Lectures at Graduate School, Osaka University

I am teaching a technical course at the graduate school of computer science of Osaka University. The course details are described by my lecture notes http://micketoh.web.fc2.com/lecture_notes.htm (English lectures will be available upon your request.)
Jan. 29th was the last day of the class. That means I completed three-day lectures for FY2008 program. As you can see at the notes, my lectures consist of 1. technology and application trends in mobile communication, 2. mobile network architecture, 3. mobile internet, 4. servers in light of Google platform, 5. energy consumption issues in green IT development, 6. multimedia coding technologies including audio and video coding standards,7. international standardization organization inside and outside, 8. handset architecture, 9. AAA (Authentication, Authorization, Accounting)in mobile communication, 10. near field communication for e-commerce, 11. location oriented services, and 12. search technologies. The amount of the contents might go longer than 12-day-long lectures.
For example, my lecture of “multimedia coding technologies including audio and video coding standards” originally requires three days, while AAA in mobile communication may require also more than three days since it needs students to understand cipher technologies, PKI(public key infrastructure), challenge-and-response, etc. I squeezed the total contents into 1/10, which is a huge compression ratio in lectures. My students had a tough time in cramming the contents, where a new topic was discussed every single hour.

Here is a few parting thoughts.
I focused on explicitly teaching how to get onto real and real practical research topics by taking good examples in mobile communication area, and tried to attract the needs of the advanced students. “Research for research” in other words “artificially created research activity just for academic papers” has been completely out of scope of my lectures. So far, I am not sure how it worked.

The other thing is to realize the students importance of predicting the future. That is not an easy job or a task doable through the Google search engine which explores the world-wide archives. This is because future prediction has not been written yet. And only experts who are knowledgeable with insights in market demands and technology trends can do that.
In 2006, I predicted, together with my colleagues, the ways of news papers and CD deliveries would be replaced by another way with mobile communication in 2012.

The technology enablers are 3G Long Term Evolution(3G LTE) broadband wireless and display technologies. Here is a sign of that trend. An ipod software shows me a nation-wide news paper every morning with no charge. At this moment, that content delivery has been enabled by WiFi and ipod-touch though, the future eventually come around us (see also http://en.j-cast.com/2008/12/29032905.html).
The future is at the next corner.


High School Class Reunion Party

My new year started with a high-school class reunion party on January 3rd at Himeji Castle Hotel. Thirty years have passed since we left Tatsuno High School, where it had 10 classes at each grade, and 450 students, of which I was one. One hundred fifty old boys and girls out of 450 (which is 1/3 participation ratio) plus our former teachers got together and enjoyed the party. The details are posted on a blog site (unfortunately in Japanese) by party organizers at http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/tatsuno_31s.

Thirty years have carved out several figures:
1. Our teachers have retired or are getting retired soon in a few years. They were younger, at that time, than the old boys and girls in 2009. That reminds me to think about that our days are being counted.
2. Generally speaking, it seems boys have got older in their appearance (say, spare tire, lower belly, or losing hairs) than girls. Boys’ fatal disadvantage is that they (including myself) can’t use cosmetics! Let me point out that girls cannot decorate their tone of voices. The tone of voices in 1979 was of high-keys!
3. I forgot many old girls who were next-door neighbors. It was a shame on my memories.

I really enjoyed chatting with my old friends, by recalling back episodes in my high-teen period. It was a fun and also a kind of bitter chocolate taste.

Apart from that main topic, I’ve got one observation on our communication structure.
Here in Japan, we don’t have a nation wide social network system (SNS) like Facebook in spirit of “connecting and networking the people in general.” In Tokyo area, around 30 (out of 450) high-school graduates are registered to a mailing list and using it for communication in our daily life. The entire connections of our old boys and girls, however, have not been well-organized yet so far. Of course, we are connected by high-speed optical wired networks and broadband wireless networks with cellular phones. The issue is a lack of application-layer communication organizing system. SNSs are very popular for younger generation, say generations X and Y. The coverage is limited for elders. The communication structure can be improved further by introducing a facebook-like communication organizer. Here is a good research topic to tackle.
Related to this topic, I had an interview from a tech writer last year. The interview was well summarized into the communications of the ACM 2008 December issue.
See, for your information, http://mags.acm.org/communications/200812/?pg=20


Nara in December

Before getting started with my New Year’s post, let me summarize my favorite places which I visited in 2008.

One of favorite places is Nara, which doesn’t mean “United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)” but stands for “the City” in ancient Japanese, and that was the ancient capital of Japan around the 8th century.

Most of us know “Kyoto” as for the Japan’s ancient capital and that 2nd oldest capital is very popular amongst Tokyoite and foreigners. My spirit of perversity, however, makes me prefer Nara to Kyoto. I love “Nara-machi” (old downtown of Nara) very much.

Thanks to US Air Force decision on indiscriminate bombing over Japan’s cities, Nara as well as Kyoto were off-sighted. Those cities haven’t been bombed and those were allowed to preserve over-1000 years heritage.

Evening around Koufuku-temple complex was quiet and peaceful. None could make

break that silence. The full-moon casted the shadow of the temple on the famous pond, “Sarusawano-Ike.”

Here are a couple of Japanese restaurants. One is “Mangyoku”, a Restaurant near Sarusawa Pond and the other is “Kura.” When I was working at ATR, I did bar-hopping so often in Nara-machi. Believe me that those serve traditional Japanese cuisine with good Sake.

(above, Mangyoku outlook)

(above, Kura)

Sake reminds me another restaurant located in Fushimi (just between Nara and Kyoto).

Torisei, that is a kind of tied-house which serves fresh Sake pumped directly from sake brewery tanks and Chicken BBQ.


Nara is not only the city of so-called big temples but also the city of restaurants in the old historic town ,Nara-machi. See also http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~naramachiwalk/

The city was not so commercialized nor popularlized like Kyoto. Thus, the city preserves their uniqueness in terms of peaceful atmosphere.