Travel Diaries: Berlin (Part 3)

Museuminsel (click to enlarge)

Museuminsel (click to enlarge)

Yesterday was my last day in the first trip to Berlin. In my previous days I covered almost all the touristy locations in Berlin, and left the last day to do two museums and a palace. Unfortunately, I was still a bit tired and slept late than planned, so I had to forgo my trip to the palace, I leave it for my next trip to the city. I made my way towards the city and had a cappuccino in a nice little Mexican bar. The music was quite good for a mildly sunny Sunday morning and I wanted to stay there and sip a bit more of the coffee, but I had ambitious plans of doing two museums. So, I let myself into the nearest S-Bahn station and made my way towards the Museuminsel (Museum Island). Continue Reading

Travel Diaries: Berlin (Part 2)

Berlin, in the second day has already grown on me. I was right when I said that Berlin is a city which you will appreciate more if you live here longer. Although, the highlight of the day has to be the talk by Ben Green that I attended, but I still had a great time enjoying the sights of the city. I decided for a change to go on my full tourist phase and do the top 10 things that appear in the lists of Berlin. I could manage quite a few, by the way.
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Travel Diaries: Berlin

While talking to a friend yesterday, she remarked half-jokingly that I should write some travel logs. I though about it and realized that I have never written a travel log or a travel story before, partly due to the fact that I had never traveled a lot while I was growing up. But somehow it seemed a good idea for me to keep an account of what I remember from the last one and half years of my travels. And as it happens, I am at the moment in Berlin for three days due to some work commitments. But I would also like to take this opportunity to see a bit of the city. My travel log idea is quite rusty, as the only thing that I have written previously which resembles a little to a travel log was about my rendezvous with Da Vinci and some of his works. Continue Reading

Brilliant Blunders: A Brilliant Book

Recently, I took a trip to India after 16 months. It was a chance to rejuvenate my time and energy with things that I loved to do with people that I loved. One of the things that I had planned to do on the trip was to read at least one good book. Over the years, my habit of reading books have been on the decline so much so that I had to make a special web-page just to encourage myself to add books on the read list of that web-page. My ‘book reading spree’ in India began from the Vienna International Airport where I bought a book and then at the Frankfurt International Airport where I bought another, and devoured a few pages of that book there. In anticipation of my visit home, I had ordered Mario Livio’s book ‘Brilliant Blunders’ online and was expecting it to wait for me at home. However, it arrived a little late and I neglected it for a week, after which I started to read this brilliant book. Continue Reading

Two Afternoons with Da Vinci

LEONARDOIn June of this year, I went to Milan for some work. It was my second visit to the city, having lived in Italy for a year from September of last year. In my first visit I had already seen the Milan Cathedral, the Santa Maria Della Grazie (which hosted Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper) and the other usual touristic sites. Since the place I had to go to was very close to the Duomo di Milano (duomo means cathedral in Italian), I decided to see this magnificent cathedral once again. In a desire to see the surrounding places of the Duomo, I stumbled upon an exhibition of the works of Leonardo Da Vinci is the Palazzo Reale di Milano (the Royal Palace of Milan, which was the seat of the kingdom of Milan for many centuries and in itself a very important cultural establishment now). Continue Reading

My experience at ICTP (I)

The Abdus Salam ICTP offers a one year Diploma in HEP, CMP, ESP and Math. This one year programme is unique in the sense that it prepares students from developing nations to pursue a PhD in US or Europe or other parts of the world. I am an alumni of this programme. I studied at ICTP in 2014-15 batch of the Math Diploma. This will be the first time that I will recount my experiences. Please note that I speak only for the Mathematics Diploma section.

The programme is a year long intense programme with lectures for roughly 8 months divided into two semester, followed by one semester of a short project work. The lecturers are mostly scientists at ICTP, while for some courses there are other lecturers depending on who is available at the institute at that time. There are tutorial sessions for subjects where students are not very well prepared and they are mostly done by postdocs at ICTP. The courses covers all the basic courses that one might expect to study at the graduate level and sometimes they go beyond the normal curriculum. Needless to say the lecturers are experts in their own fields and this is reflected in the lectures. ICTP has NO bad lecturers. If you want to sample some lectures then you can go here where all the lectures are videotaped and made available online as soon as the lecture has finished. Some of the courses, like Differential Geometry, Complex Analysis and PDEs are gems and should be given a try. Continue Reading

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