Toshihiro Ashino: Small and Feasible Data for the Big Data Era

This is the sixth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Toshihiro Ashino is a new candidate seeking election to the CODATA Executive Committee, although he has been strongly involved in a number of CODATA activities.  He is nominated by the Japanese CODATA National Committee.

img00375Academic and Research Experience

First, I am now a professor at Toyo University and Chair of the General Regional Studies Program, a member of the Centre of Computational Mechanics Research at Toyo University and a member of theScience Council of Japan subcommittee on CODATA.

I have been involved in research and development of materials databases and materials data sharing since 1985. I led the materials data sharing platform project from 2006 to 2007 in collaboration with NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science, Japan) and AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan), who are maintaining world famous, high-quality and comprehensive materials databases, and continuously collaborating with them for dissemination and enhancement of materials databases.

In Japan, a new national research program which introduces information technology into structural materials design have been started. I’m participating in a materials integration subgroup which tackles integration of materials databases, empirical rules and computational methods. To this subgroup, I will contribute system design and materials data representation for data exchange among software modules.

My participation in CODATA

I organized a session on materials data at the CODATA Conference in Beijing, 2006. On the basis of this, Professor Laura Bartolo and I proposed the CODATA Task Group for Exchangeable Materials Data Representation to Support Scientific Research and Education, which was approved by the CODATA General Assembly after the Conference. I co-chaired this task group from 2006 to 2012, and during this period, organized international workshops at New Delhi and Kiev, as well as several sessions at CODATA conferences. I am now participating in this task group and joint Interest Group with RDA (Research Data Alliance) as a member from Japan.

I have also assisted the CODATA Data Science Journal to start its service on J-Stage as a Publication Board member and now also an Editorial Board member.

For a bright future for CODATA

Recently, materials informatics – as a new approach to improve new materials development – is emerging and materials data sharing is increasing in importance. I am playing a leadership role in this field in Japan. CODATA can play major role with RDA and with other national and international organizations and I will try to reinforce these important relationships and collaborations for CODATA.

Also, CODATA has helped promote the availability of fundamental data for the science/engineering community for a long time. Since huge measured data can be easily obtained and many heterogeneous data items are linked each other on the Web, it is becoming difficult to identify evaluated and reliable data among them. All measured data should be confirmed in the context of highly evaluated and feasible values, this reference data is small but requires considerable investment and maintenance by skilled experts. These tasks require long term experience and international recognition in order to provide these fundamentals as Linked Open Data. CODATA has both these attributes and can play an important role. I would like to try to establish the fundamentals by which CODATA can ensure the reliability of all measured data made available as LOD.