The Rigakubu News


Fascinated by the wonders of the Quantum World

Mio Murao(Professor, Department of Physics)

B.S., Physics, Ochanomizu University, 1991; Ph.D., Ochanomizu University, 1996; PD, Harvard University, 1996; Imperial College, UK, 1996-99. 1999, RIKEN. 2001, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 2015, Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo.

Q. What were your favorite subjects as a child?
A. Math and Science
When I was in the second grade, I lived in West Germany for a year due to my father's work and attended a local elementary school. Although I did not understand the language, I could understand math and science. I realized at an early age that math and science were universal, which made me like them even more.

Q. What were your interests in middle and high school?
A. Star Trek, Star Wars, sci-fi TV shows and movies.
I suppose I was interested in the above because I am a science-oriented person and get excited when I hear about space, science, and technology. I also wanted to become a calm and logical person like Spock from Star Trek.

Q. What is your motto?
A. Taking the road less traveled by / Find an undiscovered mountain and climb it
I seem to like doing things that others do not do. I like finding new mountains to climb rather than the crowded ones that everyone else is aiming for. That is the attitude I like to take toward my research as well.

Q. What are your hobbies?
A. Optimizing my environment.
I like optimizing storage systems and coming up with ideas for various efficiency improvements. My husband has pointed out that I should also optimize the time I spend on optimization, but I am not that concerned about that because optimization is my hobby.

Q. Do you consider yourself lucky?
A. I consider myself very lucky.
In the various phases of my life, I pursued in my research what "excited" me, not caring about precedents. Thanks to meeting wonderful people and a streak of coincidences, I ended up walking the path of a researcher. I am grateful to everyone.

Q. What your sources of inspiration?
A. Having discussions (and showers)
New ideas often emerge from discussions. Digressions often also lead to unexpected ideas. In my experience, thinking while shampooing my hair also led to breakthroughs on various occasions.

Message to all of us.

Let's a find new mountains to climb!



Published in the September 2023 issue of The Rigakubu News


Researchers in Science