First NETWORKS Training Week a big success

From August 24—28 the first Networks Training Week took place in Woudschoten, a beautiful conference center in the center of the Netherlands, near Zeist. In total 41 PhD students, postdocs and faculty members gathered to hear Mark de Berg and Remco van der Hofstad lecture on computational geometry and on random graphs.


The Training Week started Monday afternoon with brief reviews of algorithms and probability theory basics, followed by overview lectures of computational geometry and random graphs. In the remaining four days, the morning sessions were devoted to computational geometry and the afternoon sessions to random graphs. Each session consisted of a lecture, an exercise session, and another lecture—of course with the necessary coffee and cookies in between. Mark and Remco explained a number of important concepts and techniques from their areas, giving the audience a good feeling for the type of results that have been obtained in these areas. On Friday, Mark and Remco discussed a number of research topics currently being addressed within the Networks project, and they mentioned some possibilities for internship projects.


On Wednesday the scientific program ended early for the social event. The group was partitioned into three teams, which competed in building the highest tower made solely of bamboo sticks and rubber bounds. This resulted in some amazing structures. Luckily the weather was quite nice, which also made the barbecue that followed very enjoyable. In the evenings many people gathered to play games. Even though many participants were killed during these games, the participants seemed to enjoy them a lot …


The interesting lectures, excellent location and social interaction made the week a big success: in the questionnaire that was sent out after the week, the participants indicated that they enjoyed the week a lot, giving it an overall score of 8.7 out of 10.