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GCOE Summer Camp 2011 summary

Photo (GCOE Summer Camp 2011)

This year’s Summer Camp was held from August 24 to 26 at Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center. The number of attendees was 155, including 63 Ph.D. students, 10 MS students, 53 faculty members, and several guest scientists from domestic and foreign institutes. Students and faculty members from the Graduate School of Information Science (NAIST) and Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology also attended participating in active discussions and achieving mutual communication.

As usual, the official language in this 7th Summer Camp was English. Through continuous efforts during the last few years, the educational part of the GCOE program, namely to develop students' presentation skills in an international scene, is accomplishing its goal. The improvement of students’ presentation skills in English has become clearer not only to NAIST faculty members but also to invited scientists. As a first trial this year, D2 students took the role of chairpersons in their peers' oral sessions. They performed nicely, and English discussions became well established. In the evening poster sessions, all students presented a poster and discussed their research with faculty members and other students in an active fashion.

Two assistant professors gave oral presentations in the morning of the final day. Their presentations included the latest scientific findings, and were so fascinating that they became a nice model for students. The Umesono Prize memorial lecture by Asst. Prof. Tsubasa Shoji (NAIST) and the invited lecture by Prof. Ahmad Abu Hassan (Universiti Sains Malaysia) were like sessions in international meetings held in foreign countries. That afternoon, all attendees heard review comments from the evaluation committee members, Prof. Masanao Miwa (Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology), Prof. Toshiharu Shikanai (Kyoto University), Prof. John Harada (University of California, Davis) and Dr. Xun Huang (Chinese Academy of Sciences), and finally Prof. Ian Smith (NAIST) gave a comment and introduced all the D2 students, who had worked hard in preparing their oral presentations. All of the evaluation committee members highly assessed the performance of English presentations and discussions, and the way in which the students are working on their research projects. It was proposed that discussions in poster sessions could also be in English next year. At the end of the program, Prof. Akiho Yokota (Dean of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences) gave a closing remark, and all attendees left the conference center.

The Summer Camp is becoming a central event in the educational part of the GCOE program; this year’s Summer Camp was an especially suitable finale for the last year of the program. D2 students will attend the International Student Workshop in November, and will thus acquire more experience based on their training in this Summer Camp.

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