Perimeter Institute, August 2007
First of all, my apologies for not posting in a while now. I failed to report on my Mt. Shasta trip and the various weekend trips around Austin. On top of that, I also moved in with Esther, Robert, Hilda and Riita. Our house is in the Upper Eastside Area (78723) of Austin. So far, it's been very nice, but that's mostly because the day after I moved, I took a flight to Canada and I have been there ever since. Which brings me to the main theme of this post: The PPCS 2007, namely the Perimeter Particle Physics, Cosmology and String Theory Summer School in Waterloo, Ontario. Perimeter Institute was founded in 1999, funded by a donation of C$100 million from Blackberry creator Mike Lazaridis. It is a premier institution for research in theoretical physics and probably the most modern such institution in existence (albeit not the most famous one which is without a doubt the IAS in Princeton).
It provides a very nice setting for theorists to do research, featuring blackboards and espresso machines everywhere, an impressive (and slightly expensive) cafeteria called Black Hole Bistro, quiet meeting and discussion areas and so on and so forth.
There are also two pool tables, fire places, table tennis, squash court and fitness studio available on site. Unlike many places in the US right now, they seem to have a lot of funding to spend on long- and short-term visitors, postdocs, summer schools and conferences.
As for the actual school, I have to admit that this is probably the most effective summer school I've been to so far: The lectures are (mostly) very exciting and inspiring and well-balanced between theory and experiment/observation. Here's the reason why some call it the "PI slave camp": Each lecturer assigns a number (order 10) of problems to work on in groups of eight, the solutions of which will be presented by the groups on Saturday. It's a lot of fun (and work).
For further information in spanish, see Linda Uruchurtu's blog entry.