||Associate Professor, College of International Management
||Ph. D., Kyushu University
|Main teaching area :
||Information communication technology
|Research interest :
||Spread spectrum communications, application of ICT
|Personal motto :
||Life is all about giving
|Recommended books :
||Intent: Exploring the Core of Being Human, Leadership: The Care and Growth Model (both by Etsko Schuitema)
This edition of Professor Close-up features Associate Professor KHAN Muhammad Tahir Abbas. In APU, Khan-sensei teaches courses related to information communication technology like computer literacy and programming, as well as a Statistics course. He completed his bachelor and master degrees in Pakistan before taking his Ph. D. in Kyushu University, Japan, where he served as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow for two years prior to coming to APU. Along with his degrees in Information Communication Technology, he also holds an MBA degree from University of Punjab in Pakistan.
Asked about the reason why he came to APU, Khan-sensei first said that he wanted to work in APU because of the view of Beppu City. Of course, he added a more elaborate answer as well. When someone is looking for a job, he said, one can choose among two options: First, to work for a bona fide company with a big name. In that case, the job itself would already be prestigious as big name means that people recognize the company. The downside, however, is that in such company it may be hard for an outsider to reach the top no matter how well one performs, as there is already a system and a new employee would be just an additional component of the system. The second choice would be working for a newly established company. Working for such company would require more effort for one to be recognized by the society, however at the same time there is a good prospect for an employee to grow up to his or her potential. For Khan-sensei, APU has to some extent both of the characteristics: It has Ritsumeikan’s big name but also is a newly established university with its own system.
Regarding his seven years teaching in APU, Khan-sensei finds the multicultural environment inside a class room to be wonderful. He also likes the energy and vitality shown by the students. In comparison with other students he had encountered before, Khan-sensei said that APU students possess what he calls ‘positive aggressiveness’. He means that in learning, one should not be too shy nor passive. Instead, a student should be aggressive in pursuing his or her study—in addition to which, he expects his students to read the distributed materials before classes. Nevertheless, he also sees that the task to make a lecture lively does not fall solely on the students. As a teacher, he thinks that he ought to improve his teaching method so that students can enjoy and participate more in the learning process.
Khan-sensei believes that this world is (or heading to) an information age. He believes that APU as a company is serving a potential niche: Japanese companies are ready to internationalize, and thus demanding for dependable human resources. He notes that both APU as an educational institution and its students also need to be more aware of the development of Information Communication Technology. If they meet the general demand, Khan-sensei believes that with their ‘aggressiveness’ combined with the multicultural environment they interact every day, APU students have the potential not only to live up to their own potential in the coming information age, but also to become the center of growth for Japan and even the Asia Pacific region.
About his personal life motto, Khan-sensei summarized what he found from books written by author Etsko Schuitema: that life is all about giving. He believes that only by focusing on “how to give”, rather than “how to take”, one can be free in his or her life and achieve happiness in this world. He believes that the focus in trying to get—or to take from other people makes us vulnerable to others’ influence, not to mention such focus would narrow our vision only if trying to please people from whom we want something instead of seeing the bigger picture of life. He believes that part of growing up for a human being is to give up the desire to take, and learn to give to others. To live up to this belief, Khan-sensei volunteers in a non-profit organization Akhuwat providing microfinance service and free education in Pakistan.