Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Update from China

I had great intentions to post regular updates from China. Alas, that seems not to have happened. I don't quite have the energy for a post containing actual paragraphs. So instead some random bullets will have to do:
  • The Complex Systems Summer School has been going quite well so far as I can tell. Student presentations are Thursday and Friday, and I'm eager to see how they turn out.
  • I've been having a great time in Beijing. Perhaps too good a time. It will be hard to leave. I've become very good friends with some of the staff and faculty here.
  • I will be speaking at the ICS PIF Summer School 2007 in Paris, France the week of 11 August. I will give an expanded version of the lectures I gave this year in China. It will be fun working on the lectures, and I'm very much looking forward to going to Paris.
  • I'm hoping to turn my Paris lectures into a review article. I'm not exactly sure when I'll have time to do this, but it's definitely something that I want to do.
  • I feel extremely lucky to be able to spend time in Beijing and Paris this summer. It is a nice counterbalance to living in a small town. I love living in rural/coastal Maine, but I definitely miss city things.
  • I'm not sure, but I believe that my colleagues back at COA have finalized the soul-crushing document. I suspect that it has crushed other souls in addition to mine. Overall, I think that we made the process of writing the document much more painful than it had to be. I'm a little frightened to read the final version. I fear it will make me simultaneously mad and sad. I'll read it eventually, but I'm in no rush.
  • It is very hot in Beijing and the smog is incredible. Usually the light is so diffuse there are no shadows. I was up at dawn the other day and the sun had just risen and it was light, but I couldn't tell which way was east, because I couldn't see the sun through the smog and haze and humidity.
  • I am currently infatuated with The Friendlies. They are also known as Fuwa. I like them.

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