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Last modified on September 1, 2014

Department of Language and Information Sciences

At the Department of Language and Information Sciences, the main purpose of research is to consider, from a multi-dimensional perspective, what may be seen as the basis of human intellection - language activities and linguistic processes. The perspectives vary enormously, from humanities and social scientific approaches seeking to capture language as part of human activities in cultures and societies, to natural scientific and engineering approaches seeking to capture language in relation to the human brain and computer sciences. The department, in this sense, may be seen an embodiment of the academic principle of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - cross-cutting interdisciplinarity - with 'language' at its core. Another important feature is the broad range of languages studied, covering almost all of the major European, American and Asian languages, making the most of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which boasts the expertise of the staff who teach foreign languages to the University of Tokyo's undergraduate students.

The two pillars of teaching at the department are taught courses and personal tutoring centred on thesis writing. In the taught courses, a key aim, naturally, is to provide an arena for academics and students to make the best of the latest research and explore new directions of inquiry together, but the department also takes into account the fact that many students choose their specialism for the first time upon entering the graduate school, and makes sure to equip the students with basic knowledge and approaches. It is also for this reason that some courses set required introductory courses, which is rare for graduate schools in Japan.

Personal tutoring is mostly provided by a thesis supervisor, allocated in accordance with student preference soon after enrolment. In the case of both Master's and doctoral theses, guidance is provided by multiple instructors, with the supervisor playing the central role, forming a thorough supervision system. Under such principles and teaching, graduates of the department are active, not only in research and education at universities and research institutes, but also in the outside world, in practical fields including the civil service and private sector corporations.

For further information, please visit the Department's website.

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