名大おめでとう!

October 21, 2014 1:00 pm JST
The golden age of Nagoya University?
YOSHIO NAGATA, Nikkei senior staff writer, and WATARU NAKAGAWA, Nikkei staff writer

TOKYO/NAGOYA -- Nagoya University has been propelled into the limelight after two of its professors, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, won this year's Nobel Prize in physics for their work on blue light-emitting diodes.
The university has produced six Nobel winners in the science categories, the third most in Japan behind Kyoto University and University of Tokyo.
     Nagoya University was the last of Japan's seven "former imperial universities" to be founded. Its name is not as widely recognized as some of Japan's other prestigious universities. But people in Nagoya believe the institution's golden age has arrived.
Campus celebrations
A banner congratulating the professors hangs from the Akasaki Institute at Nagoya University.  The institute, which is named after the Nobel winner, also includes a gallery outlining Akasaki's history.
     Higashiyama Campus, which is part of Nagoya University, also houses an exhibition room commemorating Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa's Nobel Prize win for physics in 2008 and Osamu Shimomura's Nobel Prize win for chemistry in 2008. The three are all special professors at Nagoya University. The Noyori Materials Science Laboratory, named after Ryoji Noyori, the 2001 Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, is also on campus. Noyori is now the president of Riken, Japan's largest research institution.
     Excluding Yoichiro Nambu and Shuji Nakamura, who both have U.S. citizenship, Japan has so far produced 17 Novel Prize laureates in the science sphere. Eleven of the 17 laureates won the awards in the 21st century, six of them having either graduated from Nagoya University or engaged in research there.
     Nagoya University is the leading academic institution in the Chubu region. But its name is not widely recognized nationally. Nearly 80% of Nagoya University graduates are from the four Tokai region prefectures -- Aichi, Gifu, Mie and Shizuoka.
     Many wonder how Nagoya University has achieved so much.
Free atmosphere
Nagoya University "was free and open-minded, young faculty members and students engaged in research activities together from the same perspective," Maskawa said, recalling his early days at the school.
     Maskawa's supervisor at Nagoya University was professor Shoichi Sakata, a graduate of Kyoto University and a disciple of Hideki Yukawa, who won the 1949 Nobel Prize in physics. According to Maskawa, Sakata was not swayed by fads. He eventually came up with an internationally recognized new theory. This kind of approach has become a tradition at Nagoya.
     Riken President Noyori joined Nagoya as an associate professor after working at Kyoto as an instructor. He also said that a "fresh and free" atmosphere prevailed at Nagoya University.
     "I was surprised by [Nagoya's] differences with Kyoto, which was very strict about relations between seniors and juniors," Noyori said.
Treasure trove of talent
Nagoya University was established in 1939 with generous government support. Universities founded after the end of World War II did not receive such assistance.
     The new establishment needed to recruit competent faculty members from other universities during the chaotic days immediately after the end of the war. This led to the creation of a free atmosphere without little time for cliques and rigid hierarchy.
     The Medici family of Italy invited many talented people from various fields to Florence in the 15th century, making significant contributions to the Renaissance. Michinari Hamaguchi, Nagoya University President, said a phenomenon similar to the "Meinci effect" is happening at his place of work.
     Nagoya University has maintained a healthy level of fundraising while providing a free atmosphere for researchers. "Talented people have gathered and competed for better results," Hamaguchi said. "This has resulted in accomplishments for which the Nobel Prize was awarded."
     Hamaguchi also said that the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Amano, an incumbent professor, "proved that the long-standing tradition [at Nagoya University] carries on today."
     The Chubu region is home to many competitive manufacturers, including Toyota Motor. Many business leaders graduated from Nagoya University. Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, commonly known as Keidanren, who also serves as chairman of Toray Industries, is a graduate.

