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Message from the Conference Chair

Welcome to the 2nd International GIGAKU Conference in Nagaoka (IGCN). The IGCN is designed and organized to provide a cross-border, cross-sector, cross-disciplinary forum for those researchers, educators and industrial leaders who are creating and practicing GIGAKU in various technology domains across country borders. The 1st IGCN was held February 3-5, 2012 at the Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT) campus, the heartland of GIGAKU. And this marks the second round of the unique conference.

Then what is GIGAKU? GIGAKU is a term composed of two Japanese word-roots; GI and GAKU. The word GI〔技〕literally stands for all kinds of arts and technology, and GAKU〔学〕stands for scientific disciplines in general when used as a suffix. The term was originally coined to describe the fundamental philosophy of education and research of NUT when it was established in 1976. Through this term the founders of NUT intended to express their recognition that all technical challenges in the real world require a scientific approach. And NUT has relentlessly pursued GIGAKU since then.

GIGAKU is, in short, a science of technologies, which gives us an angle to analyze and reinterpret diverse technical processes and objects and thus helps us to advance technologies forward. By employing a broad range of knowledge about science and engineering, management, safety, information technology and life sciences, GIGAKU provides us with workable solutions and induces future innovations.

Nagaoka, a cradle of GIGAKU, is also the birthplace of the legendary tale “one hundred sacks of rice”, which tells how people of the town gives the highest priority to education. The organizers sincerely hope that the International GIGAKU Conference organized at this special place will offer a venue where all GIGAKU practitioners – young and old, coming from different corners of the world but sharing a common dream for GIGAKU – can meet together, strengthen their ties, cross-fertilize each other’s imaginations and make further steps toward the realization of their dreams.

June 2013
Koichi Niihara, Conference Chair