Outline of EIS

The Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences (EIS) comprises two separate organizations, an education-oriented Graduate School and a researchoriented Research Institute. This structure ensures effective education and research capable of meeting social needs and changes in the fields of education and research.

  • The Research Institute: the research arm consisting of YNU teaching staff. Here, organic research activities are conducted under different research divisions.
  • The Graduate School: the educational arm consisting of YNU graduate students. The graduate school is staffed by teachers from the research divisions providing systematic education in various majors through lectures, seminars, and practical training.

Graduate School

1. Educational principles and purposes

The global community of the 21st century faces an urgent need to create a safe, hospitable society through sustainable development. The environment required to develop such a society must be explored by leveraging the extensive range of knowledge that has been acquired through interactions across various fields of studies.

In order to address the social challenges posed by this undertaking, the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences is conducting interdisciplinary education and research across the liberal arts and sciences. The studies are underpinned by two pillars: the environment and information. As the former can be broken down into the three inextricably linked aspects listed below, our graduate school offers programs in three corresponding specializations.

  • Artificial environment: Environment created by humans and physical objects
  • Natural environment: Environment provided by nature
  • Information environment: Environment created by information

Given our comprehensive approach to the information sciences, we view information as another pillar that cuts across all of the various fields of studies that our graduate school offers, going beyond narrow definitions of the information sciences and information engineering.

Our graduate school cultivates talented individuals in a variety of fields who transcend the barriers between the liberal arts and sciences with the aim of helping to usher in a safe, hospitable, and sustainable society by creating new social value based on information from interactions among the three different environments. During their studies, our students not only acquire specialist knowledge and skills, but also develop fluency in communication across different disciplines.

The studies carried out in our master's programs bring together the disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences to explore a sustainable society, natural environment, and advanced information sciences. They are designed to foster highly specialized professionals who can innovatively and practically apply their knowledge and skills based on the findings reported from studies for the realization of a risk-aware society. In more advanced studies combined with the cross-sectional studies conducted in our doctoral programs, our students conduct their own research to identify and resolve challenges that broadly entail discussions on the environment, information, humanities, and society. Through this process of creating new social value without being constrained by the arts-science divide, our students acquire leadership in their respective fields of study in order to help usher in a safe, hospitable, and sustainable society.

2. Educational characteristics

1. Multiple advisor system

Guidance for the graduation thesis is provided mainly by the supervising academic advisors in each course. In the Master's Program, this takes the form of the Advisory Group. In the Doctoral Program, an Advisory Committee is established for each graduate student. This multipleadvisor system delivers thorough, wide-ranging guidance, thereby enabling students to acquire the learning and research skills commensurate with those of an independent researcher or expert practitioner.

2. Financial and educational assistance

The Graduate School provides a range of financial assistance and other education and research support measures to enable students to devote themselves to their studies without the need for financial concerns, and to allow students to engage actively in research activities.

Research Institute

1. Research aims

The research aims at the Research Institute are to create knowledge through the pursuit of truth in the fields of the environment and information and integrated disciplines thereof, contribute to the sustainable development of human welfare and society through practical learning, and develop graduates capable of creating knowledge through the sharing of this process between teachers and students.

2. Research objectives

The Research Institute aims to conduct sophisticated research based on YNU's principle of a liberal and independent atmosphere, practicality, innovation and global awareness, to disseminate this research broadly to society, and to become a distinguished, globally-accessible center of practical learning on environment and information sciences. This research will also play an important role in 21st century social development by promoting cooperation between nations, industry and academia, and local communities. Yet another aim of the research is to garner a considerable reputation for EIS within society as a provider of advanced education, thus enhancing the value of the faculty, staff and graduates.

3. Research framework

The research framework at the Research Institute consists of fundamental research conducted by individual faculty members or their research units based on their own creativity, and systematic research conducted by research groups consisting of several to more than a dozen researchers. The aim of this framework is to produce internationally acclaimed research and researchers, and to develop internationally prominent research fields.

To date, the Research Institute has produced a number of strong research groups delivering positive results. One such example is the project to build an 'Environmental Risk Management for Bio/Eco Systems' center as part of the 21st Century COE Program (2002-06). This project achieved highly acclaimed results and has since been succeeded by the 'Global Eco-Risk Management from Asian Viewpoints' project to establish a research and education center under the Global COE Program (2007- 11).

Reviews and support for joint research projects undertaken as a strategic initiative have also been carried out based on evaluation of results and plans. In 2007, nine new core projects were established in an attempt to develop them into large-scale strategic projects.

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