On August 19th 2015, 19 female students visited Sony Archives and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (Sony CSL). The event so called "Sony Visit" was in collaboration with Ochanomizu University, Shibaura Institute of Technology and National Institute for Materials and Science (NIMS) as part of a "Program to Supporting the Research Activities of Female Researchers" which started in FY2014 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). The program was designed to enhance the interest of female students specifically in engineering field in order to foster the proportion of women in research field, thus enabling female researchers to strengthen their research skills and successfully compete for leading positions in the future.
Sony Corp has been proactively cultivating "Rikejo" (female students in science and engineering) in coordination with Ochanomizu University. It aims to develop active and real examples in engineering for those who wish to purse career in research by providing an opportunity to visit Sony Archives to experience Sony's DNA and interact with active Sony CSL researchers. Following reports the day.
Tour to Sony Archives
Overview of Sony Corp., Sony CSL Inc. and visit to Sony CSL Inc.
Lecture by Sony CSL researcher Dr. Natalia Polouliakh
Lecture by Sony CSL researcher Dr. Kenichiro Mogi
Networking with Dr. Natalia Polouliakh and Dr. Kenichiro Mogi
By Shingo Mori, Diversity Dept., Sony Corp.
Students saw the pioneering products from its foundation and watched a video message in which Sony founders (Ibuka and Morita) defined Sony. They also saw products which became generation-defining and also learned about diversity activities.
After the tour to Sony Archives, participants visited Sony CSL Inc.
Mr. Tetsu Natsume, Senior General Manager of Sony CSL, gave general overview about the institution's policy "for the future of humanity," the tendency of research themes from the establishment of 1988, and introduction of current activities with footages from energy server demonstration experiment in Africa, power interchange network in Okinawa, etc.
Sony CSL researcher, Dr. Natalia Polouliakh talked about her research theme "Beauty and health" with "Gene Switch Human Genome Anti-aging" in approachable way associating with her everyday experience. While she conducts her research inspired by her own career and experience, "passion" is the key to her strength. She also stated beauty, fun and following one's own heart is essential - which filled the participants with smile. Lastly, she noted the wish to be flexible but to maintain the core at the same time.
Dr. Mogi initiated his lecture - "I'm going to talk about what I think is most exciting right now." His research theme Artificial Intelligence (AI) will far surpass the human being and will continue to progress rapidly with both good and bad aspects. He explained however, that personal characters has the most complexity which makes it difficult for AI to express.
- Personality is the highest faculty of human being
- Females possess good balance between right and left brain and have enhanced empathic ability.
- Feminine personality in research should be taken advantage of.
He concluded his lecture by giving encouraging messages to the students.
Networking was in frank mood with Dr. Mogi asking students, "What is your major?" "Any geeks here?" Students initiated questions in return; Dr. Mogi corresponded in dialogue with each students. Dr. Polouliakh answered with her perspectives and experience as a foreigner.
The students left CSL with their dreams in mind.
We received positive feedback from the students such as: "felt motivated differently from regular research, "the lectures were fun and meaningful," changed my way of thinking towards the future, and "enjoyed meeting real Mr. Mogi."
Natalia Polouliakh was born in Russia. She completed her undergraduate studies in the Oriental Languages Department of Irkutsk State Linguistic University. In 1997, she began a master's degree program in the Graduate School of Science and Technology, Hirosaki University, specializing in bioinformatics, and in 2004, she received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Medical Science at Tokyo University. Natalia joined Sony CSL in 2006. She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. course at the Medical School of Yokohama City University, and she is working on uncovering the mechanisms of skin aging using original data-driven approaches. Her hobbies include yoga, the arts, and fashion.
Ken Mogi conducts research into the origin of consciousness from the approach of cognitive neurosciences. The research themes covered include, but are not limited to, qualia, attention, decision-making, temporal perception, memory, body image, and emotion. Efforts are made to construct a consistent model of consciousness from the cell to the brain, with emphasis on the role of sensory overflow as a constraint on the evolution of consciousness. In addition, such aspects of brain's cognition as communication, creativity, and social interactions are investigated.
Assisted by: Sony Corporation