OIST Graduation Ceremony 2021

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) will hold its fourth graduation ceremony on 21 May 2021.


The University

The University

OIST is international, with over 50 nationalities working onsite. Over 60% of faculty come from outside Japan, and the working language is English. OIST produces highly trained young scientists who are completely at ease in the global environment of science and industry.

OIST is committed to interdisciplinary research. The university encourages faculty, researchers, and students from diverse fields to share ideas, methods, and experience in collaborative initiatives that break through the restrictive barriers of traditional scientific disciplines.

To ensure that new research progress is readily applied in industry and high technology entrepreneurship, OIST works closely with the Okinawa Prefectural Government and industry to develop a self-sustaining, high technology economy on the island. Due to OIST, Okinawa is becoming recognized as a center for excellence in Science and Technology.


Close-up of the weaver's hands as she makes the red and white obi sash.

Academic Dress

Academic dress is part of a tradition spanning a thousand years of history, connecting us to the first universities in Europe. Originally the daily dress worn by students and professors alike, their use more recently has been restricted to formal occasions of the university.

The OIST academic dress was designed entirely by the students, and follows the red, white and black of the OIST colors. The hood, worn only by OIST PhD graduates, features a local textile, called Yuntanza Minsa using "Guushi-Bana" method, again in red, white and black. The design of the hood combines local auspicious patterns for luck in money and life, and stylized sine waves representing the sciences.

The hoods were generously hand-woven from locally hand-dyed cotton by Ms. Misae Gakiya from Yuntanza Hanaui, a craft weavers guild from Yomitan, and we thank them for their wonderful contribution.

Program

2pm-4pm Friday, 21st May 2021
OIST Auditorium

13:30

  • Auditorium doors open

14:00

  • Musical Introduction and Academic Procession

14:15

  • Welcome by Dr. Peter Gruss, President of OIST Graduate University

14:25

  • Address by the Okinawa Prefectural Government

14:30

  • Address by the Cabinet Office

14:35

  • Commencement Address by Ms. Kathy Matsui

14:55

  • Dean’s Message to Graduates: Dean Ulf Skoglund

15:00

  • Conferment of PhD Degrees

15:45

  • Peter Gruss Doctoral Dissertation Excellence Award

16:00

  • Speech by Graduating Student

 

  • Music Finale and Academic Processions

 

  • Close

Commencement Speaker

Kathy Matsui in red smiling for photo.

Kathy Matsui

Kathy is former vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, co-head of Macro Research in Asia and chief Japan equity strategist. She was ranked No. 1 in Japan Equity Strategy by Institutional Investor magazine multiple times, was chosen by The Wall Street Journal newspaper as one of the "10 Women to Watch in Asia" in 2007 for her work on the "Womenomics" theme, and she was also named to Bloomberg Markets magazine’s “50 Most Influential” list in 2014.

Kathy has served on numerous government committees aimed at promoting gender diversity in Japan. She is a board member of the Asian University for Women (AUW) Support Foundation, chair of the Board of Councilors (Japan) of the US-Japan Council, director of the Fast Retailing Foundation, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Nature Conservancy-Asia Pacific Council, and Keizai Doyukai. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Japan Society Fund Against Breast Cancer.

Kathy earned an AB, magna cum laude, in Social Studies from Harvard University and an MA from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

Graduates

  • Mathias Mikkelsen

    Supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Systems Unit

    Thesis:
    Quenched and Driven Dynamics of One-Dimensional Quantum Systems

  • Seyedeh Sahar Seyed Hejazi

    Supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Systems Unit

    Thesis:
    Atom-Light Interactions via Evanescent Fields

  • Shoko Igarashi (Ota)

