Frontier of
Embodiment Informatics:
ICT and Robotics

Top Global University Project: Waseda Goes Global - A Plan to Build a
Worldwide Academic Network that is Open, Dynamic and Diverse

Takao KIMURA

Portrait Visiting period December 2017 to January 2018
Visiting university University of California, Davis (UC Davis)
Visiting country and region California, USA

Content of the study program

Thanks to the Top Global University (SGU) Project, I was able to study for four weeks at UC Davis in California, America. During my stay, I was attached to the laboratory of Prof. Sato in the Department of Pharmacology where I researched simulation of the heart.

Study results

On my first day, I gave a presentation on my research in Japan to the other students in the lab. The presentation of my research to English native speakers with entirely different background knowledge was extremely high in difficulty, but was a good experience.

In terms of my research I conducted simulations by computing numerical values for the action potential of myocardial cells. Since I do not have the opportunity to use programming in my own research, this area of my work was a large hurdle, but I did the research under the guidance of Prof. Sato. On this occasion, I focused on feedback control in pacing for arrhythmia in the myocardial tissue, and succeeded in suppressing the arrhythmia in simulation. Through this, I was able to obtain new data that will be usable in future pacemakers.

My experience abroad

This period studying abroad was my first long-term stay overseas. I had heard that Davis, California is a very safe region in America; it was the ideal environment for me to pursue a lifestyle on my own in another country, without actually being embroiled in trouble during my stay. I felt a notable difference in the growth of my English ability, due to communicating in English within a native environment, where there is nobody to rely upon in my daily life. I think this lifestyle, of cooking for myself in a place overseas that I did not know, led to significant personal growth for me. Since the weekends were a break from research, I took short sightseeing trips to cities like San Francisco and Sacramento.

Influence on my future career

Through this short period studying abroad, my aspiration to work overseas in the future grew stronger. There were many situations in my life as an exchange student, where I felt impatient that I could not get across what I wanted to say when communicating with others. Because of this, I sensed the necessity of learning more English. I want to improve my English ability little-by-little regularly, and would like to study abroad one more time in the English-speaking world during my time as a student.

Other comments

I am truly grateful for the support I received on this occasion under the study abroad program. I think there are many students who, like me, although they want to study abroad, they are worried about financial issues. Living as a researcher overseas, I came face to face with problems in a variety of areas that I would never have experienced in Japan, not only in relation to studying English, and this led to growth and development. Personally, I felt that if one has a chance to study abroad, however small, one should proactively face that challenge.