Monday, July 02, 2007

Coding Theory Conference in Nordfjordeid

After my exams in Statistical Methods and Spline Methods and a presentation, I found myself half asleep in the nightbus bound for a conference in Nordfjordeid, a small city at the west coast at equal distance from Oslo and Trondheim. The nine-hour trip made me realize again how big Norway actually is. The length of Norway is comparable to the distance from the top of Denmark to the South-West of Portugal. And on this scale, my trip would only bring me to the German border.

The topic of the conference was Coding Theory, the mathematical theory for encoding information in such a way that you can correct several errors that occur from transferring the information without using too much additional bandwidth. The three lecture series were all quite good, and so were the practice sessions. The conference reassured me just how important it is to have practice sessions, and not only passive lecture sessions. Most of the lectures were understandable, but I only managed to get a grip on them after doing the practice sessions. Furthermore it was a lot of fun: we had a small active group of nine people from nine different countries, and it was fun to figure the answers out together.

We had some spare time during the week, which we spend going up the mountain, playing football, swimming and visiting the largest glacier in Norway. It now seems that I overdid this all a bit, as the next ten days I wasn't able to walk on my left foot anymore. Friday I went to the doctor, but nothing could be seen on the x-rays, so it is probably not as serious as it feels. Fortunately I sensed a small improvement yesterday and today. Hopefully my foot will be mostly healed when we go on a car holiday through Norway in two weeks...



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