    Supervisor:
    Professor Kenji Doya

    Research Unit:
    Neural Computation Unit

    Thesis:
    Intrinsic Motivation in Creative Activity

  • Sandrine Burriel

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tadashi Yamamoto

    Co-Supervisor:
    Professor Nicholas Luscombe

    Research Unit:
    Cell Signal Unit

    Thesis:
    Functional analysis of LMTK1 in lung adenocarcinoma

  • Shivani Sathish

    Supervisor:
    Professor Amy Shen

    Research Unit:
    Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit

    Thesis:
    Surface-based Microfluidic Systems for Enhanced Biomarker Detection

  • Kamila Mustafina

    Supervisor:
    Professor Yohei Yokobayashi

    Research Unit:
    Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit

    Thesis:
    Engineering Synthetic Riboswitches for Mammalian Cells

  • Sakurako Watanabe

    Supervisor:
    Professor Jeff Wickens

    Research Unit:
    Neurobiology Research Unit

    Thesis:
    Interaction of multiple inputs in plasticity of the corticostriatal synapses

  • Ayaka Usui

    Supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Systems Unit

    Thesis:
    Control and measurement of non-classical properties of cold atomic and optical systems

  • Lin Li

    Supervisor:
    Professor Pinaki Chakraborty

    Research Unit:
    Fluid Mechanics Unit

    Thesis:
    Storm moisture and landfalling hurricanes

  • Christina Ripken

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit

    Thesis:
    Micro- and Nanoplastic in Okinawa: Potential impacts on planktonic microalgae and Endosymbiotic Dinoflagellates

  • Adrian David

    Supervisor:
    Professor Shinobu Hikami

    Research Unit:
    Mathematical and Theoretical Physics Unit

    Thesis:
    Higher-spin holography in de Sitter space: horizon modes, black holes, and the boundary partition function

  • Shijin Zhang

    Supervisor:
    Professor Ye Zhang

    Research Unit:
    Bioinspired Soft Matter Unit

    Thesis:
    Design and Synthesize Small Molecular Self-Assembling Peptides for Biomedical Applications

  • Andrew Winchester

    Supervisor:
    Professor Keshav Dani

    Research Unit:
    Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit

    Thesis:
    Spatially and temporally resolved microscopy of traps in hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites

  • Krishna Priya Subramonian Rajasree

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit

    Thesis:
    Rydberg Excitation and Other Multiphoton Processes in Cold Rubidium Atoms Near an Optical Nanofibre

  • Hong Huat Hoh

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tadashi Yamamoto

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Ye Zhang

    Research Unit:
    Cell Signal Unit

    Thesis:
    Study on Alteration of Cellular Phenotypes and Processes in Cancer Using Exogenous Biological Agents

  • Sebastien Lapointe

    Supervisor:
    Professor Julia Khusnutdinova

    Research Unit:
    Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit

    Thesis:
    Nickel Complexes of New Electron-Rich, Sterically-Hindered PNP Pincer Ligands

  • Ankur Dhar

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tsumoru Shintake

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Nic Shannon

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit

    Thesis:
    Imaging Monopoles in Spin Ice via Electron Holography

  • Farzana Rahman

    Supervisor:
    Professor Kenji Doya

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Alexander Mikheyev

    Research Unit: Neural Computation Unit

    Thesis:
    Identifying the Evolutionary Conditions for the Emergence of Alternative Reproductive Tactics in Simulated Robot Colonies

  • Hemanta Sarmah

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tadashi Yamamoto

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Yohei Yokobayashi

    Research Unit:
    Cell Signal Unit

    Thesis:
    Molecular and Physiological function of the mammalian CCR4-NOT subunit CNOT9

  • Margaret Mars Brisbin

    Supervisor:
    Professor Satoshi Mitarai

    Research Unit:
    Marine Biophysics Unit

    Thesis:
    Characterization of Acantharea-Phaeocystis photosymbioses: distribution, abundance, specificity, maintenance and host-control

  • Sona Rani Roy

    Supervisor:
    Professor Ye Zhang

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Mitsuhiro Yanagida

    Research Unit:
    Bioinspired Soft Matter Unit

    Thesis:
    Design Integrin-targeted Molecular Self-assembling Peptides for Studying Cancer Migration Inhibition

  • Nishtha Ranawat

    Supervisor:
    Professor Ichiro Masai

    Research Unit:
    Developmental Neurobiology Unit

    Thesis:
    Behavioral and transcriptomic analysis of embryonic microglia during colonization and degeneration of zebrafish retina

  • Collin Stecker

    Supervisor:
    Professor Yabing Qi

    Research Unit:
    Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit

    Thesis:
    Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Photoelectron Spectroscopy Studies of Lead Halide Perovskite Surfaces, Defect Dynamics and the MAPbX 3 - CuPc Interface

