ECEU Good Practice Award
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The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

Website - http://www.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index.html.en

The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS) is an independent school for Master and Doctoral students, established through comprehensive cooperation of all existing departments of the University of Tokyo. It is made up of the Division of Trans-disciplinary Sciences, the Division of Biosciences, the Division of Environmental Studies, and the Department of Computational Biology. More than 3,600 students have completed the school's program, and about 1,500 students are currently enrolled in its departments, of which a large number from abroad. Located at the new Kashiwa campus, incoming mobility will have access to the latest state of the art facilities and accommodation.

Comprising twelve departments with nearly 200 strong faculties and an enrollment of more than 1,500 students, the GSFS has the distinction of being one of the largest graduate schools at the University of Tokyo.

Human beings now face―and will continue to face―serious problems pertaining to the environment, energy, resources, life and disease, aging society, international disputes, and so forth. The quest for solutions to these complex challenges requires a multidisciplinary approach, but the University of Tokyo’s established system of education and research, which has been successful at in-depth, specialized pursuit of individual disciplines, is not adequately suited for tackling these new problems. For this reason the University of Tokyo decided to integrate all its intellectual resources within a new system of education and research at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS) in order to initiate and accelerate a trans-disciplinary approach to solving current and future challenges for humankind.

The Division of Environmental Studies has 6 departments including the Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies. It comprises four core groups - Society and Humanity, Spatial Planning and Design, Water and Material Cycle - as well as the Spatial Information Science. We engage in education and research on analysis, evaluation, prediction, creation, and management of physical and socio-cultural environments at the residential, architectural, urban, regional, and global levels.


The GSFS's guiding philosophy of maintaining a trans-disciplinary approach to science is applied rigorously at the departmental level. Because we recognize environmental problems and environment formation need to be understood in terms of the interrelationships between diverse elements.

The Spatial Planning and Design group concentrates on the collection, analysis, and integration of spatial environment information, and methods for formulating and assessing designs, with emphasis on application to urban planning and building system design.

Through this research, we tackle the problems of living environments (buildings and urban space) by developing design methods and technologies that can support the creation of comfortable and sustainable environments. In addition, we explore problems in optimizing the environment load of infrastructural safety, with the goals of evaluating building resistance to earthquakes and strong winds, and developing techniques for information processing and prediction of natural environment disturbances.  Our efforts in research and education also include Spatial Information Science courses, which are offered with the cooperation of the Center for Spatial Information Science.

GSE & GSFS AUSMIP+ Research & Educational Environment.

 The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

GSFS also play the central role in the Integrated Environmental Design Program, (IEDP)which develops practical skills in comprehensive environmental design in collaboration with the UDCK one of Todai’s associated partners for the AUSMIP+ program.

Both the GSFS and GSE provide incoming AUSMIP+ researchers or staff with accommodation, administrative support, a buddy program and a wide variety of social programs and free language classes.  In addition, the ‘kenkyushitsu’ or laboratory system guarantees a swift social integration of all incoming AUSMIP+ researchers and staff.

A special study-visit program and lecture series, open to all incoming foreign students is organized every year, introducing Japanese architecture, planning and urban design, from every possible angle.

The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, local coordinator, prof Hidetoshi OHNO, ohno@a-p-l.co.jp

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