Message from Director-General

椿 広計


September 30, 2021

Hiroe Tsubaki

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

    Since its inauguration on June 5, 1944, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics(ISM) has been engaged in research on statistical theory and applications to elucidate and design behavior and other phenomena of interest. This year marks the 77th anniversary of the ISM’s establishment. According to the Japanese tradition of celebrating milestone ages, reaching the age of 77 represents a special occasion called “Kiju,” or “blessed longevity.” We are very grateful for your support, to which the ISM owes its longevity. Our faculty,researchers, and staff will maintain their commitment to ensure that the ISM will continue to address new research challenges as well as professional development in the field of statistics.

    In today’s world, data are a rich potential resource, similar in that sense to crude oil. Around the world, people are seeking the ideal form of a datadriven society. The advent of a new information technology (IT) society is gradually transforming people’s lives. Statistics and data science help generate new knowledge and value from large bodies of data, expanding the boundaries of academic arenas and socioeconomic activities. These situations in Japan and elsewhere call for large numbers of professional statisticians with excellent data processing skills.

     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. In addition, the ISM contributes to academic excellence, helps to realize a data-driven society, and trains the next generation of data scientists.

     As the 12th Director-General, I am going to follow in their footsteps and guide the ISM to deepen the fundamental mathematics of data science, create and activate research networks, cultivate statisticians, and raise the visibility of their work. The recent achievements of the ISM include 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. Building on these successes, the ISM will launch a project aimed at training statistical experts with advanced knowledge and skills to teach at universities.

     The global pandemic of COVID-19 that broke out more than a year ago has not yet been brought under control, partly due to the emergence of new variants. Our battle against COVID-19 has been protracted and unpredictable. The ISM is adopting innovative and flexible measures to continue research activities during the current crisis. It is our sincere hope that the outbreak will subside soon and calm daily life will be restored.

     The ISM has a long history of research on mathematical modeling of infectious disease,and has trained many experts in simulations of epidemics and pandemics. To meet the challenges of this difficult time, the ISM leveraged its features as a research institute devoted to statistical and mathematical sciences, and launched a research project in 2020 aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. This project seeks to develop statistical and mathematical tools that will play central roles in preventing outbreaks of COVID-19 and similar infectious diseases in the future. The ISM will continue its research and education activities with the goal of applying statistics to challenging social issues, pursuing theoretical research to support their practical applications,and equipping statisticians with the skills to deal with these advanced resources. We cordially ask for your continued support and cooperation.