About Me

Now

Starting from the Fall semester of 2013, I've been teaching Japanese at MIT as a Senior Lecturer in Japanese.  I am responsible for shaping future direction of MIT's Japanese language program and tackling challenging questions such as how to integrate technology into language classes.  At the same time, I am working closely with Kanda University of International Studies in Japan to develop language learning applications using VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and MR (mixed reality) technologies.  See My Project page for more details on this.  Also, I am currently working on the NLP (natural language processing)/machine learning-related project called "AI (artificial intelligence) Language Tutor", in collaboration with Dr. Tetsuharu Takahashi from Fujitsu Lab, MIT Graduate Students, Alex Kimn and Yiqun Agnes Hu.  

Microsoft Research Period

In 1998, I began my career as a computational linguist at Microsoft Research.  Initially, I worked for their Natural Language Processing (NLP) group and participated in their online Japanese dictionary development.  I subsequently worked on the development of their (semi) rule-based English to Japanese machine translation system.  Both of these works required a deep understanding of Japanese and English syntax and semantics.  I enjoyed these projects very much.  During this period, I gained substantial knowledge about NLP and machine translation.

In 2004-2005, I worked on a couple of projects that bridged NLP and education as well (See My Project page).  In 2005, I moved to the machine translation team.  At that time, Microsoft Research started working on the development of a statistical machine translation system, and I was in charge of the quality issues of the Asian languages systems, specifically, machine translations systems from English to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.  I learned a great deal about how machines can learn complex mappings between two different languages algorithmically and automatically.

In 2008, I became a Program Manager in the machine translation team (Bing Translator).  I bridged the machine translation team at Microsoft Research and various internal product groups at Microsoft.  Also, I served as a liaison between the machine translation team and external research institutes/companies.  

Working at Microsoft Research for more than 14 years widened my knowledge and enriched my experience tremendously.  My experiences at Microsoft Research also made my credentials as a language teacher strong and unique.  

Past

In the 1980s and 1990s, I taught at various universities both in Japan and the U.S.  The universities where I taught include: (i) Nanzan University (Nagoya, Japan); (ii) University of Nagoya (Nagoya, Japan); (iii) Kansai Gaidai (Osaka, Japan); (iv) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI); (v) Ohio State University (Columbus, OH); (vi) Indiana University Summer Institute (Bloomington, IN); etc.