IPMU, the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe just turned 3.
Since its first birthday, when we were less than half the people shown on this new group photo and the picture was taken in a prefab instead of on the roof of our fancy new building, IPMU has come a long way. I am part of the first generation of postdocs of IPMU. From a close-knit community with a pioneer spirit, our family has expanded a lot. Some colleagues have moved on in the meantime, many of them to permanent positions. Personally, I definitely hope that this trend will continue .
Joining IPMU at a point when it had just come into existence and no one knew how it would have developed was maybe a bit of a risk. But the experiment is definitely working well. Our members are very active and IPMU is internationally visible. As a workplace, it is very pleasant. I especially enjoy the interactions with scientists from other fields and the informal atmosphere. And the support we are getting from the administrative staff is amazing. IPMU is a place were we can truly focus on research and do not need to worry about administrative matters.
Some prospective postdocs might be worried by the fact that it is located in Japan, which counts as a far-away place for many. But, what can I say, I am having a brilliant time here! And for the practical details of getting started with daily life here, again, there’s the helpful administrative staff and our fabulous language teacher!
I am also excited to see how many excellent international visitors we are able to attract. Our regular international workshops plus our liberal travel policy for the members (1-3 months per year abroad) connect IPMU directly to the international scientific community.
It’s been great to watch IPMU grow and thrive in the last two years I’ve worked here, and I am confident that it will continue to do so for the years to come. Let’s say Happy Birthday to IPMU, and all the best for the coming years!