And how are things in Haifa?

Most of you may have heard something, either via newspapers, TV, intelligence agencies, social media or friends, about how things role in the country that is torn apart by war and student parties. I will leave the former for the professionals working at the newspapers and will tell you something about the latter.

During a course in Eindhoven I got interested in a certain branch of mathematics, robust optimization, that has been studied thoroughly by, among others, a professor of the Technion (the Israel Institute of Technology). Hence, I decided to go to Israel and study this subject more in depth. There are various problems to which the technique of robust optimization can be applied. It is used for example in routing airplanes around large airfields, radiation therapy in cancer treatment and optimizing inventories (my field of studies).

After a good espresso and reading the “article of the day” in the morning at a local coffee bar, I walk to my office and continue working. Happily, it is not only studying and in the evenings most international students get together for a beer and during the weekends we enjoy the beach, which is only half an hour by bus from the campus. It’s funny being at the beach with the offices of Yahoo, Google and Intel in the background. The most beautiful experiences I had so far were visiting Jerusalem, and floating in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea has been real fun, just smear yourself with the mud, wait a second, float and take a shower and you will feel great.

The Technion is a really nice university where you can learn a lot, not only about ones field of studies. When you walk on campus, you can hear people talk in Arabic as well as Hebrew, then I think on how science unites.

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