HELLO Britney, HELLO – nice trip!
Starting conversations at lunch on Tuesday, four intense days of exchange, interaction and fun were still ahead of us, 32 participants from Dresden and Leipzig, in this first retreat organized by and for the ScaDS.AI Graduate School.
Technical program elements varied in a well-received mix of elevator pitches, scientific talks and exchange, training sessions, a hackathon day and last, but far from least, barcamp sessions. For two instructive trainings on Getting Started with Writing and Time Management in the PhD Process we owe many thanks to the two facilitators Dr. Könczöl and Dr. Ulbrich of the Graduate Academy of TU Dresden. The hackathon, solidly organized by Maja, Daniel and Clemens, on the theme of „Creating (y)our own virtual assistant“ gifted us not only Britney, but several new immaterial attendees – as well as a material one-eyed one (an LED on a mini board). The barcamp sessions, though novel for most of us, luckily turned out as lively, constructive and stimulating debates. Among the take-homes of one of those sessions, there is the suggestion to adopt such mini barcamps as a format for the routine GradSchool seminars, for example.
In terms of environment, culture and social elements, we had a lot of fun on our first evening thanks to the AI-focused pub-quiz, excellently developed and driven by Anika and Vincent. The next afternoon had two main options on offer. One group of us set out to visit Germany’s oldest palace, the Albrechtsburg, located in the old town of Meissen, plus possibly the dome right next to it or the Porcelain museum. Another circle explored the local scenery by hiking amidst nearby vineyards (ambiguity is deliberate here) and through the Spaargebirge, Saxony’s smallest mountain area, to eventually reach the rock Boselspitze as a turning point, following the Elbe river back to the Dorint Parkhotel Meissen, our comfy venue that served all of our purposes timely and very well.
Altogether, we had a very rewarding time in Meissen, with plenty of exchange and inspiration. The biggest thanks for the truly good experience goes to each of the participants themselves, as everybody came with an open mind and attitude, producing a communicative and relaxed atmosphere from day one on. We hope that the dynamics carries on into the ascending semester and at least a few of us already spend some thoughts on where to head for the next seminar trip, aiming at a similar experience – even if it remains unsure whether Britney and her kind will join anew.
Check out more news about ScaDS.AI Dresden/Leipzig at our Blog.