Japan is a country of contrasts: from the breathtaking natural beauty of Hokkaido to the frenetic sprawl of the Tokyo megalopolis; from the centuries-old tradition of Japanese calligraphy to the quirky humor of Anime; from kimono-wearing women to purple-haired punk rockers; and from world-leading electronic gadgetry to hand-made porcelain. Japan provides something unexpected at every turn.
Students at the Japan Project Center conduct their projects at either Osaka University or Ritsumeikan University, two of Japan’s leading universities. The city of Osaka is located in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu and is Japan’s third largest city. Filled with business, food, and entertainment venues, as well as historic and cultural attractions, Osaka offers an eclectic mix of old and new.
Osaka is located within an hour of several other major cities: Kyoto, the "heart of Japan" that boasts many important cultural sites; Kobe, a harbor town with an interesting flavor; and Nara, a center of commerce and government.
Projects run from about mid-June through A-Term, so students spend about four months abroad. This gives participants a much richer experience in Japan and ensures that teams have sufficient time to produce outstanding work. The first part of the project is considered an internship, while the actual MQP takes place during A-Term.
Admission to the CS/IMGD MQP Program in Kansai is based on the following criteria: academic standing and performance, evidence of maturity and independence, qualifications relevant to the anticipated projects, faculty references, and an interview. Interested students are also strongly encouraged to learn some elementary Japanese, although language proficiency is not required.
Projects involve work in areas of interactive information systems (e.g., public displays) and other cybermedia applications and are conducted within various departments at the university. Some past examples:
Artwork for a Casual Sports Game - Creating art assets for a casual sports video game for a Kyoto-based game company Smartphones interaction on public displays - Exploring interactive uses of public displays for international communication using mobile devices as controllers Gaming apps - Creating a smartphone app that enables interactive game play based on a pedometer application