Friday, March 03, 2006

Leaving Santa Fe

Tomorrow I leave Santa Fe and return to Maine. I've been in Santa Fe for around three weeks, and it's been a great visit. The Santa Fe Institute is a great place. I got a lot done while here and had a good time seeing some friends and colleagues and just being in Santa Fe.

Preparations for the Complex Systems Summer School in Beijing are going well. We're close to having all the speakers arranged, and I think we have a really good line-up. Today we made most of the decisions about which students we'll accept. It was difficult; there are around four applicants for each slot. The applicants were very impressive. Emails will go out to students sometime next week. We're going to wait until all the decisions for school in Santa Fe have been made.

The last week I've gotten a fair amount of writing done. Mostly I've just been writing up extensive notes on some projects that are still in their early stages. I've been trying of late to write more and organize research projects. I find that due to my teaching and administration load, I end up repeatedly picking up and putting down projects. I think if I try to write-up preliminary results more, it'll help me get back into a project when I've been away from it for a while. Too often I spend a lot of time just trying to figure out where I was when I last worked on something. Also, writing is a really good way of clarifying one's thoughts. Sometimes writing makes me realize how little I understand about a topic. But other times -- and this was the case this week -- writing things up helps me to realize that I actually have made a lot of progress.

It rained a little bit tonight, which is good, because it's been an amazingly dry winter in New Mexico. Santa Fe is incredible when it rains -- the hills smell wonderful. The rain brings out the pinon and juniper and it's pretty awesome. This time tomorrow I'll be back in Maine, where it snowed a few inches today. I'm looking forward to experiencing some winter, but I hope this isn't one of those years when spring doesn't arrive until mid-May.

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