Thursday, January 25, 2024

Games at Mumbai: Not the Talks

Games at Mumbai just ended.  In a few hours, I will arrive at the airport and fly home.  My first time in India has been wonderful!  I loved it!  Here are some quick notes about my time here that I think are interesting:

  • The traffic outside the IIT Bombay campus is the wildest I have ever experienced.
  • Learning to look right first when I try to walk across a road is harder than I thought it would be.
  • All of the food was awesome!  I discovered so much!
  • Many bathrooms have a bidet spray nozzle instead of toilet paper.  I attempted to learn to use bidets without using toilet paper, but failed.  I had to rely on stalls that were equipped with rolls of toilet paper.
  • The venue at IIT Bombay, the Victor Menezes Convention Center, was excellent.  There is a great indoor room for presentations and a nice shaded outdoor space for eating and collaborating.  (We also had access to some classrooms.)
  • I got addicted to chai, both with and without masala.

Notes specific to CGT:

  • I talked about what (I think) a ruleset is and this sparked some conversations.
  • Lots of people wanted to talk with me about my research!  That was a (dangerous) ego boost, for sure.
  • I was lucky about the topics I put in my second talk; it addressed many of the questions I got in the two days after the first one.  I barely changed anything from the slides I had before I arrived!
  • Four days of talks about CGT is not too much for me, even being sleep-deprived for three of them.
  • I learned a TON about the pre-history of CGT from Carlos. 

Long, sappy note:

I was very nervous about this trip, because air travel is tough for me.  Mumbai is the furthest east I have ever traveled.  I got quite sick a few weeks ago, and then the day before I left I still had to visit the doctor.  My flights here got cancelled on the morning they were set to depart.  

Nevertheless, I still made it here and I am extremely glad I did.  I learned so much.  Thank you to everyone I met!  Thank you to everyone on the organizing committee!  I feel like I could have jumped into 5 or more new research projects!  (I'm not a research professor, so there's no way I'll be able to do that, sadly.)  

I have been very lucky in my career.  Many times I have not been able to follow through on all the things I wanted to do, and I've had the fortune to continue on anyways.  I received a lot of appreciation here, and it means a ton.  I hope that it is deserved; I did spend a lot of time preparing my talks. 

Just like the Games and Graphs Workshop six-and-a-half years ago and the BIRS meeting in 2011, I really feel like a valuable part of the CGT community.  Thank you to everyone.  There may not be any chance in our rulesets, but I've still been very lucky. 

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