Four HWIP Professors selected as Osaka University Distinguished Professors


On July 25, ten Osaka University faculty members were awarded the title of “Osaka University Distinguished Professor” in recognition of their contributions to the advancement of academic culture and achievements enhancing the university’s global competitiveness. Among the ten awardees were four faculty members affiliated with our program, as shown below.


Shojiro Nishio (Professor, Multimedia Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology)

Professor Nishio has made valuable contributions to society and economy, science and technology, education and research through his ongoing study of large-volume digital information processing. Within the university, he has played leadership roles in the 21st Century and Global COE programs and the Leading Graduate Course Doctoral Programs (Humanware Innovation Program), and served as a Trustee and Vice President, Dean of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Director of the Cyber Media Center, and Advisor to the President.

Keiichi Namba (Professor, Biophysics/Structural Biology, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences)

In recognition of his world-first explication of the stereostructure and functions of bio-supermolecules, in June 2012 Professor Namba was awarded the Imperial Prize and the Japan Academy Prize. He has worked on Osaka University’s 21st Century and Global COE programs and in a managerial role as the Dean of the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences.

Hiroshi Ishiguro (Professor, Robotics, Graduate School of Engineering Science)

Professor Ishiguro is the global pioneer of research on the interface of robots and humans, integrating robotics with such fields as cognitive science and art. His development of androids and robots for daily life applications is covered frequently by media outlets around the world. Furthermore, his research on simplified remote-controlled robots has been selected as a national research project in Denmark, a world-leader in the field of welfare services. Professor Ishiguro received the Osaka Cultural Award in 2011.  He was also the leader of a Global COE project at Osaka University that received the highest national evaluation as an “especially outstanding Center of Excellence.”

Fumio Otake (Professor, Labor Economics / Behavioral Economics, Institute of Social and Economic Research)

Professor Otake is one of Japan’s leading researchers in the fields of labor economics and public economics. In recognition of his landmark study of the causes of growing economic disparity, ageing and changes in household structure in 1980s-90s Japan (Nihon no fubyōdō: Kakusa shakai no gensō to mirai), Professor Otake was awarded the Japan Academy Prize in 2008. At Osaka University, he has held the positions of Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Director of the Office of Personnel and Labor Affairs, Advisor to the President, and Advisers to University trustees.