Message from Director-General

椿 広計


September 11, 2023

Hiroe Tsubaki

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

    The Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) was established in 1944 under the management of the Ministry of Education. Since then, ISM has been dedicated to meeting the needs of the times and environment by developing novel mathematical methods for data acquisition, interpretation, modeling, and decision-making to support multiple disciplines. Statistical and mathematical sciences do not exist in a vacuum. The legacy of ISM is built upon the belief that mathematical analysis of reality and facts paves the way to discovering the truth. Our primary mission in fundamental research is to continually create high-quality mathematical models that reconstruct reality and facts.

    It is also our mission to develop and apply powerful statistical and mathematical sciences methodologies and solve social challenges identified through multidisciplinary or industry-government-academia collaborations. Per the Fourth Medium-Term Plan, we are implementing international joint programs using available resources efficiently while simultaneously pursuing the Network Of Excellence (NOE) Project to expand joint activities in a top-down manner and apply statistical and mathematical sciences to key research domains. The following NOE-based activities are particularly noteworthy: (i) international collaborations led by the Research Center for Statistical Machine Learning, (ii) “Creation of data infrastructure for data-driven polymer materials research” project approved under the Program for Promoting Research on the Supercomputer Fugaku, and (iii) “New developments in space-time earthquake forecasting and monitoring: from long-term to real-time” project, approved under the Seismology TowArd Research innovation with data of Earthquake (STAR-E) Project. The second and third activities are represented by the Data Science Center for Creative Design and Manufacturing and the Risk Analysis Research Center, respectively.

    ISM’s further mission is to nurture specialists in statistical and mathematical sciences. Compared to other countries, Japan has few postgraduate statistics courses. This has led to a shortage of experts in this field. The national policy to foster specialists who can effectively utilize mathematics, data science, and artificial intelligence technologies underscores the role of ISM. Along with the Project for Fostering and Promoting Statistical Thinking, the Project for Training Experts in Statistical Sciences, hosted by the Center for Training Professors in Statistics, encourages junior and mid-career researchers from 29 academic institutions to interact and collaborate with leading senior statistical scientists. This project equips postgraduate statistics educators from various disciplines with the necessary educational tools and systems to incorporate statistics into their courses.

    ISM’s Fourth Medium-Term Plan began in April 2022. More than three years have passed since the sudden global outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic imposed tremendous restrictions and changes to ISM’s activities. However, most COVID-19- related mandatory behavioral restrictions will be lifted in FY 2023. We are adapting to these changes as outlined in our latest medium-term plan to facilitate the research and education activities of ISM, including resource adjustment and structural reorganization.

    Finally, on behalf of ISM’s faculty and staff, I want to express our gratitude for the many industry, government, and academia stakeholders who support our statistical and mathematical sciences research. We thank you for your continued understanding and support.