OIST Graduation Ceremony 2017

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) will hold its first graduation ceremony on 24th February 2018, demonstrating to the world that in just six years, Japan has established on Okinawa an outstanding new university for world-class international science research and education.

The Commencement Speech will be given by Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate and former United States Secretary of Energy. Five hundred people will attend the ceremony in the OIST auditorium, each personally invited as a representative of Japanese and international academia, industry, and government.

Special tribute will be paid to people who have made major contributions to the founding and establishment of the university.


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

Saturday, 24th February 2018
OIST Auditorium

1:30 pm

  • Venue Doors Open

2:00 pm

  • Musical Introduction and Academic Procession

2:10 pm

  • Welcome by President Peter Gruss, OIST Graduate University
  • Address by Special Guests
  • Commencement Address by Dr. Steven Chu, Stanford University

2:50 pm

  • Musical Break

3:10 pm

  • Conferment of Ph.D. Degrees
  • Awardees Introduced by Prof. Jeff Wickens, Dean of the Graduate School

4:10 pm

  • Speech by Dr. Caroline Starzynski, Graduating Student

4:20 pm

  • Speech by Dr. Cherry Murray, Chair of the OIST Board of Governors

4:30 pm

  • Musical Finale followed by Academic Procession

Commencement Speaker

Steven Chu

Dr. Chu is a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to laser cooling and atom trapping. Currently the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University, Dr. Chu served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. Prior to this, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Dr. Chu has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as 31 honorary degrees. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Sinica, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology. He has been prolific both as academic and innovator, with over 280 published papers and 14 patents.

Graduates

  • Mark Daly

    Supervisor:
    Professor Síle Nic Chormaic

    Research Unit:
    Light-Matter Interactions Unit

    Thesis:
    Light-induced interactions using optical near-field devices

  • Lee James O'Riordan

    Supervisor:
    Professor Thomas Busch

    Research Unit:
    Quantum Systems Unit

    Thesis:
    Non-equilibrium vortex dynamics in rapidly rotating Bose-Einstein condensates

  • Faisal Mahmood

    Supervisor:
    Professor Ulf Skoglund

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Hiroaki Kitano

    Research Unit:
    Structural Cellular Biology Unit

    Thesis:
    Algorithmic and architectural developments for cryo-electron tomography

  • Märt Toots

    Supervisor:
    Professor Ulf Skoglund

    Research Unit:
    Structural Cellular Biology Unit

    Thesis:
    Exploring the potential of cryo-electron tomography on protein nanocrystals for molecular structure determination

  • Dongxin Zhang

    Supervisor:
    Professor Fujie Tanaka

    Research Unit:
    Chemistry and Chemical Bioengineering Unit

    Thesis:
    Amine catalyzed functionalization of enolizable ketones

  • Yi-Jyun Luo

    Supervisor:
    Professor Noriyuki Satoh

    Research Unit:
    Marine Genomics Unit

    Thesis:
    Insights into lophotrochozoan evolution and the origin of morphological novelties from brachiopod, phoronid, and nemertean genomes

  • Kenneth Baughman

    Supervisor:
    Professor Noriyuki Satoh

    Research Unit:
    Marine Genomics Unit

    Thesis:
    Decoding and analysis of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Acanthaster planci genome

  • Rico Pohle

    Supervisor:
    Professor Nic Shannon

    Research Unit:
    Theory of Quantum Matter Unit

    Thesis:
    Signatures of novel spin liquids in kagome-like lattices

  • Zafer Hawash

    Supervisor:
    Professor Yabing Qi

    Research Unit:
    Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit

    Thesis:
    Surface science studies of perovskite solar cells: spiro-MeOTAD hole transport material and perovskite absorber

  • Caroline Starzynski

    Supervisor:
    Professor Mitsuhiro Yanagida

    Research Unit:
    G0 Cell Unit

    Thesis:
    Investigating ancient metabolic reactions contributing to G0 quiescence survival in fission yeast S. pombe

  • Cong Liu

    Supervisor:
    Professor Evan Economo

    Research Unit:
    Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit

    Thesis:
    Understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes shaping ant biodiversity across spatiotemporal scales

  • Nino Espinas

    Supervisor:
    Professor Hidetoshi Saze

    Co-supervisor:
    Professor Ulf Skoglund

    Research Unit:
    Plant Epigenetics Unit

    Thesis:
    rCBP-dependent regulation in rice innate immunity

  • Keita Ikegami

    Supervisor:
    Professor Noriyuki Satoh

    Research Unit:
    Marine Genomics Unit

    Thesis:
    Comparative transcriptome analysis of basal deuterostomes and its implications for the phylotypic stage