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Rubber tramps

What a great time with David Tanzer and also a great trip in general. My question is, what do we call it when you forget modern times and return to how research visits used to be done? (before googleplus or even cars?)

What should we call it? Academic rubber tramps or quantum marco polo round uno? Now we're finally back to Torino and the ISI Foundation. After 1,427 miles of the rubber meeting the road, 8 departmental talks, 3 group meeting presentations; 3 states (non-quantum), 2 countries, 1 paper submission, what's the take home message? Drinking beer counts as working if you have a pen in hand and pad in front; powerpoint is so last century: talks should only be done using the board (yes, I like chalk and this message is important to convey information :); don't eat with your hands and talk about doing sports in fancy dinners to celebrate your departmental lecture and the fact that you're there; opinion poll: I think algebraic geometry has a lot (more?) to say about the mathematical foundations of physical theories and I'll try to figure more out in the next two years (+). Props to Ville Bergholm (il conducente) and the many others for their implicit consent of "academic rubber tramps: the research visit where the past meets the future and we do things the way they should be done". Please note: The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of our funding bodies or our hosts, or Azimuth.

Comments

  • 1.

    Sounds like a great trip!

    I'm coming to Europe on January 15th. At some point Lisa and I are going to Venice to visit a colleague of hers. I'd like to stop by Turin if that's possible.

    Comment Source:Sounds like a great trip! I'm coming to Europe on January 15th. At some point Lisa and I are going to Venice to visit a colleague of hers. I'd like to stop by Turin if that's possible.
  • 2.

    Hi John,

    is it correct that you are staying in Erlangen? There are very decent train connections from Erlangen to Venice (via Munich-Verona, over the Brenner pass) and if you book in advance, it's not necessarily expensive. Check out www.d-bahn.de

    Btw if you would be around Munich sometime, I live nearby, so if you want to exert real pressure on me to finish blog posts, it could be a good idea to meet ;-)

    Comment Source:Hi John, is it correct that you are staying in Erlangen? There are very decent train connections from Erlangen to Venice (via Munich-Verona, over the Brenner pass) and if you book in advance, it's not necessarily expensive. Check out www.d-bahn.de Btw if you would be around Munich sometime, I live nearby, so if you want to exert real pressure on me to finish blog posts, it could be a good idea to meet ;-)
  • 3.
    edited January 2014

    Lisa and I will be staying in Erlangen from January 16th to June 1st, though I'll be making a few side-trips:

    • Friday February 21 - Friday March 14, 2014 - I'll visit Bob Coecke's group in Oxford. I'll give 4 talks on network theory there. I'll also give a talk in the topology seminar on February 24, and Minhyong Kim has organized an informal seminar on quantum gravity at Merton College meeting on Fridays.

    • April 27 - May 2, 2014 - I'll help run a workshp on "Categorical Methods at the Crossroads". This is being held in a German castle called Schloss Dagstuhl which has become a center for computer science. The idea is to get people who apply category theory to lots of different subjects to talk to each other. I'm running this with Samson Abramsky and Fabio Gadducci (in computer science) and Viktor Winschel (in economics).

    • May 12 - 23, 2014 - I will attend Paul-André Melliès meeting on operads at the Institut Henri Poincaré thematic trimester "Semantics of proofs and certified mathematics". I may actually go a bit earlier.

    There are very decent train connections from Erlangen to Venice (via Munich-Verona, over the Brenner pass) and if you book in advance, it’s not necessarily expensive. Check out www.d-bahn.de

    That sounds like a great thing to do. We want to see some places en route to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin.

    Btw if you would be around Munich sometime, I live nearby, so if you want to exert real pressure on me to finish blog posts, it could be a good idea to meet ;-)

    It would be great to meet you, though I don't want to spend a day in Munich just trying to pressure you to write blog posts.

    Comment Source:Lisa and I will be staying in Erlangen from January 16th to June 1st, though I'll be making a few side-trips: * Friday February 21 - Friday March 14, 2014 - I'll visit Bob Coecke's group in Oxford. I'll give 4 talks on network theory there. I'll also give a talk in the topology seminar on February 24, and Minhyong Kim has organized an informal seminar on quantum gravity at Merton College meeting on Fridays. * April 27 - May 2, 2014 - I'll help run a workshp on "Categorical Methods at the Crossroads". This is being held in a German castle called Schloss Dagstuhl which has become a center for computer science. The idea is to get people who apply category theory to lots of different subjects to talk to each other. I'm running this with Samson Abramsky and Fabio Gadducci (in computer science) and Viktor Winschel (in economics). * May 12 - 23, 2014 - I will attend Paul-Andr&eacute; Melli&egrave;s meeting on operads at the Institut Henri Poincaré thematic trimester "Semantics of proofs and certified mathematics". I may actually go a bit earlier. > There are very decent train connections from Erlangen to Venice (via Munich-Verona, over the Brenner pass) and if you book in advance, it’s not necessarily expensive. Check out www.d-bahn.de That sounds like a great thing to do. We want to see some places _en route_ to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin. > Btw if you would be around Munich sometime, I live nearby, so if you want to exert real pressure on me to finish blog posts, it could be a good idea to meet ;-) It would be great to meet you, though I don't want to spend a day in Munich just trying to pressure you to write blog posts. <img src = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/emoticons/tongue2.gif" alt = ""/>
  • 4.

