2019 Independent Studies Courses3

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Maruyama Takeo  Ishikawa Kunihiro  Liu Anwei  Murota Masao 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

What kind of "liberal arts" should Ph. D. students of Tokyo Tech learn? Scientific research at the top level of the world requires several key competence: (1) extensive knowledge beyond his/her own discipline, (2) transferring skills and creativity to utilize other fields’ research, (3) interdisciplinary ability and spirit to build his/her own network with diverse fields of specialists.
Students of this course will manage the advanced liberal arts course for themselves to acquire liberal arts skills. More concretely, manage a corresponding course (lectures, small-group work, poster presentation), and conduct PR activities of the course results. The purpose of this course is to create a forum which facilitates knowledge exchange among Ph. D. students through designing a liberal art course for themselves. In the process, students will learn the most recent trends of interdisciplinary research.
Foreign students can register this class (ability to speaking Japanese is not required).
Communication with students in different academic friends and with foreign students in English.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) have their own idea and vision of "liberal arts".
2) establish communication among students different academic friends and foreign students.
3) manage lectures of specialists who conduct advanced and interdisciplinary studies.
4) manage the poster presentation conference and summarize the results of their group-work.
5) acquire leadership as a researcher.


Liberal arts, Interdisciplinary collaboration

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

40 students can be registered. In case applying over 40 students, registration will be restricted(See, "Prerequisites" and "Others" of this syllabus).
Two successive sessions will take place on every other Saturday basically. Students will decide the topics of Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses next quarter. In addition, students will select a guest speaker of mini-symposium, the overall approach of the course, and the process of a workshop.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Saturday 1-4 period. Introduction and Discussion about the Theme of next quarter. Taking participants self-introduction and establish communication. Understand the aim and tasks of the course.
Class 2 Saturday 1-4 period. The activity of planning and managing committee. Discussion about group work and mini-symposium in Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses.
Class 3 Saturday 1-4 period. The activity of information and editorial committee. Selection guest speaker of mini-symposium and PR activity of Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses of next quarter. Make the materials needed.
Class 4 Saturday 1-4 period. Managing and supporting mini-symposium of liberal arts courses. Mini-symposium support.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed by participation and contribution to the course.

Related courses

  • LAH.C601 : Independent Studies Courses1
  • LAH.C602 : Independent Studies Courses2
  • LAH.C604 : Independent Studies Courses4
  • LAH.C611 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses1
  • LAH.C612 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses2
  • LAH.C613 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses3
  • LAH.C614 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses4
  • LAH.C615 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses5
  • LAH.C616 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses6

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 3Q: October 2 12:00 PM (the first class will be held on October 5)
To take the Student Independent Courses for the doctoral program in 3Q, submit your application on the Web System for Students and Faculty before the above deadline. Your application will be treated as "completed" (at Tokyo Tech lecturers' side) by clicking on any of "SAVE(Temporary)", "Verify" or "Register".
There are a limited number of spots available in the Student Independent Courses. If the number of applications exceeds the limit, a lottery system will be used to determine which students are admitted, meaning that your application will not necessarily be approved in your preferred quarter.
In that case you will be informed of the lottery result through email(For the case you are not approved, it is strongly recommended to take the Pass-Breaking Course 2 offered in the same quarter)
. If you do not get any mail-contact before the first class of each quarter, it means the number of applications did not exceed the limit so that all the applicants are admitted.

Students are expected to commit themselves to the course.

This course is a seminar style. Students are also required activities outside of the individual sessions.
Independent Studies Courses are offered on Saturday mornings. They consist of four classes, each of which includes two 90-minute sessions. After creating groups in the first and the second classes, students will engage in group work in the second and the third classes. Students will give poster presentations and participate in a mini symposium in the fourth class.

Since presentation and group work are focused in this course, please examine class schedules for each quarter on course syllabi, and take a course all four classes of which you will be able to attend.

You may miss (a part of) one class out of the four classes due to unforeseen circumstances that took place after the relevant quarter began. If you miss two or more classes, you will not get credit for the course.

If you miss one of the first three classes, contact your instructor and explain the reason of your absence first, then contact your group members and contribute to the group work outside the classroom, and study the material covered by the lecture for yourself. If you fail to do so, you will not get credit for the course. If you miss the fourth class, contact your instructor and explain the reason for your absence first, then submit a report to him/her, following his/her instructions. The report must be on (1) the activity of your group in this course (see below) and (2) the activity of other groups (see below). The length of the report must be about five pages long on A4 sheets and must be written in English. It should be submitted within a week from the fourth class. If you fail to do so, you will not get credit for the course.

The content of the report assigned to those who have missed the fourth class
(1) Write a two-page report on A4 sheets about task of your group and your degree of contribution within your group. Member missed the fourth class must submit the report to the instructor. The submitted report will be handed to the other members of your group who attended the fourth class.
(2) Write reviews on the three posters created in Path-breaking Liberal Arts Courses, which will be chosen by your instructor. Each review must be one page long on an A4 sheet, and must include a summary of the poster, three questions about the poster, and suggestions for improvement for the poster. The three reviews must be three pages long on A4 sheets in total. The submitted reviews will be handed to the group who created the poster.


Ph. D. course students have to take any two class of Independent Studies Courses (from 1 to 8) or Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses (from 1 to 6) for two credits. Scheduled on October 5, 19, November 2 and 16, 2018.

NOTICE: We strongly recommend to register an Independent Studies Courses and a Path Breaking Liberal Arts Courses at first academic year. The restricting registration will be taken based on the number of students by total number without distinction of an academic year.
Reason: Independent Studies Courses 5,6,7,8 and Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses 4,5,6 will be listed enabling for the students who had registered an Independent Studies Courses or Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses at the same Q, to register other Courses in the Next Year. (It may be a rare case.) Independent Studies Courses at the same Q (1&5, 2&6, 3&7, 4&8) are the same program, not independently open. (It is applicable to Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses.)

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