Aiming to make Japan a software technology powerhouse through education

Today, all of the products around us―from electric products to automobiles and aircraft―are being operated by software, and software technologies form the basis for all industries. Yet Japan is experiencing a hollowing out of its industry, in contrast to China and India where the information technology sectors are developing rapidly. To deal with this situation, advanced-level training in IT is required, along with practical examples.

Software engineering education by fusing practice and theories

Recent years have seen a number of incidents in which defective software adversely affected our economic activities and social lives. On the one hand, software systems have grown in scale and complexity. Consequently, the need to build robust systems that are less prone to failure has grown. On the other hand, with mobile phones and other assembled equipment, significant restrictions are being placed on computer resources, demanding reductions in the lead time from development to product launch. This situation creates diverse technical conundrums. To solve them, education is being sought with a focus on the following:

  1. Practical case studies and drills that fit actual development sites, instead of small classroom exercises
  2. Study on software engineering theories based on leading-edge technologies and theories
  3. Technologies for modeling complex systems

Cultivating Top SEs and Top REs

GRACE Center aims to provide education that links the leading-edge software engineering technologies with practical knowledge and case studies in the workplace. Already, work has begun to train Top SEs, the people who resolve issues in the workplace by applying leading-edge theories, as well as Top REs, who are capable of developing leading-edge software engineering tools and configuring research theories through solutions-oriented joint research with enterprises.

The practical software engineering educational programs actually implemented include an educational program for cultivating advanced IT engineers (commonly known as Top SEs) and leader IT specialists, which were funded by the Science and Technology Promotion Adjustment Fund of MEXT. The teaching materials for these programs were developed jointly with other universities and corporations in Japan, dealing with issues that are actually being addressed in the workplace. The programs are also based on cutting-edge theories of advanced software engineering.

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