Education and Student Life

No.27: Learning the depth of Mathematics at University!

3rd Year, School of Science
Takeru Kumagae
<Graduated from Oita Prefectural Hita High School>

“HU Students Voices” gives our prospective students an insight into the perspectives of HU students. On the 27th interview in this series, we talked to Takeru Kumagae, 3rd year students in the School of Science.

Mr. Kumagae entered the School of Science in hopes to become a high school teacher. We listened to his stories about how he was able to meet with wonderful teachers during the entrance exam season, how he learned the depth of mathematics with the help of Hiroshima University’s lectures, and how he stays active in the baseball club.

Why did you decide to apply to Hiroshima University?

Since I was little, I admired teachers. When I was in High School, I told my homeroom teacher “I want to become a high school teacher!”, and he suggested me “Hiroshima University is strong in the education field, and there are lots of great teachers”, so that was my biggest reason.

Was there a reason why you wanted to become a high school teacher?

At first, I just wanted to become a teacher. The most coolest and closest adults I had were my teachers. Teachers are in general thought to know a lot of things.

I especially remember my homeroom teacher in high school. He was extremely good at teaching, and on top of that, he would watch every single one of us, and listen to our problems; he was a teacher that was very close to students. That teacher advised me “you seem to match high school teachers more than elementary or middle school levels”, which led me to strive for a high school leveled teacher.

Furthermore, I still had a little regret to quit high school baseball that I pursued as my extracurricular club, so that gave me another push.

Mr. Kumagae explains; “The coolest adults close to me were teachers”.

Why did you decide to enter the School of Science?

Actually, until I tried out the center examination, my first choice was the School of Education. After finding out about my result and counseling to my teacher, he told me the School of Science has a stronger specialty than the School of Education, and it seems more fit for me, so I decided to go to the School of Science. Actually, this teacher was also a graduate of Hiroshima University’s School of Science.

After finishing the Center Examination, you had to suddenly change your school of choice. Were you able to change your mind so quickly?

I was able to change my mind very quickly. Whether it’s the School of Science or the School of Science, I still had a strong desire to go to Hiroshima University, so I wasn’t especially bummed out to change my School.

When did you start preparing for the exams?

I initially wanted to start on the month of July of my third year of high school; after I retired my baseball club, but I couldn’t really begin because I had a time of regret after the retirement game’s results. On the practice test of July, I dropped about 150 points compared to the last test, so I earnestly started preparation from my sense of crisis.

Please tell us your style of studying.

I had decided I would earnestly listen to the lectures with all my might. I tried my best not to have any parts I cannot understand during the lectures. My high school was open until 19:00, so until that time, I often went to the teacher and asked questions for parts I could not understand.

What was the most difficult part about exam preparation season?

The center exam’s results weren’t what I had expected, so I had felt impatient for the second term examination.

After finishing the center exams, besides the regular classes, I had courses that separated students according to their first choice university levels. During that time I did not do any extra studying, and did exactly what the teacher taught us to follow. I especially put a lot of effort in writing English essays. I created English essays, and had my teacher correct them. If you continue to practice writing free English writing, it becomes a good study method to study grammar or vocabulary. I appreciate my helpful teachers who gave me great advice when practicing English essays.

Mr. Kumagae opens his textbooks and reflects on his exam preparation season.

The textbooks his teacher handpicked for him

You finally got into Hiroshima University! What was your impression after entering?

Let’s see. Hiroshima University seemed to have a big group of people who shared the same goals and dreams. I was stimulated from the people around me who continued to chase their goals without blurring.

What kind of studying have you done since you joined the School of Science Department of Mathematics?

After thinking about the large field of mathematics, I learned that the things you learn in the 4 years of bachelor’s is what becomes the “basis”. In my first and second year, I learned many things such as liberal arts and basic knowledge of mathematics. Right now I am in my 3rd year, so I can freely choose many lectures in the field of mathematics; in my 4th year I will begin my seminars.

Please tell us about the class that you found interesting so far.

It takes a long time for mathematics to become interesting, so I believe it will start to get interesting more in the future for me. The things I am learning right now is still the basic of the basic. I believe after learning this area well, I will start to find things that are interesting for me.

There is a scene that was rather more memorable than interesting. In the “Analysis I” class, the teacher called on me and asked me to answer “how do you prove that 1 + 0 = 1?” but I was unable to answer. Even the formulas I naturally used during high school actually need to be proven. I strongly felt “even the things that seems natural are not actually natural.”, and felt the depth of mathematics. I believe that studying even these types of deep areas of mathematics that we learn in university level will help in the future when I become a teacher.

Do you have a part-time work or participate in any circle activities?

I work part time at a family restaurant (casual dining restaurant) 4 times a week.

I joined the Quasi-baseball club, because I used to play baseball up until high school. There is practice 3 times a week. We won first place at the autumn season league game! I was the most happiest that our practices went smoothly and we were able to win. We are going to join the All-Japan competition for the first time this year, so I would like to work even harder from now on.

A gathered photograph of the “2015 Autumn Season League Game”

You have a dream of becoming a high school teacher in the future. What kind of teacher do you want to become?

First of all, I would want to become a teacher who can teach mathematics well. Secondly, I want to become a teacher who listens to each and every student’s voice well. I would like to become a teacher who stays close to students, and have the students think “I want to counsel that teacher about my future”, just like that teacher I admire.

Lastly, please give us a message to the future Hiroshima University students!

All of the students around me have a high level of awareness, and there are lots of people who make you think “I need to work hard too.” In Hiroshima University, there is a wide range of choices, so please jump in and fulfill your dreams. I believe this is a good university to polish yourself, so I would like you to keep trying.

August 25, 2016
Reports and Photograph: Public Relations Group (G,Y)
Location: Hiroshima University Central Library