Phew, what a busy week

I’ve barely seen The Beast in the last week. Aside from writing a grant application at the last moment, I went to a stats conference in Norway. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay, because my institute held its annual retreat, and I couldn’t really miss that. So I attended the first two days of the conference, including the excursion.
Like any conference, it provided much food for thought and the chance to catch up with friends. And, i was speaking so I had to write the talk too (and, um, get the results ready). The highlight was the excursion, though. I took the trip up this fjord.

View Larger Map
Even getting there was impressive
RIMG0026.JPGEeek!
These fjords are big – my parents live in the Lake District in north-west England, which is also a former glacial stronghold, but that’s piddling compared to just this fjord (and Norway is full of ‘em)
RIMG0307.JPGSlartibartfast’s signature off shot
We even stopped to look at some smaller houses on the way back
RIMG0522.JPG
The actual conference really didn’t stand a chance, did it? It was the usual stats fair – some interesting stuff, but the most interesting thing I heard was on the train back to the airport (something about Markov random fields on manifolds).
I got back, and had to get up early the next day, to go to our institute’s retreat. this was actually more rewarding scientifically – I got to meet a few people, and we were also discussing how the institute should continue in our next round of funding. The social sciences people arranged the programme, and one has to give them credit for organising sessions where we could have genuine and fruitful discussions. I think the people at the top, who have to decide how to take the institute forward, now have a better idea about how to structure the research.
Oh, and there was some football on as well. The programme for the meeting was too full to have a break to watch the Germany game. This was probably a blessing in disguise.
Phew. Next week I get back to normal work. I’ll see what awaits me in my office.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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11 Responses to Phew, what a busy week

  1. Stephen Curry says:

    God help you in a week where you actually have to do some work! ;-)

  2. Henry Gee says:

    Oooh, nice fjord.

  3. Austin Elliott says:

    Nice fjords? Was ‘e pinin’ for ‘em?

  4. Bob O'Hara says:

    Sorry, Henry. I didn’t see any [e]Volvos.
    Didn’t see any parrots either. Well, not until I got home.

  5. Kristi Vogel says:

    Well, what birds did you see, then?
    During my first (and so far, only) trip to Scandinavia (Sweden), I was so excited about seeing an eider (male Common Eider, in breeding plumage) that I nearly fell off the boat, while hanging over the side to get a better look.
    Come to think of it, all the birds I hadn’t ever seen before were pretty exciting on that trip. Yeah, I don’t get out much.

  6. Bob O'Hara says:

    I saw the usual sparrows etc. Plus this bad hair day bird, with a honking great bill:

    (sorry about the quality: this was the maximum zoom my camera could do)
    And on the boat trip we were followed by plenty of these looking for food:

    They’re not terribly exciting either, but they were happy to fly close to us. Something about the bread they knew they were going to be fed.
    I’ve lived in the Nordic region for long enough that most of the birds were familiar – that first one I have seen before, but only once or twice. I guessed it down to genus, though, which I thought was pretty good.

  7. Grant Jacobs says:

    New Zealand has fiords too. I’d show some of my own pix or my father’s, but they’re not on-line. Been in this area on foot, on a yacht and floatplane.
    Went to all the trouble of locating an decent image, only to find the blogging software won’t respect the width/height attributes, so I can’t scale it down to show you.
    Pfffth :-)

  8. Bob O'Hara says:

    Frustrating, isn’t it? I upload to FlickR, and then use the smaller size.
    NZ is one place I’d love to go to (not just for the fjords – there’s also a bar in Dunedin with my wife’s name). It’s a long way away, though. I did (phone) interview for a job in Auckland, but they preferred someone else. The Beast was rather relieved about this.

  9. Grant Jacobs says:

    I guess you know I live in Dunedin :-) (Might be in my profile…) For a long time there was a position in stats here, too. Doesn’t seem so now, but I’ll mention that there is a “Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Management/Conservation Biology” since conversation is pointing that way.
    If you ever make it this way, I’d love to see you two. (Ditto if I ever get an overseas contract with my comp. mol. biol./bioinformatics work.)
    Europe is much better for visiting other countries. We are a bit stuck out on our own out here. Great outdoor opportunities, though.

  10. Cath Ennis says:

    Damnit, the parrots and pining jokes have already been taken.

  11. Bob O'Hara says:

    You should have got here earlier.