Professor of Mathematical and Physical Ethology Lab,
Research Center of Mathematics for Social Creativity,
Research Institute for Electronic Science at Hokkaido University
Born in Aichi Prefecture in 1963, Prof. Nakagaki liked to wander around hills and fields, and grew up with interests in animals and plants. What gave him joy in elementary school was P.E., and art classes. The fact that he was captivated to lithe movements of animals and formative arts of morphology even at that time, demonstrates that Prof. Nakagaki was a child with enthusiasm for organisms.
Fascinated by nature and cultural envionment of Hokkaido Prefecture, he entered Hokkaido University. He concentrated on art club activities for the first half of college life and dedicated himself to study as a pharmacy major student for the latter half. After receiving a master’s degree, he worked for five years in a pharmaceutial company as a medicine researcher.
Resigning the job at the age of 30, Prof. Nakagaki entered a master’s program in a course of Human and Information Science at Nagoya University. While working as a part-time teacher in a part-time high school, he earned Ph.D. when he was 33 years old. Before getting his current post, he had worked as a research scientist in a Japan’s national reserach institute called RIKEN, an assistant professor at Hokkaido University, and a professor in School of Systems Information Science at Future University Hakodate.
Focusing on animals’ wiseness that composes physical phenomenon, Prof. Nakagaki mainly researches single-cell organisms and evaluates its level of wiseness in order to grasp its mechanism by something like equation of motion in physics. And further, engaged in researches day and night, Prof. Nakagaki hopes to understand algorithm of organisms’ information processing.
He was awarded the Ig Novel Prize in 2008 and 2010. He published a book, “粘菌 偉大なる単細胞が人類を救う (Slime mold, the great single cell will save mankind)” (Bunshun Shinsho).