The original article can be accessed here

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Waktu baca berita kalo Nagoya University dapet Nobel Prize tahun 2014 untuk penemuan Blue LED rasanya kaget banget. Itu kan lampu biru yang nempel di Toyoda Hall yang mesti kita liat kalo lewat gedung itu. Seketika pertanyaan yang muncul di kepala adalah "bikin lampu aja bisa dape Nobel?" hahaha ini pertanyaan orang yang emang nggak tau pentingnya lampu itu. Katanya sih Blue LED itu lebih efisien energi, lebih murah, dan bisa memproduksi kualitas cahaya yang lebih baik. Tapi saya nggak akan membahas lebih jauh tentang ini karena saya nggak punya ilmu yang cukup buat menjelaskannya. Intinya penemuan itu penting banget *katanya*.
Jujur dengan adanya Nobel Prize ini bikin saya lebih bangga lagi bisa menjadi bagian dari almamater Nagoya University. Sebelumnya Nagoya University memang sudah punya 4 pemegang Nobel Prize *saya juga baru tau setelah masuk disini* dan Nobel taun ini menambah daftar pemegang gelar bergengsi bagi scientist tersebut menjadi totalnya 6 orang. Nggak nyangka ternyata universitas saya sekeren ini haha boleh ya bangga dikit. Karena saya masuk sini sebenarnya hanya karena disini ada program internasionalnya dan saya hanya keterima disini tanpa tau sebagus apa universitas ini :p Setelah saya keterima disini, saya baru tau kalo Nagoya University itu salah satu dari 7 Imperial Universities nya Jepang, yang katanya 7 universitas itu adalah universitas negeri ternama di Jepang. 
Kadang sedih juga soalnya kalo ditanya sama temen atau saudara sekarang kuliah dimana? Kalo saya jawab di Nagoya University kebanyakan dari mereka nggak tau. Wajar sih soalnya orang Indonesia umumnya cuma tau kalo yang paling bagus itu Tokyo University. Padahal bagi orang Jepang kalo udah bisa masuk ke salah satu dari 7 universitas tersebut berarti hebat banget. Saya baru sadar disini kalo orang Jepang tau saya kuliah di Meidai (kependekan dari Nagoya University) mereka kayak muji gitu dan menurut saya itu berlebihan. Makanya saya selalu bilang kalo saya itu beruntung banget bisa kuliah disini. Dan memang alhamdulillah suatu keberuntungan yang besar saya diberi kesempatan bisa masuk disini. Meski tetep Meidai mungkin nggak sekeren Harvard atau Oxford ya hehe.
Kadang kebanggaan itu yang menghapus rasa iri dan sedih saya (dan mungkin teman-teman seperjuangan disini) kalo melihat temen-temen yang kuliah di Indonesia. Contoh simpelnya disini nggak ada jas almamater sedangkan di Indonesia mahasiswa-mahasiswa bangga banget pake jasa almamaternya masing-masing. Dan yang paling bikin iri adalah acara wisuda di Indonesia itu mesti heboh. Coba liat wisudaan di kampus saya, yaa jauh banget lah hebohnya yang ada rasanya cuma formalitas. Belum lagi kita mahasiswa asing yang keluarganya belum tentu bisa hadir waktu acara wisudaan. Tapi yang namanya rumput tetangga selalu lebih hijau, kalo mbandingin kayak gini terus nggak bakal ada habisnya. Padahal bisa kuliah di Jepang itu sesuatu yang harus disyukuri banget kan? Banyak orang yang mau kuliah disini tapi belum diberi kesempatan. Toh pengalaman yang didapat disini juga berbeda dari pengalaman temen-temen yang kuliah di Indonesia. Kembali lagi semua ada hal positif dan negatifnya masing-masing.
Oh iya menyorot tentang Nobel Prize, kayaknya gelar ini sangat dielu-elukan oleh para ilmuwan. Nggak tau kenapa hampir semua dosen saya mesti menyinggung tentang Nobel prize ini. Kayak  kalo bisa dapet Nobel itu kebanggan tertinggi mereka gitu. Makanya sering banget mereka ngomporin kita biar bisa jadi ilmuwan yang hebat dan dapet Nobel. Kadang saya bertanya-tanya sendiri mereka ini neliti untuk kemajuan umat manusia atau hanya untuk dapet penghargaan? Saya sih kayaknya nggak tertarik buat jadi ilmuwan jadi mungkin saya nggak bisa dapet Nobel ya(?)
Terakhir, ada satu spot favorit saya namanya rumput Toyoda Hall. Menurut saya ini rumput bagus banget, hijau, dan rasanya menenangkan. Kalo duduk atau tiduran disini bisa liat langit Jepang yang biru dan luas, kayak lukisan tanpa kehalang bangunan apapun. Mungkin ini salah satu hal yang bakal saya kangenin selama saya kuliah di Nagoya University. 

Rumput Toyoda Hall
cc: Master fotografinya Nagoya


Once more congrats Meidai! 

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