Winter School 2019

CiMPhy host an International Winter School “Quantifying Dynamics of Life”!

CiMPhy hosted an extremely interdisciplinary Winter School from March 11 to 20, 2019 (venue: KUIAS Main Building). Prof. Dr. Motomu Tanaka, the CiMPhy Director, acted as an academic coordinator and designed the scientific programs together with the CiMPhy staff.

The attendees were 36 participants (19 international) and 11 visitors (6 international). They were mostly early stage researchers (PhD students and postdocs) coming from various training backgrounds, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, medical/life sciences, and engineering sciences.

Fortunately, 28 prominent lecturers (9 international) kindly agreed to present state-of-the-art examples of “how to quantify the dynamics of life” from various aspects, including clinical medicine, developmental biology, material science, applied  mathematics, nonequilibrium physics, micro/nano-engineering, etc. After the general introduction given by the academic coordinator, the scientific program started with an opening lecture given by Prof. Dr. Kenichi Yoshikawa, an emeritus professor of Kyoto University, who has been leading the field of biological physics and nonlinear physics.

In addition to the lectures and following discussions, all the participants presented their own researches in the form of oral and poster presentations. This experience gave them a very unique opportunity to learn how to present their specific projects in a  comprehensive way, so that the participants from completely different fields could follow.

Taking the advantage of holding such a school in Kyoto, the participants also had an opportunity to “learn Japanese culture in Kyoto”. The participants took several courses, such as basic Japanese lessons, Japanese calligraphy, and a special lecture on Japanese culture (mono-no-aware) with the aid of Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS). CiMPhy also offered some social programs “experience Japanese culture in Kyoto”, including (i) Zen meditation and (ii) making their own Japanese Sweets.

On March 20, we had the great honor of listening to a special lecture by Prof. Dr. Keiichi
Kodaira, a prominent figure in astrophysics, the former President of JAXA and Sokendai, and the former Director of JSPS Bonn Office. Prof. Kodaira gave a lecture entitled “A Half Century of My Astronomy”, starting from his PhD study in Kiel (Germany), establishment of Subaru Telescope (Hawaii, USA), to his current research in Germany.

The farewell party was held at Camphora near Clock Tower. Prof. Dr. Nagahiro Minato, the Provost of Kyoto University, addressed a speech at the farewell party, followed by a toast by Prof. Kodaira. The students received certificates and prizes for presentations and discussions were awarded to some outstanding participants.

We were very excited to receive extremely positive feedback from both participants and
lecturers, which motivates us to hold the next school, most probably in 2021!

Last but not least, we are grateful to Nakatani Foundation, the Offices of International Affairs of Heidelberg University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and German Centers for Research and Innovation for support.