Schloß Dagstuhl in Germany, February 1-6, 2009

I was very fortunate to be part of a seminar on "Combinatorial Science and Engineering" held February 1-6, 2009, at Schloß Dagstuhl in Wadern, Gemany. In this personal section of my blog I share my experiences on the location and the event. In the work part I'll comment on the scientific aspects of this trip.

It was definitely a very interesting experience to be there. Schloß Dagstuhl is not only beautiful, as the pictures below hopefully demonstrate, it is also relatively remote. Especially if you don't have your own transportation. 

Attendance is by invitation only and the groups are always small. The remoteness of the location is on purpose. The idea is to encourage attendees to get to know each other better and also to stimulate discussions. The agenda also allows for enough hallway conversations, or to just go to the coffee room and have a chat with whomever might be there. All meals are on site and everybody is supposed to attend. Table seating is arranged and rotates among the attendees.

This approach certainly worked for me. I've met quite a number of people and had numerous fruitful and pleasant conversations. 

These are two pictures of the main building. This is where some of the guest rooms are (mine was on the newer, modern side to the left on these pictures). The coffee room and restaurant are in the old part of the building. 

 

One late afternoon I walked up a nearby hill and took an overview picture. You can clearly see the old and new part on the right. The library as well as the conference room we used are in the yellow buildings. The guest rooms are in the square surrounding it.

The reason I walked up the hill was because I'd seen the ruins of a castle and wanted take a closer look. This place has an interesting history and goes back to the year 1270.  More information can be found on this web site.


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Ruud van der Pas is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Microelectronics organization at Oracle. His focus is on application performance, both for single threaded, as well as for multi-threaded programs. He is also co-author on the book Using OpenMP

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