The system for tenure, or term of office of university teachers is discussed in Japan recently, but has not been fully introduced to the current regulations of each Japanese university. A member of teaching and/or research staff at Canadian universities should follow this system. The system for promotion is the same as that for tenure. Since one's life largely depends on personnel affairs, the assessor is requested to focus one's attention on the assessment very carefully.
The author has close relationship with Canada in research and teaching. For example, he had served Simon Fraser University at the west coast as an assessor of tenure and promotion as mentioned below, visited Regina University at central Canada as a member of the mission for sister universities agreement with Kyushu Institute of Technology, or organized as chairperson an international conference of Natural Language Processing (NLP) at Waterloo University surrounded by Lakes Heuron, Ontario and Erie. These interchanges with Canada in the past brought the role of assessor of Dalhousie University, which is located at the east coast.・ Assessor of tenure and promotion: Simon Fraser University, Canada, 1995
The author founded an international conference of NLP called PACLING in 1991. Its first conference was held at Vancouver. The researchers of the west coast, in particular, of Simon Fraser University supported the organization fully. Through this collaboration was invited he as an assessor of the university.・ Reviewer of research grants: International Human Frontier Program, France, 1993
It is a little hard to understand the activity of the program only from its name. In short, the aim is to promote, thorough international collaboration, basic research into the complex mechanisms of living organisms, including man, and to make the results of research available worldwide. Young researchers with original and creative idea or interdisciplinary research at the boundaries between disciplines are welcome.
Many languages are used in EU countries, and the research of automatic translation has been active. By the way, the secretariat of EU uses automatic translation system to assist human translation of formal documents. Japan was also active in this research, especially, the area of semantic processing of sentences as mentioned below. The author was requested to make assessment of the papers related to automatic translation.・ Assessor of research grants: Research Grants Committee, the Australian Research Council, 1989
When the author was in charge of chairperson of a technical committee of Institute of Engineers of Information, Electronics, and Communications, Japan, he started a program for continuous cooperation in the area of NLP, and organized a joint conference on it between Japan and Australia. NLP researchers of Australian universities, particularly University of Melbourne joined the program. Through this collaboration was asked the author to be an assessor in the area.
The Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, or the so-called kakenhi, of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MECSST) is one of the biggest grants for research activities of universities or research centers in Japan. The areas of research cover almost all the areas of science, and the amount for a grant-in-aid is generally from several hundred kilo-yen per year for a researcher to a few hundred million-yen per year for a big project. The source of income of a university, in particular, a national university, depends largely on how much the researchers will be able to receive the grants-in-aid.
A subcommittee makes assessment of an area. The author served the subcommittee of information science, being requested strictly to read and evaluate the papers submitted in a short time. The side of assessment must work hard as well as that of application.・ Trustee: The Kayamori Foundation of Informational Science Advancement, 1996−Present
This foundation aims at promoting information science in Japan. The major emphasis is to encourage those researches that are expected to be original and creative early in their stages. It was founded by MR. Shinji Kayamori in 1996, and MECSST is in charge of it. Many pioneers or forerunners of AI in Japan join its board of trustees, board of directors, and screening committee.
The boards make decision of grants for personal researches or support for domestic/international workshops based on the report of the screening committee. In addition to the formal discussions, the members sometimes have informal meetings, where they talk topics privately and exchange information each other. Thus, the meetings serve as "salon", and are useful for the smooth management of the foundation.・ Technical member: Screening Committee of Special Researcher, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1995−1997
The aim of this society is to promote science in Japan as its name shows: research grants will be awarded to researchers, scholarship will be available to young researchers, and support will be provided for workshops.
Many researchers apply for them every year, and the screening committees make assessment. Especially, that of special researcher screens the fellowship available to, early in their careers, researchers who are expected to play an important role in originating and pursuing creative research.
The title is so long that it may be hard for those who are not familiar with science to understand the activities. This council is the center of science in Japan, and in charge of MECCS. One of the biggest issues at the research and liaison committee in those days is for where Information Science and Technology(IST) is heading in near future. Most specialists believed that the computer will head for intelligence, but were not able to specify it. Thus, the committee of the fifteenth term decided to establish a working group (WG) for systematization of science of knowledge and arrangement of its curriculum
More than twenty brilliant researchers of AI were nominated for the WG, discussing and carrying out the given mission for two years. Eventually, several models for the knowledge system were proposed, and a detailed network interconnecting key words of knowledge or intelligent processing. Further, integrated curriculums of undergraduate and graduate courses were shown, too. The author was in charge of chair of the WG, guiding and promoting the WG.・ Member of planning and steering: International Exchange Center of Science and Technology, 1992−1993
The author made lectures of advanced AI technology to business people.・ Trustee of research and development: Japan Electronic Dictionary Institute, 1990−1995
To develop a system for NLP, e.g. automatic translation, electronic dictionaries which computers can read and process with programs should be developed first of all. The word processor got popular in those days, because many enterprises paid attention to automated office work. The program and dictionary for word processors, which can automatically convert kana letters to kanji&kana ones, had been developed.
The next generation electronic dictionary should be equipped not only with complicated grammatical information for the analysis of interconnection among words, but also with semantic information for that of meanings of words. This institute pushed on those research and development along the policy mentioned below. All the major computer makers in Japan joined it. The dictionaries developed includes a large amount of knowledge data as semantic information, and has served the research and development of NLP systems as infrastructure.
The board of trustees checked the processes and results of the research and development, giving them adequate advices from a special viewpoint. Thus, the advanced NLP technology of personal computers or portable phones today is based on hard research and development like this. By the way, these dictionaries made it possible for the first time to export information resources whose trade was almost one-sided from overseas to Japan in those days.・ Technical member: Committee of Policy of the Science and Technology Council, 1987−1988
This council was the center of science and technology in Japan, and the Agency of Science and Technology was in charge of it. The committee of policy discusses the promotion of science and technology: One of the biggest issues in those days was the improvement of NLP technologies, particularly processing of Japanese or English.
Technical members make assessment of specified projects. We evaluated an automatic translation system by Electro-Technical Laboratory and Kyoto University, offering a basic data to government for the promotion of NLP.
The city of Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture prospered by coal mines once. After the coal mines, any industry did not bring prosperity to the city. The Faculty of Computer Systems and Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology was established and located at Iizuka in 1986. The city expected new industry of information technology to grow up. Especially, the municipal authorities had great expectations for industry of new media, that is, computerized movies or animation, and set up a workshop to discuss the problem.
Professors of university, director of movie, specialists of TV and so on joined the workshop. Development of media contents, training of a media staff, etc. were discussed actively. However, the opinion of the workshop began to slightly differ from that of the municipal authorities as the discussion proceeded. Unfortunately, the conclusions of the workshop were not reflected to the activation programs of the city at last.
Both the municipal authorities and workshop members learned a lesson from this unpredictable result that it is inevitable to show the firm framework and mission before a workshop is set up.・ Technical member: the Saga Prefecture Liaison Conference of Making Research Projects into Practical Use, 1995−1996
Each prefecture has its own research projects which are likely to be made into practical use. This liaison committee shed light on such projects in Saga Prefecture, and sought for a way to make them into practical use. The author stated his opinions from the side of IST.