Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life in Morges, Lausanne, Geneva ( long )

I have settled into a habitual number of places I tend to find myself in the Lake Geneva area; Morges, Lausanne, and Geneva. There is a pretty good diversity of urban environments and semi-urban environments around to look at.

The view from my room in Morges ( top ) is astounding. However, I have no internet in my apartment, which has led me to creatively figuring out all the free wireless spots in Morges. There are 5 that know about and 3 that I use. One is at "Fleur de Pain" on Rue Louis de Savoie, "Metropolis", my favorite pub by far, also on Rue Louis de Savoie, and at Café de la Gare at the SBB station in Morges.

In Lausanne one of my favorite places thus far has been the Flon district. It is colorful, vibrant and bohemian. There are some great clubs here to see if you are interested in hip-hop, or house techno DJs. Notice the "Stop SIDA" on the side of the building. The large condom on the other-side I thought was a nice touch.
Also, there are some great places to shop including Maniak down the street near the metro. More recently there is a circus in town in this plaza. Fwa. I wish I had a chance to see them.

I snuck into the Hotel, and took a picture from upper Lausanne across from the Cathedral. Its very beautiful from upper Lausanne. Its a good place to shop so take a bus to Saint Francois. Found some great shoes there, you probably will too. Also, they on occasion have outd0or markets among the boutiques all along Saint Francois. Fresh vegetables and the like are readily available. Its a good place to try out haggling skills in French.

Geneva has some great gardens, which on the whole is surprising to me, being used to a slightly more urbanized cities. These pictures were taken at the botanical gardens in Geneva. Worth seeing...


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Katy Thakkar intro

Hi! I'm a first-year Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology, and I will be working with Dr. Peter Brugger at the Neurology Clinic at the University of Zurich, examining mental rotation and visuospatial perspective taking in patients with focal parietal lesions.

I just arrived in Zurich yesterday, and today spent my first day at work in the hospital. I'm trying to pick up some German while I'm here--so far, the best learning tools are the digital errors that pop up on the espesso machine (mainly because I'm highly motivated to understand them). My repetoire of German conversation-starters now includes (and is limited to): "Fill the beans" and "Clean the filter". I also learned how to say cucumber (gorken).

But very much looking forward to the research opportunity and traveling around Switzerland. And eating banana yogurt (a sadly undersold commodity in the U.S.).

My e-mail address is if you'd like to get in touch!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Introduction to Tess Veuthey

Ahoy! I’m a rising Senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology double majoring in Brain and Cognitive Science and Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in International Development. I will be working in the Laboratory of Biomechanical Orthopedics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne learning to do finite element analysis of knee joint movement.

My friends Jess (who will probably write her intro blog soon) and I are living in Geneva, so if you are around there we should probably hang out. I have family in Geneva but have never lived there myself. I am really looking forward to both exploring Geneva and traveling to other parts of Switzerland and Europe.

My non-academic interests include photography, exploring, comic books, strange short movies, bubbles, etc. This feels way too much like a facebook profile. I am looking forward to the food.

- Tess

ps: my contact info is

Introduction from Dheera Venkatraman

Hi all,

I'm a first-year grad student from MIT doing a physics internship with ETH Zurich this summer. I like travelling (typically on the trains in Europe) and seeing new things... interested in cycling, hiking, and seeing interesting cultural and historic areas too. I completed an internship in Germany a couple years ago, and became somewhat familiar with getting around Europe then, but I hadn't really spent that much time in Switzerland but found it interesting, so I'm going there this time. Hopefully it should be a lot of fun this summer!

If any of you are anywhere near Zurich and want to meet and explore in the evenings, let me know. My contact information will be kept up-to-date at as I settle in. I also will have a Eurail pass, so getting to places both in Switzerland and to the nearby countries by train will be easy. I'm also hoping to find some sort of used bike somehow to do some exploring of the landscape in the evenings, but we'll see how that goes.

I'll be around starting 2-June -- have a good trip, everyone, and see you there! Feel free to call and say hi next week. I can also be reached by e-mail at dheera [at] dheera [dot] net.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Introduction from Suman

Hi All,
It feels great to get ready to board a flight bound to Zurich. Switzerland being among the finest tourist destination, has a whole different meaning. And having something new to do/think/participate in such an environment, is somrthing that makes the visit extraordinary.

I am a graduate student at Texas A&M University, USA pursuing my PhD in Computer Engineering. I belong to the Embedded Systems and Codesign Group. I will be Summer Research Intern at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the Swarm Intelligent Systems group under Prof. Alcherio Martinoli. I will be working in the SensorScope project by MICS at EPFL.

I am really excited about the program and expecting a lot of good work there with a great environment.

I am also looking forward to see other research fellows experiences here...

Will continue to post updates and my scribblings once I land there...

My Contact:
Suman Kalyan Mandal

Introduction from Matthew Todd Farrell

I am not sure yet what to post, as there is no precedent yet but I will do my best. First off, it is a wonderful thing to be able to spend time working and researching in Switzerland. I am here at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne conducting research in sensor networks at the Media and Design Laboratory directed by Professor Jeffrey Huang. There is a lot of excitement and willingness to try out new ideas in this lab. I will be giving some more updates on what is happening around the lab in the future.

Through August 2007 I will be developing applications of sensor networks for architecture. For example, developing a distributed interactive ceiling and wall. My research also covers areas of Information Visualization, Data Mining, and Design.

In the fall I will be returning to my home university at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I am working on my MSc/PhD in Computer Science at the MIT Media Lab.

Forgive how brief this post is. I have been here for over a month already and much has happened. I look forward to finding out more about what other research is happening in Switzerland with other summer research students. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any mutual interests, want to meet, or find out where to get good ice cream ( the answer is Movenpick ).