Number of partipants: 4 students from US and 6 from Japan in 2018.
TOYOTA – Design for the next generation energy and mobility platform
US students: Cornell University, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Japanese students: Tohoku, Tsukuba and Soka Universities
NEC - Reliable wireless networking systems for industrial Internet-of-Things
US students: UC San Diego, Renselaer Polytechnic Institute
Japanese students: Tohoku and Okayama Universities
Activities during the program
Opening Day: Explanations for projects by industrial mentors (IMs) from sponsors.
Mid-term presentation: Members present their progress to IMs.
Project’s day: Final presentations to IMs and discussions.
Site visit: TOYOTA MEGA@WEB
Japanese language and culture course for US students.
Collaborative research work on weekdays and free time for weekends.
Voices from participants
g-RIPS Sendai was a valuable experience for me to implement my mathematical knowledge on an industrially motivated problem. Importantly, though the problem was posed by our corporate sponsor we were afforded the freedom to refine our problem statement and propose our own solutions. The problem was complex and provided an excellent opportunity to apply various techniques from engineering and mathematics.
Addressing our problem required a diversity of thinking. I appreciate that our team consisted of engineers, mathematicians, and those not from traditional STEM fields. We all worked to understand the technical details of each other's approaches and were able to produce a satisfying solution to the problem given the limited 2 months we had.
On a more personal note, living in Sendai for two months was pleasant. The city is surrounded with beautiful landscapes, and the public transportation allowed our group to easily go on weekend excursions. Having these opportunities made our experience here enjoyable.（US student)
g-RIPS is a great opportunity to know the importance of teamwork, diverse ideas, and mathematics.
The field of our project, Wi-Fi indoor localization, is totally different from our backgrounds. But we cooperated well and tried various ideas to do this research. Through the research, I found that mathematics is very useful to realize one’s idea. For example, our approach includes the jump detection in Wi-Fi signals. At first I had no idea to realize this jump detection, but one of our members came up with a great method using “wavelet”, which is used for signal analysis. I was impressed about the possibility of mathematics. Also I think some mathematics approaches are applicable to my own study and future work.
Before this project, I felt nervous about not having knowledge of this new field. But now I get more confident in challenging a different field because I learned we can do something by teamwork and mathematical insight. （Japanese student)
The g-RIPS-Sendai program was such a wonderful and valuable experience and great opportunity to work an industrial research project (Toyota) in Japan. Every team member has different disciplines and this is my first time working the research project with people who do not have strong background of mathematics, but it is very interesting to collaborate with them because we have very different perspectives of the project and it helped us to see the bigger pictures. Overall, this research program helped me to grow as a better researcher and connected with a lot of people.（US student)
It was a great opportunity for us to work on a different research field cooperating with other students whose backgrounds are completely different from my own. You can learn about not only the field you work in, but also different research cultures and techniques through participating in the project. Moreover, the process of finding problems, researching approaches to them, and solving them in such a short period of 8 weeks provides a wonderful experience for us to learn how to make progress in research efficiently. This program provides you a chance to not only broaden your mind, but also your research and professional development.（Japanese student)
I am sure that g-RIPS is the one of the best chances to challenge with your professions by cooperation with those who in different fields. The practical assignment from the sponsor company makes us struggle, confused, but also be so motivated to solve. In daily life in school we only focus on our field, but through this program it makes me simplify my knowledge and contribute to the project as a team member. That experience brings me another perspective about my profession that how to utilize the knowledge for others.（Japanese student)
It was a great opportunity for me to participate this research program as an undergraduate student. Our project topic, indoor localization, had a lot of difficulties, so the research was challenging. However, our team had great teamwork and collaboration under the leadership of our project manager. It was a special experience to learn and extend my knowledge even though the topic was different from my major field of study. I would like to thank everyone involved in this project.（Japanese student)
I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of g-RIPS-Sendai 2018. Through the program I was able to collaborate with research faculty and graduate students with diverse backgrounds on a challenging industrial project. The program has helped me develop into a better team member, improved my ability to research independently and with limited direct supervision, has encouraged me to think outside of my traditional "mathematical thinking", and has seamlessly allowed me to experience working and living in a foreign country. I'm am confident g-RIPS has and will have a positive impact on my life and academic career.（US student)
I got a wonderful experience through g-RIPS-Sendai. Three Japanese and two foreigners with different majors were joined this program. Unlike other Japanese students, I had no experience studying abroad and my major is urban planning. For those reasons, it was worried English and Mathematical ability can be understood. However, when the program actually started and we approached the problem, I was able to deepen their understanding and our team were able to submit the final report in cooperation with everyone. On the other hand, I thought that we had a more intimate relationship thanks to having our daily life and holidays together and that we could derive better results. I am really glad that I participated in this program.（Japanese student)
This project was an amazing opportunity to not only do research but also build professional connections in Japan and experience Japan’s rich culture. I had a blast working with my teammates during the week and exploring Sendai together on the evenings and weekends.
I was very impressed with our team for this project; g-RIPS showed me that it really can work well with a team if there’s a good choice of members. We were able to work effectively and use our specialties to help the other members. I thought the project descriptions conveyed the overall topic of the projects, but the specific goals and the techniques needed were less clear.（US student)
g-RIPS-Sendai was very challenging program for me because we must tackle the problem that is outside of our field with fellow workers who have different academic background.
In this year, TOYOTA set very wide and abstract problem to make us think about future concept of self-driving car. So, we discussed about setting of the concrete problem and scale of the problem at first. But I felt difficulty to communicate with American student about mathematical and statistics topic due to lack of vocabulary. In addition, I could not read most reference papers quickly because they were nothing to do with my research area. These worried me for first several weeks. However, I realized that all I have do is to make clear what I can and cannot do, then make effort and cooperate with fellow workers to solve what I cannot do to. It was thanks to advice of fellow workers and mentors. After that, I could ask question to them positively, and learn elementary knowledge without hesitation. In this way, one of the largest merit of g-RIPS-Sendai is providing strict environment to participants to grow up mentally.
Another the largest merit of g-RIPS-Sendai is that we can gain personal relationships with a lot of exciting people. I often talked about our original research in each laboratory with fellow workers or mentors in lunch time or drinking party. Their researches were very interesting and stimulated my motivation. In the future, I expect to go along with them for some research or work.
Finally, g-RIPS-Sendai have potential to be turning point of student’s research life. I hope that it is held continuously and help future researchers.（Japanese student)