Diary of the 2003 Summer School on Theoretical and Computational Biophysics

Thursday, June 12 -- Shantenu Jha

For those too lazy to read on, the summary: An action packed day, with three lectures (two lecturers today- Robert Skeel & Tamar Schlick), a hands on session, Cluster Building Sessions, Cave tours and the grandest event of them all- "The Beauty Contest"! Shantenu Jha

And now for those with nothing better to do, the details: The day began like most other days with lectures, and the suspense of when Tim would have the 'tickets to the nice lab' up for grabs (and you'll be surprised how literally the term 'grabs' should be taken!). [Personal note from the author: Creationists may loose faith, if they had the chance to observe how close we humans (or at least SS03 participants) can be to monkeys under the pressure of limited resources, i.e., tickets to the "nice" computers].
"NAMD: Not (just) Another Meaningless Day!"

I'll refrain from discussing how the lectures were perceived as the SS03 organizers probably already have statistically more significant insight from the surveys.

Klaus's insightful suggestion to SS03 participants to not steal the four copies of Tamar Schlick's book, resulted in most people using Tamar Schlick in person to clear their doubts and not resorting to illicit version(s) of Tamar Schlick in print! Consequently Q&A session and particularly the coffee break seemed to generate more than normal activity around the last speaker (TS). Further circumstantial evidence in support of the above hypothesis was the greater intensity required in Melih Sener's break-breaking braying to produce the desired effect.

The last of the morning events was the General Q&A, when SS03 organizers would gather en masse to collectively dodge questions from the participants! On a less facetious note, the general Q&A session was as always very useful. Lunch time and people's intellectual apetite gave way to real apetite. However SS Organizing team had to wait that just little longer, for one could see them dutifully heading of for their penultimate staff meeting (yupee!). [Thanks you folks once again for all the hard work. BTW, what happens to all the unusued SU's on NCSA?]

Participants diverged for different activities in the afternoon. I for one didn't get the time to go for the hands-on sesssion getting ready for the evening's presentation. Some folks had a cluster building session, some a cave tour and a select few had both. People converged around 7-ish for the evening's event.

One could write pages on the evening's event, but as they say a picture is world a thousand words, (with the often skipped fineprint: only if accompanied by a few meaningul words), so I'll refer you to the photos. But in short, it was a creative, well organized, fun, easy-going evening, with what I thought also included some good science too (in spite of Elizabeth's drilling the finalists that the good science was optional), reinforcing the general impression that the Schulten group works hard and plays hard too! [Way to go folks!] We also got to know how Klaus likes to describe his German accent! [for those who missed it and didn't skip their elementary trignometry course, the answer is: 1/Cos(C)]. I'm sure those present and who haven't been permanently brain-damaged by Barry's 'awful' witticism, it was a great time. [BTW: what happened to the original prizes- the four signed books?]. Thanks to Marcos and Tim too for the evening's effort.

It should be mentioned, though not in passing, that the evening really took off after the contest. I counted at least 40 people assosciated with SS03 at the "Cowboy Monkey". I guess the details of the brazen bacchanalia are best left out....

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