Message from Director-General

椿 広計


October 13, 2020

Hiroe Tsubaki

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

    The Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) celebrated its 75th anniversary on June 5, 2019. On this day, the anniversary ceremony, symposium, Open Campus Day presentation, and other programs targeted at the public were held at the Hitotsubashi Auditorium, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, attracting more than 650 attendants. It was a time of cheer, hope, and encouragement.The ISM faculty, researchers, and staff continue to take on new research challenges, expecting that their academic and social contributions will ripple through the data-driven society of the future, when the ISM will celebrate its centennial in 2044.

     The world today is seeking an ideal form of a data-driven society in which data are regarded as valuable assets. The advent of a new IT society is gradually transforming people’s lives. Statistics sciences help to generate knowledge and value from large bodies of data, expanding the boundaries of academic arenas and socioeconomic activities.

     Past Directors-General of the ISM embraced its mission as an Inter-University Research Institute to create cooperative networks of scientists and academic
institutions that advance data science and its social applications, as well as contribute to academic excellence, help realize a data-driven society, and nurture the next generation of data scientists. As the 12th Director-General, I will build on those foundations by pursuing the following objectives: (i) Forming a research framework that allows national and international researchers to advance statistical mathematics and other statistical sciences, with the goal of extracting effective knowledge and value management process from data; (ii) Establishing a platform for discovering and sharing the standard scenarios in which a wide array of fields, including statistical mathematics and other statistical sciences, are integrated and applied to the process of knowledge and value extraction; and (iii) Organizing the support system for government–industry–academia collaboration to equip next-generation researchers and data scientists for the era of data science.

     The ISM aims to deepen the fundamental mathematics for data science, create and activate research networks, cultivate statisticians, and help visualize their work.Based on those aims, the ISM is currently promoting, in particular, the Network Of Excellence (NOE) Project and a pilot version (Phase 1) of the Data Science Faculty Development Project at the School of Statistical Thinking.

     The ongoing global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has made an unprecedented impact on many aspects of our lives. Despite the Japanese Government’s declaration of a state of emergency and lockdowns in many other countries, new cases, hospitalizations of patients in serious condition, and death tolls have continued to increase. This suggests that our fight against the virus will be long and uncertain. The ISM is adopting innovative and flexible measures to continue research activities now. I also hope that the outbreak subsides and calm daily life is restored.

     The ISM has a long history of research on statistical modeling of infectious disease,and has developed many experts in its simulation. In this difficult time, the ISM has launched a research project about preventing various risks related to COVID-19. We will be happy if we can assist public health experts, epidemiologists, and government officials who are engaged in tackling COVID-19. We cordially ask for your continued support and cooperation.