Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)Waseda University

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Newsletter Winter 2013 (Vol.6)

Researchers

Modeling the Impacts of Disasters

Sutee Anantsuksomsri, Assistant Professor

with his research collaborator Dr. Nij Tontisirin (left), and the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand (center)

The goal of my current research is to create a new planning methodology by integrating top-down and bottom-up analytical approaches?namely, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) and Agent-based Model (ABM)?to examine the economic impact of natural disasters. While CGE models are widely used to answer macroeconomic-related questions, based on general equilibrium theory of the competitive market economy and the price mechanism, ABM can be used to examine complex systems that emerge through micro-level interactions among economic agents. In my research, I use this integrated model to assess the economy-wide impact of flood and policies on disaster management, as well as to examine how the interaction of governments and firms affects such policies.

Employing this research methodology, I seek to contribute to the professional practice of regional economics and planning in Thailand, while at the same time making contributions to academia. Currently, I have worked with policy makers, including the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, on infrastructure development. Academically, I am a member of the program committee for the International Program in Design and Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University. Additionally, my colleagues and I are establishing a Thailand Section of the RSAI. The goal of this association is to heighten the concerns of Regional Science to Thai people and government and to promote research and academic activities in Thailand.

Projects

Top Runners’ Lecture Collection of Science (Natural science field)

The WIAS members in natural science field are planning a series of seminars by invited researchers at the forefront of their respective fields. This section introduces a collaborated seminar of researchers in natural science and humanities under the keyword of neuroscience, as well as a symposium on space that will be held in January. Other seminars will be covered in the Information section.

October 16, 2013 (Wednesday)
Understanding the Brain as a System ―operating principles and emerging functions of neural circuits― 

Organizers: Assistant Prof. Hideaki YamamotoAssistant Prof. Tetsuo Kida

A lecture presentation was held featuring as speakers Associate Professor Junnosuke Teramae (Osaka University) and Associate Professor Katsuyuki Sakai (Tokyo University). Professor Teramae explained about the principles of autonomic neural activity in the cerebral cortex and its functional role, while Professor Sakai introduced advanced experimental technology for non-invasively investigating the state of signalling in the neural network of the human brain and the results thereof.
more information

[Preview] January 27, 2014 (Monday) Second Symposium on Space
Challenges to the Universe ―Exploring the unknown, Opening up the future―

Organizers: Prof. Shinsuke Suzuki (Faculty of Science and Engineering, alumnus of WIAS), Assistant Prof. Toru Adachi

Continuing on from last year, based on the main theme of space science and engineering, we will once again hold an outreach event in the field of cutting-edge research. This event has an exceptionally dynamic atmosphere that participants can really feel. In contrast to last year’s science-focused seminar, this year’s seminar will highlight engineering and will feature presentations from frontline researchers in the fields of mechanics, mission and propulsion.
(Picture: Image of the First Symposium on Space)
more information

Alumni

This section introduces some OB and OG members who were researchers at this Institute and are now actively working at universities and companies.

Kunihisa Morita
(Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science, Kyushu University)

My speciality is the field of scientific philosophy, which is comprised of two areas. The first area considers questions of “How can we (or can’t we) rationalize scientific knowledge?” and “What are the criterion for separating science from non-science? (the demarcation problem).” It is general scientific philosophy that raises common questions applicable to any field of science. The second area is the philosophy of individual sciences, which looks at philosophical questions on separate fields of science, such as quantum mechanics and the theory of evolution. Specifically, the areas I am currently researching are the demarcation problem and analysis of the concept of causation in the first area of general scientific philosophy, and the philosophy of quantum mechanics in the second area of the philosophy of individual sciences. Now I will discuss the philosophy of quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is a theory describing the microscopic world, and it has attained a level of success not seen in the history of science so far. Although on the other hand, it is an area laden with complex (and thus interesting) philosophical issues. For instance, although Einstein acknowledged the existential validity of quantum mechanics, it was in opposition to his metaphysical beliefs and therefore he could not accept this as complete theory. He also propounded Einstein’s dilemma of whether quantum mechanics was incomplete, or if nonlocality existed in the microscopic world. A sweeping description of nonlocality is when two spatially separated systems momentarily interact with each other. Einstein denied the existence of nonlocality in nature, and considered quantum mechanics to be incomplete. However, the standard view of physicists these days is that quantum mechanics is complete and nonlocality does exist in nature. Incidentally, there are also some philosophers who are purporting an alternative theory of quantum mechanics in regards to it being incomplete and with the absence of non-locality in nature. As for myself, within one new formalism of quantum mechanics known as time-symmetric quantum mechanics, I am continuing my research on the possibility of interpreting quantum mechanics as being complete but also without nonlocality.
Click here for the profile of Professor Morita

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

Novemver 15, 2013 –
December 14, 2013
Iwao HIROSE: Associate Professor, Mcgill University (Canada)

WIAS seminars

WIAS sponsors and co-hosts a variety of seminars. Below is a list of the 2013 seminar series on the fields of natural science and social science, as well as other seminars held this year. The “Comparative History of the Civilizations” seminar series on humanities will be covered in the next newsletter.
Please check here for a schedule of upcoming seminars.

Quantitative Analysis for Politics, Economy and Law (Social science field)
May 14 Incentives and Social Preferences in a Traditional Labor Contract:  Evidence from Rice Planting Experiments in the Philippines
more information
May 20 What can microdata tell us about the prolonged stagnation in Japan’s productivity?
more information
May 28 A statistical physics approach to social data: Analysis and modelling of data from blogs and twitter
more information
July 22 Analysis of the employment rate of graduates using department-specific data
more information
July 24, 25 Workshop on Instisutional Chane and Organization Diversity
more information
July 29 Evolution of Corporate Networks in Twentieth Century Japan
more information
October 15 Who are the solitary non-employed persons (SNEP) that are increasing in Japan?
more information
October 28,
November 4, 11
Organizational and Financial Economics Seminar
more information
Top Runners’ Lecture Collection of Science (Natural science field)
July 5 Introduction to energy issues: exhaustible energy and renewable energy
more information
October 16 Understanding the brain as a system: Operating principles and emerging functions of neural circuits
more information
November 25 New developments in statistical mechanics within isolated quantum systems
more information
December 5 What is science?: Considering science from its origins and connection with society
more information
Other seminars
April 23 Business History: present stage and future perspectives
more information
May 21 What we can learn from nationwide and international-comparative surveys on academic ability in order to raise scholastic performance
more information
June 3 Queens and dignitaries in the age of the pyramids: New discoveries in the Abusir relics
more information
July 26 Politics and religion in West Asian and North African history: Focusing on Egypt
more information
December 7 Interdisciplinary approach to urban research for interpreting modern-day society: Crossroad of mathematical engineering (urban OR) and urban sociology
more information
December 18 Japan’s foreign investment: Response to the main points of contention and dispute in TPP and other negotiations
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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