  • Noa Burshtein

    Supervisor:
    Professor Amy Shen

    Research Unit:
    Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit

    Thesis:
    Flow Instabilities and Vortex Dynamics in Intersecting Flows

  • Han Yan

    Supervisor:
    Professor Nic Shannon

    Research Unit:
    Theory of Quantum Matter Unit

    Thesis:
    Fracton States of Matter: From Holography to Frustrated Magnetism

  • Tadashi Kozuno

    Supervisor:
    Professor Kenji Doya

    Research Unit:
    Neural Computation Unit

    Thesis:
    Efficient and Noise-Tolerant Reinforcement Learning Algorithms via Theoretical Analysis of Gap-Increasing and Softmax Operators

  • Leonidas Georgiou

    Supervisor:
    Professor Bernd Kuhn

    Research Unit:
    Optical Neuroimaging Unit

    Thesis:
    Astrocyte calcium activity mapping in behaving mice using anterograde axo-astrocytic AAV transfer

  • Shohei Takaoka

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tadashi Yamamoto

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Hiroaki Kitano

    Research Unit:
    Cell Signal Unit

    Thesis:
    Role of 5’ - 3’ exoribonuclease Xrn1 in energy expenditure and control of obesity

  • Viktoras Lisicovas

    Supervisor:
    Professor Keshav Dani

    Research Unit:
    Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit

    Thesis:
    Improvements in optical techniques to investigate the behavior and neuronal network dynamics over long timescales

  • Stefan Pommer

    Supervisor:
    Professor Jeff Wickens

    Research Unit:
    Neurobiology Research Unit

    Thesis:
    The effect of serotonin receptor 5-HT1B on lateral inhibition between spiny projection neurons in the mouse striatum

  • Hsieh-Fu Tsai

    Supervisor:
    Professor Amy Shen

    Research Unit: Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit

    Thesis:
    Glioma on Chips Analysis of glioma cell guidance and interaction in microfluidic-controlled microenvironment enabled by machine learning

  • Dina Mostafa

    Supervisor:
    Professor Tadashi Yamamoto

    Research Unit:
    Cell Signal Unit

    Thesis:
    Functional Analysis of CCR4-NOT Complex in Pancreatic β Cell

  • Paavo Parmas

    Supervisor:
    Professor Kenji Doya

    Research Unit:
    Neural Computation Unit

    Thesis:
    Total stochastic gradient algorithms and applications to model-based reinforcement learning

  • James Schloss

    Supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Systems Unit

    Thesis:
    Massively parallel split-step Fourier techniques for simulating quantum systems on graphics processing units

  • Mayank Aggarwal

    Supervisor:
    Professor Jeff Wickens

    Research Unit:
    Neurobiology Research Unit

    Thesis:
    The Role of Ventral Tegmental Area and Nucleus Accumbens in the Kamin Blocking Effect

  • Bianca Sieveritz

    Supervisor:
    Professor Gordon Arbuthnott

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Jeff Wickens

    Research Unit:
    Brain Mechanism for Behaviour Unit

    Thesis:
    Ventral motor thalamic projections to prelimbic cortex in cost-benefit decision-making

  • Simon Peter Mekhail

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Gordon Arbuthnott 

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit

    Thesis:
    Optical Fiber Probes for in-Vivo Neuronal Compressive Microendoscopy and Mode Analysis in Nanofibers

  • Neil Dalphin

    Supervisor:
    Professor Bernd Kuhn

    Research Unit:
    Optical Neuroimaging Unit

    Thesis:
    Two-Photon Voltage Imaging of Supragranular Barrel Cortex in Mice: Oscillations and Responses

  • Sho Kasumie

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit 

    Thesis:
    Hollow Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators: from Fabrication to Application

  • Jiabao Chen

    Supervisor:
    Professor Denis Konstantinov

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Dynamics Unit

    Thesis:
    Coherent control of charged particle systems strongly interacting with microwave photons

  • Thomas Nieddu

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit 

    Thesis:
    Optical Nanofibers for Multiphoton Processes and Selective Mode Interactions with Rubidium