Units?

In order to graduate a university, that is, to be certificated that one has been in that University enough educated, one has to be certificated that he has been in required lectures educated.

To certificate a student, the faculty gives him sorts of scores for each lecture.
This scores have a unit named in Japanese “units .”
For example, a lecture of Math for 90 minutes once a week corresponds to “2 units”.
An experimental education or 3 hours once a week corresponds to “4 units”.
If a students writes a thesis, he gets “6 units.”

There is a required amount of “units” to complete each university.
Thus it’s so complicated to explain how to study in a japanese university.

Reports?

Oooo I have been so long apart from this blog.
July was a good tough month for me.
I had a deadline for my next book and two documents for the lectures, which I take in the University.

Let’s talk about the documents, which I have noted above.
There are often some documents, which we, those who learn at Universities, call “reports”.
In a lecture the professor gives the students one or more questions and asks each of them to write his answer into a document.
Each students hands it to the professor, and from it the professor judges whether the student understand his lecture good or not.
The act of handing a report for the above reason we call “to submit a report to the professor.”

This education system in Universities may not be particular within Japan, but I don’t know an exact name in English.
“To submit a report” sounds like such an act that a researcher reports his result to a corresponding organization or something, doesn’t it?

Feed Forward

It is the topic of a lecture “Mechatronics” last week, about “feed forward system”
Now “feed back system” is very popular. Feed forward is a simpler system, which had been the only system of controllers, before a feed back systemappeared.

What is feed a forward system? The answer is, there’s no feed back.
The input is not changed with the output.
It is not flexible, sometimes dangerous if it includes heat , chemical reaction etc.
But it is simple.

Think about a driver pushing the pedal to accelerate his car.
Let θ to be the angle of pedal and v to be the velocity of the car.

The professor drew on the blackboard, a curve of change in v (vertical axis) with change in θ (horizontal axis), as the specification of the car in question.
Then he asked:

“If the driver controls his car in a feed forward system, what curve between v and θ should be drawn in his brain, in contrast to this curve for his car? ”

It seemed us to be a difficult question. No one could imagine it.

Then he drew another curve next to the original, and said, “It should be exactly the same. that means, the driver should know the spec of his car completely, in order to control it without a mistake.”

Oh yes, that’s right.

Moreover converted the graph, which had been in v(output)- θ(input) form, to θ(output)-v(input) form. “Actually the driver will think, how much θ he should output, based on an information of v which input to him.”

Yes, I understood how important it is to ensure quantitatively or semi-quantitatively, what sewms at a glance so easy and spontaneous.

As a Japanese I like Japanese

I like to learn foreign language. Recently it seems me rather necessary.
On the other hand, I like my mother tongue Japanese too.
It’s a special language for me. For example, wrong written Japanese seems sometimes so humorous, while such English scarcely makes me smile. I don’t think to write wrong German deliberately, while I sometimes dare to change spells in Japanese just for fun.

Yesterday my sister, who is much talented to use Japanese, wrote me some stories, which were about mere trivial things in daily life, but were written just like in the manner of Stephen King.
No, in the manner of “typical Japanese translation of Stephen King’s novels”.
It made me “giggle like an idiot.” Japanese is special to me.

Japan will not forget the world

I don’t turn on TV. For everyday news I see several news sites on the web.
Today I found a news that young digital creators in US have a video for Japan.

Though the video itself was not streamed, there was an explanation of its story, in Japanese.
It said that the video was proposing to people who walking busy in the Times Square to stop for a minute to think about Japan.

The explanation was enough to lead tears out of my eyes.
How encouraging it was!

The authors of the video said, they wanted to tell the world doesn’t forget Japan, still after 4 months of the disaster.
Japan will not forget the world too.

Recently it is said that there could by big ones anytime anywhere in Japan.
But Japan should not be frightened. The world is watching us.
Our answer must be to build up again a country, which would be most robust against the earthquake.

Heat of summer? Oh, stop complaining that! The sunshine would destroy nothing (but ice cream or so).

Keep it cool

The rainy season is over.
Since morning we have the bright sunlight and heat.

But this city chigasaki is blessed with wind. Now it’s high noon but I can carry on without air conditioner, which would consume large electric power.
Even an electlic fan is not needed today – instead, I put a cooling bag on my back with a belt.
I can stop those machines to cool the air, but cannot stop cooling food – the refrigerator is always running. It keeps ice as frozen, too. Hence the power for the fridge would be more effectively used.

My neighbor from Philippine

It’s been more than 10 years, that a Philippine woman with her Japanese family lives in my next door.
For a long time I talked with her in Japanese, because she speaks it very well.
But recently I proposed to her to make conversation in English, every time we meet.

I have avoided in various reasons to use English towards her. One of the big reason were, I was afraid she would like use Japanese better. Some people says “When a Japanese meet with foreigner, he will run away, or make use of him as a free English teacher.” I had not wanted to be taken as the latter.

But now I have a strong motivation to learn English, and I told that to her.
She was much pleased and kindly agreed to me.
It is still difficult to me to arrange the words immediately. It would take time for me to get used to it.