On behalf of the organizing committee, it is my greatest pleasure to welcome all participants to the 15th RIES-Hokudai International Symposium, "響" [hibiki] joined with the 3rd International Symposium of Nano-Macro Materials, Devices, and System Research Alliance Project. This year's symposium is organized by the Research Institute for Electronic Science (RIES) of Hokkaido University, and co-organized by the Nano-Macro Materials, Devices, and System Research Alliance, and the Network Joint Research Center for Materials and Devices, which is composed of five national university-attached institutes including: RIES, the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (Tohoku Univ.), the Chemical Resources Laboratory (Tokyo Inst. Tech.), the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (Osaka Univ.), and the Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering (Kyushu Univ.).

The first RIES-Hokudai international symposium was held in 1999 and, beginning in 2001, the theme of the symposium has been symbolized by a single Japanese Kanji (a Chinese character). The theme selected for this year's symposium is "響" [hibiki]. In Japanese, the character "響" generally denotes "reverberation", "oscillation", "harmonization" and "resonation". These themes are strongly related not only to a variety of research fields, including the Life Sciences, Photonics and Optical Science, Material and Molecular Sciences, and the Mathematical and System Sciences, but also to fields straddling their boundaries. Within this broad range of subjects, the emergence of organized states, as well as oscillation and fluctuation induced structures, are ubiquitous phenomena. With such an image of "響" in mind, this year's symposium promotes an ensemble of dialogue and feedback from various research fields, which is essential for the development of interdisciplinary studies.

The influence of "響" in scientific research is limitless. From the atomic arrangements of functional materials, to the dynamic interactions amongst proteins and bio-molecules, resonance of underlying physical properties controls functionality. From the growth of phase-regions and the motion of thin membranes, and from the mutual effects of electron flow, spin, charge, and orbit, to the development of theory and techniques for imaging nano-structures and biological functions, oscillations preside over a vast range of natural phenomena. These topics exemplify the product of an ensemble, that is, the resonation and harmonization, of characteristic physical properties and dynamics.

Fifteen invited speakers will present their latest research findings at this year's symposium, including one plenary talk and five sessions: 1) Cooperativity in Biological Functions, 2) Harmonization Phenomena in Functional Materials, 3) Oscillating Interfaces and Ensemble Phase Motions for Smart Materials, 4) Oscillation and Resonance in Photonics and Optical Science, and 5) Toward the Development of New Collaborative Activities. An additional poster session by students and colleagues of invited speakers, as well as members of RIES and the Nano-Macro Materials, Devices and System Research Alliance, will be held during two sessions.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the invited speakers, and to all participants for joining this symposium.

Sincerely yours,

(Chair of the Organizing Committee)