Friday, April 30, 2010

Next Semester Uncertainties!

I have no clue where I will be in the next academic semester. The period of my stay at PRL will be over on 30th June. May be I will request for an extension of another six months here and get couple of works done. Hope this time also dean AP of IIT will allow me to spend another six months outside the institute. I am hopeful of getting one paper at least by the end of June, and may be if I mention about it in my application to the dean AP, IIT he might allow me. But one serious problem will be the room retention in Hostel 13, IITB. Last time when I requested the dean SA, IITB for allowing me to retain my room since I have lots of stuffs there he behaved very rudely saying this is the last time he is allowing me. In fact this is a rule in IITB that if a student does not join the hostel mess, he has to vacate the room. In my case they are making an exception, I should be thankful to them in fact for allowing me to retain my favourite H13 room for almost one year. I hope they will allow again in case I have to stay at PRL for the next semester.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Getting Back to Work!

After almost one month gap in the SERC school I have finally got back to the work I was doing in PRL, Ahmedabad. I am currently working on RG running of parameters in some models. Although the running of gauge couplings at one-loop level are pretty easy, the Yukawas make the calculations very messy. The problem is we don't have enough input parameters also, and hence have to make lots of assumptions. Hope I will make some progress in next two months and give a finishing touch to the work I have been doing with my supervisor. I have many other things to do from July onwards: to attend summer school on cosmology at ICTP, Trieste, do my registration and other things at IITB, prepare my Annual Progress report, prepare my talk in which I have to present my work done in the academic year 2009-2010. I might have to visit home also in between. It looks quite hectic at this moment :( Hope everything will happen peacefully!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The taste of freedom!

Ohh finally the day has come....freedom from hell (Academic Staff College Hostel). I am leaving after sometime to Delhi. It feels really great, but at the same time will miss the participants with whom I had a great time here. Probably this is my last SERC school, it has always been a great experience attending such schools, making new and new geeky friends :P Keeping aside the organizational part of this school, I really enjoyed being with couple of old friends and making some new friends here. Hope to see all you guys later. Have fun..keep rocking!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

SERC School: The Second Half

The second half of the SERC seems more fun to me. There are three reasons for this I guess:
1. I am fully used to the situations(living and food) here which looked quite weired when I first came here.
2. 22nd April, the day on which I am leaving this place is not too far :)
3. Shiraz is taking AdS-CFT course and Loganayan is taking the tutorials.

The first two factors are psychological of course. But the third factor is a genuine one. As I have mentioned in many of my previous posts, it's always fun to attend Shiraz's lectures no matter how much I understand. But this time its both fun as well as academically interesting. May be because I had little exposure to string theory from previous SERC school and some of Shiraz's lecture videos, I am finding the present lectures not too hard. And best thing is that Shiraz and Loga both are very enthusiastic for both in and outside classroom discussions. Since the crowd in the school is from various backgrounds in the sense that all did not have any exposure to string theory before, Shiraz has to digress a lot in between the lectures. Most of the questions people ask in the class are very broad questions rather than technical. I don't understand why people don't ask such questions outside the classroom, e.g. in the tutorials or dinner table. Nobody can learn string theory in just nine lectures on AdS-CFT and Hydrodynamics. Better we should stick to the technical aspects of the topic rather than asking questions like "Why string theory is the best theory of quantum gravity?, Why LQG does not work as good as string ?...." bla bla. From tomorrow onwards he will start with the fluid dynamics aspects after the brief review of Large N gauge theories and AdS-CFT correspondence in last five lectures.

Friday, April 9, 2010

SERC main school: the brighter aspects!

I have been complaining about the SERC main school arrangements at PU, Chandigarh in my previous posts. Well, that's not the only thing I have to say about this school. This school as it seems has a brighter side also. Let's start with the academics part. Perturbative QCD is something I am learning for the first time, revising Feynman diagram calculations in the tutorials, learning BSM physics phenomenology from in the GUT course, discussing with profs as well as fellow participants on various issues. Its really fun, although a bit hectic sometimes. Regarding non-academic aspects, we had an awesome trip to Amritsar and Wagha border on 7th April. It's a five hour drive from Chandigarh. We were nine together in the trip, started very early at around 5 am and came back at midnight. We went to the Golden temple, Durgiana mandir, Jaliwanwalabagh and Wagha Indo-Pak border. The golden temple is really great, a very clean and well maintained place, definitely worth visiting. We have two more holidays, hopefully will make full use of them :-)

"It's not even bad, it's horrible" Part 2

Even after the completion of 7th day of the school, the situations at Academic Staff Hostel (where 13-14 participants have been put) have not improved much. I could not find water in the toilets both yesterday and today morning. And today morning at 8 am I could not get hot water as well as running water. Its crazy! I had to take bath with cold water. In fact many people did not take bath even. I have no idea why the organizers are like this. I can keep on complaining, but I am too tired of that now. Already enough conversations have taken place with the organizers regarding this. Similar is the case with the food. They are still giving us no choices in any of the meals. Whatever single item they prepare, you have to eat that. Today I had to eat Parantha in the morning which I am pretty sure, will damage my health if I continue it for few days. I asked the stupid caterers to make bread toast but they did not. I simply cant believe this. The lunch and dinner they make very spicy always, have not seen yellow daal even a single day. I am getting sick of all these, definitely gonna lose weight at the end of this school. Its just the awesome academic side of the school, I am continuing here, otherwise I don't give a damn! May be I should change the title of this post by using some stronger adjectives next time I write again about it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"It's not even Bad, it's Horrible"

Today was the second day of 25th SERC main school in THEP at Punjab University, Chandigarh. Although today (the 3rd day at the campus) I am feeling much better than the day I arrived (may be I am getting used to the situations), things have not been settled yet. The main problem so far here is the Horrible accommodation we are provided with. Neither we saw such arrangements in any school, conferences nor we are used to such situations in our own academic institutions. They have put fourteen participants including me in a place called Academic Staff College Hostel. Although the rooms are quite okay, the bathrooms were unimaginably pathetic on the very first day we arrived. First of all there is a common bathroom for all of us unlike usual guest houses where we get attached bathrooms. Above all, the floor of the bathroom was covered with water, there was no running water in the toilets as well as the showers. Although they said that in the evening and in the morning running water is there for two hours each yet we did not get that in the toilets. After the tiring long journey from our respective home institutes to here, we were really frustrated with the situations here. We made a formal complaint to the director of the school describing our situations and requesting him to provide us with better accommodations. But he said that's impossible and promised to make the conditions of the bathrooms better. However his reaction to our complaints was not at all satisfactory due to many of his unnecessary comments which I would prefer to avoid here. Yesterday they have however made the situations a bit better but not up-to the mark. But may be because the hectic classes, tutorials have started, the attention of the students have gradually deviated from bathrooms to academics. Anyway that does not mean that we are satisfied with the arrangements. We are unhappy with not only the bathrooms, but with the food we are getting here. We hardly have any choices. For example in the breakfast they provide only one item which of course not all people might prefer. Same is the case with other meals. As one of my fellow victim says "Its not even bad, its horrible" ;-). I hope from next time onwards the SERC national organizing committee will make sure of good arrangements to all students as well as lecturers before deciding the venue. Will update about the academic part next time, I am pretty sure I would be having many things to share as some of the finest lecturers like Prof Goran Senjanovic, Prof Rahul Basu, Prof Borut Bajc among others are giving lectures as well as taking tutorials here.