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Posts Tagged ‘Les Houches’

Retreating to the Mountains

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

By now, I can consider myself more or less settled down in Geneva and at CERN. And so far, I’m having a great time.
Two weeks ago, the whole Theory Division went for three days into retreat in the French Alps. Finally, I made it to the Ecole de Physique in Les Houches! The place is very secluded (as is fitting for a retreat), but the view is spectacular. Les Houches, even though a tiny place up in the mountains, is on the map of most theoretical physicists. The school is famous for its several weeks long programs and schools, but for some reason I just never made it there, definitely a gap that had to be filled. The school has one larger building housing the lecture hall and library, the restaurant, and a number of smaller chalet-type houses in which the participants are sleeping. Going “to town” necessitates a 4 km walk steeply downhill (and climbing back up afterwards).
During the Theory Retreat, every fellow had to give a 10-minute presentation, so everyone of the 70-odd people could get to know each other. It was essentially organized for the newly arrived fellows, and I thought it was a great idea. Even though three days were not enough to meet everyone in person, it feels nice to recognize the faces of the people I meet in the hallway every day.

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