We had the oral examination for the master students. In our department, they have to submit their thesis by the end of January. Afterwards they have interviews with a few professors who are assigned as the reviewer and give the students some critical comments from their expertise. Around one week later than the thesis submission, the oral examination takes place. The students are requested to perform power-point presentation in front of all the professors in the department for 15min, followed by 10min Q&A time. The performance is evaluated by the professors. After the oral examination, among the professors the evaluation is made for each student with one by one manner. For each student, his/her supervisor gives a comment for the performance in the laboratory and the situation surrounding the student. Then the reviewers show their evaluation. After the oral examination, the students have to revise their thesis with respect to the comments from the reviewers and the other professors. They have to resubmit their thesis by the mid of coming March. The entire process is rather strict. The reason is of course to keep the quality of students from the department. The other important reason is that, the evaluation is partly used for the judgement of exemption of repayment for the JASSO scholarship.
Concerning our group, I saw that the students made good jobs. The other laboratories and professors in our department are great physicists, but their expertise is mostly solid state physics. In this respect, our students have difficulties to convey the meaning of their research. Indeed, in their Q&A time the direction of discussion was different from that usually seen in the conference we attend. But I would emphasize that all the given questions were physically sound and reasonable. I appreciate the other professors for their efforts on our students.
This period of year is quite busy for Japanese professors for the examination mentioned above, as well as the entrance examinations for undergrad. (I am rather frustrated by the fact that there are several different entrance examinations in a very tight schedule.) And it is difficult to focus own research projects.
Nevertheless, I have found an interesting paper for a new technology of encapsulation, in which a liquid drop is encapsulated in a bubble. The structure seems an egg. The physics shown by the dimensionless parameters is also interesting.