Message from the Director-General

Tomoyuki Higuchi

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics is a well-established research institute founded in 1944 during the Second World War. Following the retirement of former Director-General Dr. Kitagawa, I became the Institute's eleventh Director-General on April 1, 2011 amidst a turbulent research environment caused by the largest ever natural disaster in Japanese history. It is still unknown how much impact the current pervasive sense of uncertainty about Japan's future will have on society and academia. When I consider a role that the Institute should fulfill as an inter-university research organization under these circumstances, I am both sobered and filled with resolve at the thought of the heavy responsibilities of this office.

In 2011, the second year of the second medium-term period since incorporation, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics is steadily implementing the Network of Excellence (NOE) project and a project to foster statistical thinking, and engaging in advanced research as Japan's foremost institute for statistical mathematics research and education. With regard to the NOE project, we plan to launch a new strategic research center that will become a nucleus for the pursuit of research in machine learning and service science. In the project to foster statistical thinking, we plan to strengthen collaboration with other organizations involved with mathematical science and further increase our contribution to the fostering and development of professionals with skills essential in today's era of large-scale data.

Statistical mathematics is a science that deals with research on methodologies to appropriately link scattered and unevenly distributed pieces of information, allowing rational prediction using data-centric mathematics as a tool. Accordingly, it is no exaggeration to say that statistical mathematics performs a role in connecting free and flexible ideas of researchers to the real world. The Institute of Statistical Mathematics utilizes this connective role to link researchers from different academic disciplines and wide-ranging research fields and to connect university to university, industry to academia, and academia with society at large.

We live in an age of globalism that has brought not only unexpected changes in the natural environment, but also a tremendous increase in the uncertainty of human affairs, including financial and economic crises and dramatic changes in the international balance of power. Our aim is to create new research fields by clearly recognizing and accepting the expectations of society and fully harnessing the connective role of the Institute, and to contribute to the revitalization of Japan by connecting people with each other. We would appreciate your continued understanding and support for the activities of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics.

April 1, 2011

Tomoyuki Higuchi
The Institute of Statistical Mathematics