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Message from the Dean

The remarkable progress made in the field of information science has had a profound impact on all areas of society. By digitizing the various data used by companies and local governments, a large amount of data is accumulated every day, and it is only by analyzing this data that these organization can perform the work that they do.
Even turning our attention to people’s everyday lives, it is computers that allow the convenience stores and supermarkets where we buy our groceries to store their data. Information such as what kind of customer base continuously buys what kind of product, and what kind of goods sell the best... all of this can be stored and retrieved by computer. With Internet shopping also, the purchase data can be used to ascertain customers’ shopping trends, in order to promote new products. In order to grasp these kinds of information, it is necessary to develop technology that can perform rapid analysis of large-scale market data. Data analysis technology has become an absolutely essential tool for businesses to stay one step ahead of their competitors.
Data analysis also has applications for disaster risk reduction. In recent years, there has been increasingly urgent demand to formulate an evacuation plan in the event of a tsunami following the forecast earthquake in the Nankai Trough.
This means that there is a need for large-scale calculation experiments based on big data such as geographical information (on the road network, etc.), housing information, information on evacuation facilities, population distribution, etc.
Out there in the world large-scale data is accumulated every day, and while the size of that data continues to grow, we are not currently in a position to say that it is being utilized in an effective manner. Additionally, it must be said that Japan has a particular shortage of IT professionals with the necessary analysis skills outlined above. The School of Social Information Science is therefore being established to create the kinds of experts society needs, who possess the necessary background knowledge, information and analysis techniques.
Here at the School of Social Information Science, our students take seminar courses over four years, working with “living data” provided by companies and local governments, in order to acquire a high level of analytical and practical skill in data utilization. They also learn to understand that business models and social structures that are indispensable to data usage. Through this, we hope to create a new generation of workers that can contribute to problem-solving in a wide range of disciplines. To all who wish to study at the University of Hyogo to become the data scientists on whose achievements society will depend, I have this to say: we are waiting for you to come and study with us.
Naoki Kato, Dean, School of Social Information Science at the University of Hyogo