When University of Tokyo student Mugiko Komatsuda appeared on stage at a science contest in Tokyo last week, she dazzled the crowd with her self-confidence, resonant voice and radiant smile.

Komatsuda, who rhapsodized about her latest research project — a rat experiment aimed at finding out whether exercise really makes people hungrier — won the all-English science contest, despite being the only Japanese contestant.

The biggest secret to her victory, though, seemed to lie in her close adherence to the very fundamental concept of this scientific contest: to make the presentation as easy to understand as possible.