Q1. I've heard the Acoustical Society of Japan has an organization called the "Students and Young Researchers Forum." What kind of activities do they hold?

     Sometimes, people mistakenly assume that conferences and journals are all there is to research. However, there are many fresh ideas for projects and exchanges that can only be put forward by students, by young researchers. We at the Students and Young Researchers Forum have been working since March 2007 under the motto of stirring up these young researchers!!! Composed of volunteer students, postdoc researchers and company employees, the forum holds several activities. We convene at a regular assembly twice a year during the Spring and Autumn meetings of the Acoustical Society of Japan, exchange e-mails regularly to decide on the direction of future forum projects, administrate our website and use it, along with Facebook updates, to share information regarding the forum's latest developments. Of course, we also get together for a few drinks whenever we have the opportunity! For more details, please visit our website at http://en.asj-fresh.sp.m.is.nagoya-u.ac.jp/.
     One of our recent initiatives is the aggregation of links to laboratories all over Japan (including academic and industry institutions) in our homepage, linked above. We aim for this collection to become the top Japanese search result for the terms "acoustics research" and to make it a valuable resource for high school students or young researchers looking to dive into the exciting world of acoustics. We welcome you to contribute any additional links relevant to this collection; we strive to keep this compendium up-to-date, with as much valid entries as possible. To have your laboratory's website included in our link collection, just follow the "Contact us" link on the left and drop us a line.
     Another significant project of the forum consists on the collection and publication of a questionnaire, answered by the recipients of a student award at the Spring or Autumn meetings of the Acoustical Society of Japan. The project started in March of 2010 and seeks to motivate students and young researchers by sharing information regarding the presentation secrets and research style of the award winners. We plan to attach printouts of our questionnaire to the award notification starting from the 4th iteration of the event; we are looking forward to fresh contributions from all future winners!
     In terms of our future, we just started a new project with the goal of sharing bits of information and ingenious solutions among students and young researchers. We will focus on the important, but seldom discussed, points crucial to those involved in acoustics research. A first step towards this goal is the creation of a section in our website (linked above) to share important tips, as well as details on useful software and other tools. We want to set free the information normally exchanged internally among colleagues and share it at a national level. In addition to this, we are also working to establish demo sessions, tutorial lectures, an useful tools introduction corner, among other projects for the Summer and Autumn meetings of the Acoustical Society of Japan.
     Finally, I would like to share my experience as a member of the forum's board. A great motivation for me to continue my life as a researcher lies in the many acquaintances I have made as a member of the forum, people of more or less the same age gathered around the same research field, acoustics (although we all have different specific research topics). We are always recruiting new board members, both students and company employees. We also welcome any suggestions for new projects you would like the forum to take up. Thus, students and young researchers, let's stir things up!!!

Japanese original by TAKUMA Okamoto, Tohoku University / Head of the Students and Young Researchers Forum Board

English translation by TREVINO Jorge, Tohoku University / English website administrator