    We want to see some places en route to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin.

    That would be fantastic! Also, I would really like to visit you in Erlangen. As I mentioned, next week I'm in Germany but it's way to soon to visit since you're just arriving!

    Comment Source:> We want to see some places en route to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin. That would be fantastic! Also, I would really like to visit you in Erlangen. As I mentioned, next week I'm in Germany but it's way to soon to visit since you're just arriving!
  • 5.

    John wrote:

    That sounds like a great thing to do. We want to see some places en route to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin.

    I hope I'm not undervalueing your geographical knowledge of Italy, but Turin is the opposite side of the Po valley. (Which does not mean you should not make a detour for it!)

    I'm not sure if European train services offer the best service with respect to sighseeing while traveling (there is Interrail, but its scope is different) it's not like the Transsiberian railway line. In that case it might be easier (sadly) to take a rental car. But I'm not sure, one should check! The most direct way to Venice stops in Munich, Innsbruck and Verona, each of which is worth a view (I suppose Bozen and Trento may also be sightworthy). And if you're into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby.

    though I don’t want to spend a day in Munich just trying to pressure you to write blog posts

    Good point :) But there's more to do in Munich than putting pressure on me. In case you have already visited Munich, the most touristic place here that comes to mind is the original "Disney" castle ;-)

    Comment Source:John wrote: > That sounds like a great thing to do. We want to see some places en route to Venice, perhaps visiting Jacob Biamonte in Turin. I hope I'm not undervalueing your geographical knowledge of Italy, but Turin is the opposite side of the Po valley. (Which does not mean you should not make a detour for it!) I'm not sure if European train services offer the best service with respect to sighseeing while traveling (there is Interrail, but its scope is different) it's not like the Transsiberian railway line. In that case it might be easier (sadly) to take a rental car. But I'm not sure, one should check! The most direct way to Venice stops in Munich, Innsbruck and Verona, each of which is worth a view (I suppose Bozen and Trento may also be sightworthy). And if you're into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby. > though I don’t want to spend a day in Munich just trying to pressure you to write blog posts Good point :) But there's more to do in Munich than putting pressure on me. In case you have already visited Munich, the most touristic place here that comes to mind is the [original "Disney" castle](http://www.neuschwanstein.com/englisch/tourist/index.htm) ;-)
  • 6.

    Trento may also be sightworthy

    Trento is great Frederik! I joined George Musser in his TEDx talk there and loved the city.

    I'm in Stuttgart next week and also Ulm for a day. Talking about time-reversal symmetry breaking, from a network theory point of view and the stuff is getting more formal too. I really need to also read more about time reversal with respect to Markov chains. It's cool stuff.

    Comment Source:> Trento may also be sightworthy Trento is great Frederik! I joined George Musser in his TEDx talk there and loved the city. I'm in Stuttgart next week and also Ulm for a day. Talking about time-reversal symmetry breaking, from a network theory point of view and the stuff is getting more formal too. I really need to also read more about [time reversal with respect to Markov chains](http://www.math.uah.edu/stat/markov/TimeReversal.html). It's cool stuff.
  • 7.

    And if you’re into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby.

    Yes, I'd spend my time in the mountains and ignore the cities. I did some walking and camping in the Dolomites about ten years ago.

    Comment Source:> And if you’re into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby. Yes, I'd spend my time in the mountains and ignore the cities. I did some walking and camping in the Dolomites about ten years ago.
  • 8.

    Yes, I’d spend my time in the mountains and ignore the cities.

    Exactly :) Unfortunately January-May is not a good period for hiking.

    There are even trenches of the first World War in the Dolomites (above 2000 meters!). And apparently Ötzi (Europe's most famous mummy, found in a glacier in the Ötzaler Alps) lies in a museum in Bozen, so if you like prehistory you should stop there.

    Comment Source:> Yes, I’d spend my time in the mountains and ignore the cities. Exactly :) Unfortunately January-May is not a good period for hiking. There are even trenches of the first World War in the Dolomites (above 2000 meters!). And apparently Ötzi (Europe's most famous mummy, found in a glacier in the Ötzaler Alps) lies in a museum in Bozen, so if you like prehistory you should stop there.
  • 9.

    I went in May (because it was combined with a business trip to Milan) and it was great. Ski season over, walking season not begun, everything closed, no one around. Brilliant.

    Comment Source:I went in May (because it was combined with a business trip to Milan) and it was great. Ski season over, walking season not begun, everything closed, no one around. Brilliant.
  • 10.
    edited January 2014

    Great!

    Ok, let me restate that, I'm not that familiar with the Dolomites which are more south than were I stay, but I suspect on average there may be remainders of snow there in May too, so it's not part of the official hiking season. Of course, for experienced hikers this shouldn't be a problem.

    Out of interest: did you camp wild there or use a bivy? I thought wild camping wasn't really tolerated in Südtirol, but I guess if one is there before the crowds it's okay because nobody can see it anyway.

