Message from Director-General

椿 広計


April 1, 2019

Hiroe Tsubaki

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

I am Tsubaki Hiroe and I have taken office as the 12th Director-General of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics. While I carry on the tradition of the Institute that my predecessors have established and passed on, I intend to ensure that the Institute fulfill every role it is expected to play in society.

     Today, the whole world is searching for the ideal state of data-driven social activities that utilize data as fundamental resources. Accordingly, people’s lives are also rapidly changing. As a consequence, activities that generate intellectual and economic values using statistics as its core academic basis now have influence not only on the progress of various metric and mathematical sciences for academic researchers but also over social and economic activities for the public. It is not an exaggeration to say that a new era has come, where we should place statistical mathematics at the core of our society.

     The Institute of Statistical Mathematics is the only research institute in Japan for statistical science and related mathematical sciences. Although I must admit that the Institute is not large enough to take full responsibility for such revolutionary social changes, we still have an important mission to perform, precisely because the Institute is open to all universities for joint research.

     Our task is to create a cooperative network to help promote the development and social expansion of so-called “data science,” which focuses on the process of generating intellectual value. Furthermore, we have to establish a continuous management cycle of the network that the Institute and its collaborators have created, which should be evaluated by the degree of contribution to the academic world, a data-driven society, and the development of the next-generation of human resources. This is the mission that has been carried out by my predecessors, and I am humbly taking on the task at my own discretion.

     This task can be formulated in my Director-General’s policy as follows.

First, our goal is to create a research system where we provide joint support with researchers both in Japan and abroad to study statistical mathematic sciences that support each phase of the process for generating intellectual value as well as the common elements that underlie these phases. Through this system, we intend to deepen our understanding of basic mathematical science for data science. To this end, I will work with related communities to create a roadmap for statistical sciences, mathematic sciences, and basic mathematics for data science.

     Second, I intend to determine how statistical mathematics, statistical mathematic sciences, and other academic areas should be integrated into the generative process of intellectual value in cooperation with prominent data scientists from the government, industry, and academia. Through this mechanism, I plan to help advance the academic and industrial world in Japan to make them ready for a data-driven society. To realize this, I will develop both an international and a domestic network within the NOE (network of excellence) project. While the international network aims to deepen cross-disciplinary research through core mathematics researchers, the domestic network aims to develop core human resources of statistical mathematics among intra-disciplinary researchers and businessmen and advance domestic intra-disciplinary activities. Given these clearly distinctive aims, the two networks should be able to exchange information whenever necessary and develop together into efficient networks.

     Third, I plan to create a mechanism where industry, government, and academia collaboratively cultivate world class data scientists who can provide a foundation for the data science era, from the next generation of researchers, or the general public. Through this mechanism, we can develop a substantial stratum of professional data scientists and thereby contribute to the advancement of the data-driven era. As a first step, I intend to identify educators and their activities in developing statistical human resources in Japan.

     In order to carry out these plans and meet the expectations of our future society, nothing is more important than creative and spontaneous activities performed by each staff member at the Institute. My main duty as Director-General is to encourage such initiative. The growth of our staff through self-realization is the most important resource for the development of the Institute and the communities that support us.

     The Institute of Statistical Mathematics will mark its 75th anniversary this year. I truly hope that, by the 100th anniversary of the Institute, small ripples of our academic and social contributions will make big positive waves for the people in a data-driven society and that all our staff will do their best to realize that goal. I appreciate your continued guidance and encouragement.