies in the U.S., I wrote my doctoral thesis about my research on the reign of the most famous pharaoh in ancient Egypt, King Tutankhamun. And since 2001, I have been directing the excavation by the Waseda University Egyptian Expedition at the site in Abusir South, and was present for many important discoveries.

Through the excavations at Abusir South, various remains from a 3,000-year period have been discovered, dating back to the years immediately following the beginning of the dynastic period in 3000 B.C., all the way through the Ptolemaic Period. These excavations have made it clear that Abusir South was an important site as a sacred place in ancient Egypt. Since the 19th century, excavations at the sites related to temples and rituals have been carried out mainly by expeditions from the West. Due to the general inaccuracy of these excavations in the past, however, it was sometimes difficult to understand how the sacred place had formed and developed. However, our Japanese expeditions possess excavation techniques that are globally reputed for their precision, enabling more detailed studies of remains and artifacts. Based on analyses of materials we have collected with our very own hands, we hope to shed light on the formation and development of the sacred places in ancient Egypt.

Nevertheless, ever since the so-called “Arab Spring” revolution in 2011, the security situation in Egypt has deteriorated, making field studies difficult to conduct. I pray that peace and stability will be restored in Egypt as quickly as possible, and that field researches can continue to be carried out as they were before.

Projects

Quantitative Analysis for Politics, Economy and Law (Social Science Field)

By having quantitative analyses serve as a common interface, this project promotes mutual exchanges among the researches of the graduate schools of Waseda University which, heretofore, were undertaken individually.

May 28, 2013 Joint Seminar (with the Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs)

Assistant Prof. Kenta Yamada made a speech as follows.

“The highly information-oriented society, accompanying the development of computers, has made it possible to analyze a vast collection of data called ‘big data.’ I analyze big data using basic science, physics in particular. Essentially, I aim to establish empirical rules based on detailed data analysis, understand phenomena using simplified mathematical models, and develop applications. Specifically, I analyze roughly 2 billion blog articles to carry out quantitative analyses of how trends form and disappear, such as how buzzwords spread. In addition, I have modeled the actions of bloggers to research how macro phenomena such as trends emerge on the basis of the actions of a micro component, the blogger.”
more information

July 24-25, 2013 Joint Seminar (with the Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs and Research Institute of Business Administration)

On July 24, Associate Professor Sebastien Lechevalier, from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in France, delivered a lecture titled “The Heterogeneity of Employment Adjustment across Japanese Firms.” On July 25, four papers were presented which focus on the changes in the corporate system, employment system, and financial market. The presentations served to deepen understanding of institutional changes and diversification of organizations, and promoted exchanges among members of Waseda University engaged in quantitative analysis of politics, economy, and law. With the participation of Associate Prof. Lechevalier (EHESS), Associate Prof. Yves Tiberghien (UBC), and others, the seminar was a major step forward towards the realization of the international joint research among EHESS, UBC, and WIAS that is currently being planned.
more information

Achievement

WIAS members have received the following awards since the start of FY2013:

Award for Encouragement of Research in Polymer Science; The Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2012) (“Precise synthesis of radical polymers for charge accumulation and transport”)
(June 4, 2013)

Assistant Prof. Takeo Suga

“The Award for Encouragement of Research in Polymer Science which I have received is given out by the Society of Polymer Science to young researchers who have made active contributions in research and academics, with the aim of fostering people who will contribute to the development of polymer science. I received the award for my series of research results concerning the development of functional polymers called “radical polymers” for charge, storage, and transport. I will continue to carry out further studies to contribute to society through the development of polymers.”
more information

FY2013 The Young Scientists’ Prize, The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (“Research on discovery and molecular mechanism of genes that regulate plant sexual reproduction”)
(April 8, 2013)

Assistant Prof. Toshiyuki Mori

more information

EMS Award, 32nd Electronic Materials Symposium
(July 22, 2013)

Associate Prof. Jiro Nishinaga

more information

Information

Visiting Fellows

WIAS invites distinguished, internationally active researchers from overseas. Through scholarly exchanges, seminars, and other activities jointly undertaken with Waseda researchers, WIAS contributes to the invigoration of the university’s research activities.
more information

June 3, 2013 –
July 2, 2013
KASZA, Gregory J.: Professor, Indiana University (USA)
June 1, 2013 –
June 30, 2013
BASMAJIAN, Ara: Professor, City University of New York, Graduate Center and Hunter College, Mathematics Department (USA)
May 26, 2013 –
June 24, 2013
BARTA, Miroslav: Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Egyptology, Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic)
May 15, 2013 –
June 14, 2013
ROSENAU, Henning: Law Faculty of the University of Augsburg, Germany. Full Professor, Vice Dean for Finance, Director of the Institute for Criminal Law and Director of the Institute for Bio, Health and Medical Law (Germany)
October 1, 2013 –
October 31, 2013
Mariko TAMANOI: Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)
October 15, 2013 –
November 14, 2013
Masao NAKAMURA: Professor, University of British Columbia (Canada)

Monthly Workshop

WIAS holds a monthly workshop that is open to the public as an opportunity for researchers to present research results and to promote research exchanges across disciplines. In FY2013, the following themes were taken up. For the upcoming schedule, please visit here.

April 12, 2013
11:00 – 11:40
Assistant Prof. Hideaki Goto, “An Introduction to the Economics of Homo Loquens – How Do Language and Social Norms Coevolve? -”
more information
May 10, 2013
11:00 – 12:30
Assistant Prof. Atsushi Sannabe, “Happiness and Labor Economics”
Assistant Prof. Yukiko Tanabe, “Antarctic Lakes as Microcosm – The Mystery of Luxuriant Forests on the Lakebeds -”
more information
June 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:30
Prof. Henning Roseau “Autonomy and self-determination”
Prof. Miroslav Barta “Egyptology and complex societies then and now”
more information
July 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:30
Associate Prof. Marisa Kellam “Political Parties and Coalitional Instability in Comparative Perspective”
Assistant Prof. Eriko Sugimori, “Temporal Extension of Self: Analogue Research
more information
September 20, 2013
11:00 – 12:30
Assistant Prof. Hideaki Yamamoto, “Nanofabcriation for Life Science Research”
Assistant Prof. Yuka Minagawa, “Sociological Approach toward Health: An Overview of Health Expectancy”
more information

Please feel free to contact us.


Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)

1-6-1 Nishi Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, JAPAN
URL:www.waseda.jp/inst/wias/
TEL:03-5286-2460
FAX:03-5286-2470
E-mail:[email protected]
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