Wine Tasting at Omote-Sando in Tokyo

Omote-sando is one of my favorite places to walk around. Omote-sando means “main front avenue to a shrine” in general; in Tokyo, the shrine is specifically Meiji Shrine that is dedicated to Emperor Meiji almost 100 years ago. The avenue is known as an upscale shopping area.

Last Friday, I and a friend met together at Omotesando Hills to try wine tasting.

That is one year my absence to the wine shop and restaurant called Bisty’s 

Bisty’s offers wines with a small unit, a 20ml, 50ml, and 90ml via their wine serving system, for which I paid several thousand Japanese yen (USD30-40) for a pre-charged IC card.

We started affordable white wines, even with a bottle purchase, and tried Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape (Rhone Valley France, Wine Spectator 91) and 2002? Gevrey Chambertin/Claude Dugat.

Paul Autard gave us a blackberry and graphite flavors, with solid underlying note of Grenache. Claude Dugat was marvelous full body red (See its description in Japanese)

It was a nice Friday to celebrate a chilly cold winter in night of Tokyo. I love such a winter night, for the best occasion to taste red wines.

About pictures:
Two pictures show the wine serving system, displaying 20ml price of each wine.

The last one is a funny sign board at the avenue that say’s “Heavy Sandwich ” which is playing on words as Heavy -> “Omotee” (in Japanese) and “Sando” ( i.e., Japanese pronunciation of Sandwich) .


Impact Factor and Leadership

Last week, I was in Kyoto to participate MMM2008 for which I served as program co-chair. We published the proceedings as Lecture Notes in Computer Science through Springer Verlag.(LNCS) That conference was successful in terms of enthusiastic participants over the world, fruitful discussions, and demonstrations in corporation with Kyoto University.
One disappointing thing was that the number of submitted papers was decreased more than 50%, comparing the previous MMM2007 conference.
Can you guess why?

One plausible reason is that LNCS has been kicked out from Journal Citation Index of Thomson ISI. As from January 2007, LNCS books are no longer listed in the ISI Journal Citation Index.
It seems that people especially in academia tend to work for papers cited in that list.
If not cited, the efforts may not be evaluated properly in their feeling about the score, and therefore we’ve got the less number of submission.

According to Wikipedia,the Impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure of the citations to science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field.
In a nutshell, a published paper is evaluated in terms of Impact Factor (IF) and nowadays, IF is going to be used to measure the performance of faculty members in academia and researchers in industry. If you wrote four papers with IF of 1.0, IF of 2.0, IF of 2.5, IF of 1.5 and those were accepted in 2007, you would have got total IF of 7.0 points! You might be promoted owing to those figures, and might not be, depending how much score you’ve got until now.

There would have been much debate. Once we set an objective function, researchers, who are typically wise and clever especially in computer science, try to tune themselves to get more scores in academic activities.
I saw such backfires in many occasions of human resource management when I was in U.S. I believe the performance evaluation should be somewhat subjective so that we can avoid “over-fitting” syndrome among researchers. The leaders in government, faculty, and industry should have their own view and insights to lead the organization. The organization can be governed by not “scores” but “views”!
Researchers cannot be evaluated by any automatic objective measurement. Fair, agreeable and infallible OBJECTIVE measures have never existed.

I don’t trust the universities who are using IMACT FACTOR for evaluation of academic achievement performance. The universities should self-govern themselves by their views and visions which lead their members to work harder their REAL IMPACT on business, industry and welfare toward happiness of supporting people.
Thus, the evaluation should be high-minded subjective.


A Book was translated to Chinese.

Last month, I got an e-mail from John Wiley and Sons that told me Chinese translation of my book was newly published in China. That made me a bit surprise since it was my first experience and I had not anticipated such a chance.

The original book entitled Next Generation Mobile Systems: 3G & Beyond , which I edited in 2004, San Jose California has been being priced at $130.00 and sold more than 10,000 copies. I'm not sure of the exact number; presumably it was between 10,0000 and 20,000. The point which I'd like to note here is that the figures are much more than a typical average number of technical books being sold in Japanese. A Japanese well-known publisher told me that the market size of Japanese technical books was so small in comparison with books written in English. A typical number of Japanese books is about 1,000 or less. The publisher added one advice that authors who were going to publish technical books had to push out the books by marketing those through their organizations such as companies and universities. That implies every professor has to sell his/her books by designating those as text books in the lectures.

Japanese as minority in technical publication will be a serious issue in Japan, the country that has a mid-size market in the world. The size is unsatisfactory, and between self-satisfactory and English-dominated. The more English is used for global publication, The less countries' original languages are used. German is an example, where you can't find German academic papers in information technologies. Let's flip the coin there. Good news for German is that they have been globalized as Singapore, Scandinavian, and others. China can survive on their own language for a while because of their large volume of the market in publication.

The translation which I introduce here symbolizes "English As a Lingua Franca" and "Chinese As another Lingua Franca."

Anyway, I may publish my lecture note as a text book soon. The language is firstly in Japanese ...


New Year's Day

I've started this blog today, and this is my memorial posting. For most of Japanese, new year's day is something special for which we commonly put a wish list, say -20Lbs diet or quit-smoking.
On new year's day, I put not so special but a gentle wish list. That includes "making a good research" and "keeping work-out." For the latter wish, I took a bicycle ride for one hour, 30Km (20 miles) around Tokyo Bay along Route 357. The picture on thetop was taken from Yokohama side to view Chiba Prefecture and the bottom one was to view Yokohama Hakkei Ireland. It was one of chilly cold winter days , 5 degree in Celsius though, I enjoyed riding.

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