April 11, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 13

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    University welcomes TTI information science program

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    President Randel (left to right) and TTI President Mitsuru Nagasawa sign an agreement officially sealing a joint collaboration between the Toyota Technical Institute of Nagoya, Japan, and the University. TTI will create a Computer Science Information Department on the University’s campus in the University Press Building. TTI will offer classes beginning in fall 2003. David Oxtoby, Dean of the Physical Sciences Division, reviews the agreement.

    Toyota Technological Institute of Nagoya, Japan, will create a department of information science on the University campus that will begin offering classes in fall 2003, officials at the two universities have announced. The TTI program will be separate from but affiliated with the University’s Computer Science Department.

    “The University is tremendously excited to be part of this collaborative relationship with TTI,” said David Oxtoby, Dean of the Physical Sciences Division. “It will increase the critical mass of computer science activity on campus and lead to valuable joint research and teaching opportunities. Our own program will benefit greatly from the international component introduced through TTI. We look forward to a very close relationship in the future.”

    TTI selected Chicago over Stanford University, Caltech, the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego.TTI President Mitsuru Nagasawa, who worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Chemistry at the University from 1959 to 1961, commented on the partnership: “The University is surely one of the leading universities in the world that deserves to be called ŽUniversity,’ and we look forward to building on the success of TTI in Japan with this partnership. I believe we can learn many things through this cooperation, not only in computer science but also in the philosophies for education and research.”

    TTI, one of Japan’s leading technological universities, was established in 1981 through an endowment from the Toyota Motor Corp. Currently on the Nagoya campus, 79 faculty members offer programs in materials science and engineering, mechanical systems engineering, and electronics and information science to 320 undergraduates and 84 graduate students.

    The Japanese institute will set aside a fund of $100 million for its new Computer Science Department in Chicago, and the interest accrued from this will be used exclusively for the new department. TTI expects to begin with an enrollment of 10 master’s degree students annually from Japan and to eventually develop a Ph.D. program with a faculty of 30. The faculty’s research and teaching interests will include theoretical computer science, computational geometry, learning theory, languages, databases and large-scale scientific simulation.

    The University will lease space to TTI in the University Press Building at 1427 E. 60th St. for its operations and provide networking, library privileges and other infrastructure support.

    The University and TTI plan to discuss a possible student interchange. If both sides reach an agreement, graduate students from each institution will be eligible to take classes offered by the other institution. There also may be jointly offered classes that are cross-listed at both institutions, with staffing subject to the approval of each department.