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What is it like to be a Ph.D student at Kavli IPMU, in particle theory, with TW as an adviser?
(Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe)
is a research institute that belongs to the University of Tokyo. Its
research spectrum ranges from astronomy to arithmetic geometry.
For more about the science we do, see the page of
Kavli IPMU participates in the Ph.D program of the University of Tokyo, by
having some of its faculty members appointed at the Physics Major Course
of the Graduate School of Science, at the Graduate School of
Mathematical Science, and at the Astronomy Major Course of the
Graduate School of Science.
The admission channels I am committed to
The Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo adopts a two-stage
system in all of the addmission options for international students.
Before the official selection by the Graduate School of Science, the applicants need to clear the pre-selection process run by individual faculty members
appointed at the Graduate School of Science. In 20xx autumn, for students
enrolling in September 20xx+1, I myself(Watari) and some other faculty members
of the Physics Major Course run this pre-selection process jointly.
If you are interested in choosing me as a prospective adviser, then you are
invited to proceed to the page of
the joint pre-selection process and follow
the instruction there.
As a policy of my own, I am open to the admission
options for international students starting their Ph.D course
in September (not for students starting in April).
There are still a few admission options that the University of Tokyo offers.
Among them, I open my window only through the GSGC course and the regular
course (but not through the Government scholarships).
I must ask for your understanding.
Also as a policy of my own, I welcome
international students to the Ph.D program only from the Master course,
not directly into the Doctor course; this policy is also applied to
domestic students. I know that some of the applicants have been
finishing a Master course elsewhere at the time applying for the
graduate study at U. Tokyo, but still I maintain this policy; see
additional remark in the "Master Thesis and..." section below.
For Students Applying for the Enrollment in September, 2021
I have a couple of Ph.D. students to serve as a thesis advisor, and am
fully occupied at this moment. So I will not be able to welcome one more
student enrolling in September 2021 and serve as a thesis advisor
At Kavli IPMU, there are two young faculty members---Prof. Tom Melia
and Prof. Satoshi Shirai---in the field of particle theory. Both do not
have a graduate school appointment at this moment, which means
that they cannot be a supervisor officially, but conduct research
independently from other faculty members, and are committed to
our Ph.D. program. So, I am happy to host some students as
the official supervisor, and make it possible for those students
to be supervised by Tom or Satoshi in practice. If a student wishes
to seek for such an arrangement, then he/she might think of including me (**)
in the list of preferred advisor when applying to the preselection,
and referring to such an arrangment (with the name of Tom and/or Satoshi)
in the Statement of Purpose for the preselection.
(**) Some other particle theory faculty members at Kavli IPMU are also
happy to provide such an arrangement with Tom and Satoshi.
Master Thesis and Qualification for the Doctor Course
There are a lot of things to learn in theoretical particle physics.
So, in theoretical particle physics at the Physics Major Course, we do
not necessarily require a graduate student to have produced an original
scientific result for a master thesis. It suffices to write up a review
article on a topic in this field to prepare himself/herself ready to be
engaged in reserach projects soon after the master thesis defense.
We require (at least I definitely do), though, that a student has
acquired basic ethics and skills of scientists, including honesty about
what she/he is not sure about---(*), skills of critical thinking, logical
thinking, and of exchanging ideas clearly (not just absorbing knowledge),
by the end of the Master Course.
If we are not sure whether a graduate student has been achieving that,
we might recommend the student to leave academia without proceeding to the
(*) has been the first principle of academia, in Western as well as Asian
World, not just in humanity but also in natural science.
(Confucius) To take the things you know as what you know, and things you are not sure about as what you do not know yet, --- this is to know things. 知之為知之, 不知為不知. 是知也.
(R. Feynman, a commencement address) The first principle is that you must not fool
yourself, --- and you are the easiest person to fool.
As I wrote earlier (above), I ask all the students to go through this
master thesis defense, even when one has finished a master course
elsewhere before coming to the University of Tokyo graduate school.
If such a student shows good enough performance, then we have an option
to shorten the whole Ph.D. program (master course + doctor course) by 1 year.
We will authorize shortning the master course when the criterion above is met.
It is not always the best option to do so for graduate students, though,
because most of scholarship options in Japan for the doctor course (the
latter half of the Ph.D program) do not cover extension beyond three years
in the doctor course; graduate students need to be "ready" when entering
the doctor course. An option of shortning the doctor course is approved
by the Physics Major Course for truly outstanding students (on average,
one student in five years or so?).
How to Get into the Stage of Research, when I Serve as Your Adviser
under construction ..... (probably written next year)
See this page
for my reserach interests.
If You Wish to Work in an Area of String Theory Close to Mathematics...
under construction ...... (probably written next year)