    Comment Source:Great! Ok, let me restate that, I'm not that familiar with the Dolomites which are more south than were I stay, but I suspect on average there may be remainders of snow there in May too, so it's not part of the official hiking season. Of course, for experienced hikers this shouldn't be a problem. Out of interest: did you camp wild there or use a bivy? I thought wild camping wasn't really tolerated in Südtirol, but I guess if one is there before the crowds it's okay because nobody can see it anyway.
  • 11.

    We used bivi bags. I don't remember anyone or any signs saying we couldn't camp (and we did ask for some advice locally). None of the refuges were open. There was some snow but we were able to get to 3000m in some places without ice axes or great difficulty.

    Comment Source:We used bivi bags. I don't remember anyone or any signs saying we couldn't camp (and we did ask for some advice locally). None of the refuges were open. There was some snow but we were able to get to 3000m in some places without ice axes or great difficulty.
  • 12.

    Just a small note: Lisa and I have arrived in Erlangen but we've been stuck in a crappy apartment, and we're trying to find a better one. So, I may be a bit quiet for the next few days.

    Comment Source:Just a small note: Lisa and I have arrived in Erlangen but we've been stuck in a crappy apartment, and we're trying to find a better one. So, I may be a bit quiet for the next few days.
  • 13.

    Frederik wrote:

    I hope I’m not undervalueing your geographical knowledge of Italy, but Turin is the opposite side of the Po valley.

    My knowledge of Germany as well as Italy was deficient. I originally thought I could go roughly southwest from Erlangen to Turin to Venice. In fact they're far from being in a line.

    The most direct way to Venice stops in Munich, Innsbruck and Verona, each of which is worth a view (I suppose Bozen and Trento may also be sightworthy).

    That sounds lots of fun, though I'm not sure we'll have time for many stops. I gave a week's worth of talks in Munich once, and stayed in Carlo Rovelli's family apartment in Verona once - the latter is a truly charming city.

    And if you’re into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby.

    That sounds great!

    Lisa has a colleague and friend in Venice who has, I believe, offered us a place to stay there. I've been there once before in the chilly early spring and loved it, especially wandering around semi-abandoned parts on the south side in the fog.

    Comment Source:Frederik wrote: > I hope I’m not undervalueing your geographical knowledge of Italy, but Turin is the opposite side of the Po valley. My knowledge of Germany as well as Italy was deficient. I originally thought I could go roughly southwest from Erlangen to Turin to Venice. In fact they're [far from being in a line](https://maps.google.com/maps?q=erlangen+to+turin&saddr=erlangen&daddr=turin&hl=en&geocode=Fb2x9AIdexCoACmhNHzVx_ihRzHQx7W-MtoeBA%3BFYa6rwIdLEZ1ACklvhhkEm2IRzG_d5zWA_gDiQ&t=m&z=6). > The most direct way to Venice stops in Munich, Innsbruck and Verona, each of which is worth a view (I suppose Bozen and Trento may also be sightworthy). That sounds lots of fun, though I'm not sure we'll have time for many stops. I gave a week's worth of talks in Munich once, and stayed in Carlo Rovelli's family apartment in Verona once - the latter is a truly charming city. > And if you’re into landscapes, the line crosses the Eastern Alps, which itself are more majestic than any building, especially with the Dolomites nearby. That sounds great! Lisa has a colleague and friend in Venice who has, I believe, offered us a place to stay there. I've been there once before in the chilly early spring and loved it, especially wandering around semi-abandoned parts on the south side in the fog.
  • 14.
    edited January 2014

    but we’ve been stuck in a crappy apartment, and we’re trying to find a better one

    Good luck!

    That sounds great!

    In the Dolomites the Rosengarten looks nice, and is not too far away from the line Munich-Verona.

    If you're really into mountains, the mountains near Innsbruck are actually also fine (though perhaps not as impressive as the Dolomites) and this is directly on the line Erlangen-Munich-Verona-Venezia. Personally I can also recommend the Wetterstein even though there are a lot of tourists. This is the mountain range most easily accessible from Erlangen, I guess.

    Comment Source:> but we’ve been stuck in a crappy apartment, and we’re trying to find a better one Good luck! > That sounds great! In the Dolomites the [Rosengarten](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosengarten_group) looks nice, and is not too far away from the line Munich-Verona. If you're really into mountains, the mountains near Innsbruck are actually also fine (though perhaps not as impressive as the Dolomites) and this is directly on the line Erlangen-Munich-Verona-Venezia. Personally I can also recommend the [Wetterstein](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wettersteingebirge) even though there are a lot of tourists. This is the mountain range most easily accessible from Erlangen, I guess.
  • 15.

    I recommend Rosengarten. We were there and also a little further East at the Langkofel Group. In the 'inner courtyard' there was a mini-glacier (in 2001 I think). I wonder if it is still there?

    Comment Source:I recommend Rosengarten. We were there and also a little further East at the [Langkofel Group](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langkofel_Group). In the 'inner courtyard' there was a mini-glacier (in 2001 I think). I wonder if it is still there?
  • 16.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Comment Source:Thanks for the tips!
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