Become a doctor to improve the flow of things. Become a doctor to improve the flow of things.

Become a doctor to improve the flow of things.

Yuri Nishikawa, a researcher of the Advanced Research Division, told us that she got highly motivated when being asked to do research related to social needs. She is currently working on new business applications using high performance computing environments that can be applied to the continuously expanding data and advancing AI algorithms. Her motto since entering the company is “bridge”. Her goal of AI research is to visualize and optimize the flow of people, things, and information by connecting them. She works like a doctor to improve the flow.

Analyzing peoples’ behaviors and interests at places where many people come form and go to, such as shopping centers, large warehouses, and stadiums, helps create a strategic analysis for companies and improve work efficiency. Her most important challenge is to use AI for her work. The more people gather and the wider the space becomes; the bigger computational data becomes. Therefore, when analyzing it, minimizing errors and delays by using graph theory including parallel computing will be required.

Interview scene

Never change what you really are.

She liked using computers and wanted to know its function and mechanism. Having such a thought, she devoted herself to study high performance computing environments and computer architecture at her university and went for a master degree. The reason why she looked for a job instead of staying at the university laboratory was that she wanted to challenge herself to see how well she could do at a company. Although she had the impression that Panasonic, which her university classmate entered before her, covers a wide range of businesses and offers a variety of research areas, she was undecided about what to do there.

However, she is now delighted to see that her research topic gradually became clearer, like an image coming into focus, through discussions with researchers from different professions and staff from different positions. Although she sometimes feels challenged to focus on only one research topic, as she did at her university, as the company changes its strategy or conducts job rotations, she believes that this is her opportunity to think what she should change and what should not as changing needs over time. She can realize the unchanged nature of her goal by riding different waves of changes.

Interview scene

Awareness derives from communication.

Her research goal is to discover tacit knowledge from the flow of people and things. For example, while we are facing a labor shortage in several industry sectors, many skilled engineers are going to retire soon. She thinks that if we can analyze their movements and clarifying differences between skilled and unskilled engineers, we can pass down their professional techniques to the next generation. These techniques have been handed down in a nonverbal manner like “Learn by looking at the back of the expert” and “Copy the expert to obtain their techniques” until now.

She was asked what kind of researcher she wanted to become when entering the company and replied that she wanted to become a bridge between users and research. For that, she values communication with others. Ideas sometimes ring your bell or flash through your mind through discussions. If you can increase such opportunities, you will be able to aware of what is required or what is your goal. She thinks how complicated and difficult some part of systems engineering becomes when involving humans. However, she believes that challenges will inspire attractiveness. With the spirit of inquiry, she discusses with her colleagues over and over today.