2019 Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses2

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Anno Mariko  Satsuma Tatsuro  Nagamine Mitsue  Yumiyama Tatsuya  Suda Kazuhiro  Nakajima Takeshi 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

What kind of "liberal arts" should Ph.D.students of TIT (Tokyo Institute of Technology) learn? Scientific research at the top level of the world requires several key competences: (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.
In order to acquire "liberal arts", students will have lectures by specialists of diverse fields, work in a small-group, and give a presentation. The aim of this course is to create the forum which facilitates knowledge exchange among Ph.D.students. Students will learn the trends of advanced and interdisciplinary research and how to collaborate with diverse fields of scholars.
All Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses are managed in the same way independent of the Language indication(Japanese / English).
Foreign students can be register this class (ability to speak 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) understand lectures of specialists who conduct advanced and interdisciplinary studies.
3) take group work and communication with students diffrent fields and foreign students also in English.
4) present the results of their group-work in the postal presentation style.
5) acquire leadership, ability to conduct interdisciplinary research, and communication skills.


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

With Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses 5, 280 students can be registered. In case applying over 280 students, registration will be restricted(See, "Prerequsities" and "Others" of this sylabus).
Two successive sessions will take place on every other Saturday basically.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 First Saturday class of two sessions before noon. Introduction and Discussion about the theme of the quater. Taking participants self-introduction and establish communication. Understand the task of the course. Understand the topics and know the other students.
Class 2 Second Saturday class oftwo sessions before noon. Proposing theme by pair of students and make groups by two or three pairs of students agreeing the theme. Proposing theme by pair of students and make group.
Class 3 Third Saturday class of two sessions before noon. Group work Discussion by each group on the theme or preparing mini symposium poster session.
Class 4 The Fourth Saturday class of two sessions before noon Mini-symposium Poster session by group, participation at lecture and presentation of selected group.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed by participation and reports.

Related courses

  • LAH.C601 : Independent Studies Courses1
  • LAH.C602 : Independent Studies Courses2
  • LAH.C603 : Independent Studies Courses3
  • LAH.C604 : Independent Studies Courses4
  • LAH.C611 : Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses1
  • 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.)

Students should register before October 5 in 2019. In case over 280 students apply, send results of restricting registration by OCWi system. 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.
Please check information on the temporary WEB site of Institution for Liberal Arts. [http://bunkei.ila.titech.ac.jp/600PG_guide.html]
Students are expected to commit themselves to the course, and to do the group work inside as well as outside the classroom.
Path-breaking Liberal Arts 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 take a course all four classes of which you will be able to attend. See below for a class schedule and conditions on absence.


PhD. course students have to take any two courses from Independent Studies Courses (from 1 to 8) or Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses (from 1 to 6) for two credits. Classes are scheduled on October 5, 19, November 2 and 16, 2019 in 3Q.
NOTICE: We strongly recommend that you take two courses from Independent Studies Courses and/or Path Breaking Liberal Arts Course in your first year. If registration must be restricted due to the number of students, it will be decided by lot regardless of the student's' year at Tokyo Tech.

Independent Studies Courses 5,6,7,8 and Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses 4,5,6 are listed so that the students who have already taken an Independent Studies Course or a Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Course can take another course in the same Q the next year. (This may be a rare case.) Independent Studies Courses held in the same Q (1&5, 2&6, 3&7, 4&8) are the same programs, and are not independently open.(It is applicable to Path-Breaking Liberal Arts Courses as well.)

Please attend all four classes. 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 that addresses questions raised by your instructor on the poster of your group. If more than one absentees are in your group, write a report together. Only ONE report must be written for each group, and each absentee must submit the report (of the same content) to the instructor. If all members of a group missed the fourth class, they must work together and write ONE report, and each member must submit the report (of the same content) 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 by other groups, 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.

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