vol. 66 | iTHES

Vol. 66, February 2nd, 2015


  • Announcement
  • Upcoming Events
  • Person of the week
  • Visitors

Person of the week

Ayaka Sakata and Yoshiyuki Kabashima


Replica Symmetric Bound for Restricted Isometry Constant

From the Office

The office of iTHES assistant, Ms.Chikako Oota is situated at the second floor of the main research building, room # 246. The extension number is 3261. She will be at the office from 10 a.m. to 16 p.m.


What is High-Impact-Factor Syndrome (HIFS)

There is an interesting article on HIFS published in the APS (American Physical Society) News last year (vol.23, no.10, 2014) http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201411/backpage.cfm

Here is a tip against HIFS taken from this article:

Renew your commitment to effective scientific communication. When writing a research paper, first decide on the style and format you think most effective for communicating to the audience you want to reach, and only then think about a journal that publishes the style you have adopted and reaches your desired audience. If you are a mentor, teach this approach to your students and postdocs. When they ask, “How can we get this paper into Nature Physics or PRL?” your reply should be, “How can we most effectively communicate our results to the research community?”

When evaluating candidates for positions, promotions, and prizes or awards, commit to a technically informed evaluation of each candidate’s entire record. Object when HIFS is introduced as a proxy. Should you lack the technical background to judge research accomplishments, say so and find ways to obtain expert opinion ― letters of recommendation are, of course, a traditional way of doing that―rather than falling back on HIFS as a proxy.

When writing letters of recommendation, write a technically informed evaluation of a candidate’s capabilities and impact, including a description and evaluation of important research contributions. Do not fall back on HIFS as a proxy for research potential or impact. If you are a mentor, assure your students and postdocs that your letter for them will focus on accomplishments and contributions, not on the journals they have published in.

Educate administrators that the HIF shortcut, though not devoid of information, is only marginally useful. For any scientist, junior or senior, an evaluation of research potential and accomplishment requires a careful consideration of the scientist’s entire record. A good administrator doesn’t need to be taught this, so this might be a mechanism for identifying and weeding out defective administrators.

If you are a senior or mid-career scientist who advertises yourself by categorizing your publications in terms of HIF journals, stop doing that. This only invites others to value and use HIFS. If you want to draw attention to the citation record of your publications, set up a Web of Science Researcher ID and/or a Google Scholar profile, and let the record speak for itself.

Help the public-relations people at your institution to identify and publicize important research contributions, independent of where they are published. Object if your institution uses publication in HIF journals as a filter to determine which research contributions are important enough to be publicized.

Take a look at the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) [http://am.ascb.org/dora/] which is aimed directly at combating HIFS. Consider adopting its principles and signing the declaration yourself. DORA comes out of the biosciences; signing might help bioscientists put out the fire that is raging through their disciplines and could help to prevent the smoldering in physics from bursting into flame.

Include in ads for positions at your institution a standard statement along the following lines: “Number of publications in high-impact-factor journals will not be a factor in assessing research accomplishments or potential.”

Adopting this final recommendation would send an unambiguous message to everybody concerned: applicants, letter writers, evaluators, and administrators. Making it a commonplace could, I believe, actually change things.

Dr. Maria G. Dainotti who is an ithes associate and has been an very active participant of the ithes activities (seminars, colloquiums, coffee-meetings etc), is now leaving for Stanford Univ. as a Marie Curie Fellow. The photo was taken at the time of her farewell speech in the ithes coffee meeting on Jan.30, 2015. Congratulations, Maria !? We all hope that you will have a wonderful time in the west coast, and will visit us again in the near future.

Upcoming Events

The 4th iTHES Academic-Industrial Lecture:
Feb. 2 (Mon) 3pm-5pm
"How Google Translates" (in English)
by Dr. Hideto Kazawa (Google, Senior Engineering Manager)
1. An inside look at Google's Research
2. How Machines Translate
Place: Large conference room, 2nd floor of the RIBF building


Feb.3 (Tues.) 14:00-
Place: Suzuki Umetaro Hall, Wako Campus
Speaker: Prof. M. Mimura (Meiji Univ.)
Title: "Transient Self-Organization: Closed Systems vs. Open systems of Reaction and Diffusion"

We will have an iTHES Seminar by Prof. M. Mimura (Meiji Univ.)
He is a mathematician who has been trying to bridge
the phenomena in the real world and mathematics.
Before starting his lecture from 15:00, we will have three short talks
by the ithes researchers. All the talks are in Japanese this time.

14:00-14:15 M. Taki (ithes-phys)
14:15-14:30 H. Ueda (ithes-cond)
14:30-14:45 Y. Hayakawa (ithes-bio)
14:45-15:00 break
15:00- Prof. M. Mimura

iTHES Seminar
Feb.26 (Thurs.) 13:30-
H. Tsukaya (Univ. Tokyo)
"Unsolved enigmas on mechanisms of unifacial leaf morphogenesis" (in Japanese)
Place: RIKEN Wako Campus, Bioscience building S406

iTHES international workshop
April 7 - 10, 2015
iTHES-NCBS 2nd Joint Meeting on "Theoretical Biology"
Venue: RIKEN Wako Campus
A. Mochizuki (ithes-bio), Y. Sugita (ithes-bio), T. Hatsuda (ithes-phys), M.Thattai (NCBS)
Contact: A. Mochizuki (mochi@riken.jp)
Sponsors: RIKEN iTHES and Simons Centre at NCBS (http://theory.ncbs.res.in/)

Person of the week

"Replica Symmetric Bound for Restricted Isometry Constant"
Ayaka Sakata and Yoshiyuki Kabashima

We develop a method for evaluating restricted isometry constants (RICs), which give sufficient conditions for the reconstruction of sparse signals in underdetermined linear system. The problem is reduced to the identification of the zero-points of entropy (complexity) of eigenvalues defined for submatrices that are composed of columns selected from a given measurement matrix. The figure shows an example of complexity curve and RIC is given by the zero-point. Our result is consistent with exchange Monte Carlo sampling denoted by circles.


Prof. Adam Miranowicz (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)
Quantum Information, Quantum and Atom Optics, Nanoscience, Entanglement Theory, Non-classicality
January 10th to March 10th, 2015.
Main Research Building 3F, room 308 (ex. 3352).