It’s not often that I go on a trip and think “Nothing could have made this better.” And yet, in September of 2017, when I returned from my trip to Nikiti for a summer school in Advanced Scientific Programming in Python, I was left thinking exactly that.
The trip was a “perfect storm” of good people, good lectures, and a good location. The tutors were knowledgeable, energetic, and set the level of the lectures such that I learned a lot but was never so confused that I couldn’t keep up. My fellow students were intelligent and driven but always down to grab a pizza or head to the beach for a social evening. Nikiti proved to be an excellent setting, as its small, cozy beach-town vibes gave a chill atmosphere to both the days and the nights. And although Nikiti’s small size may have led to a few inconveniences for the organizers, I honestly thought that the quaintness of the village added to the whole experience. (I mean, come on, how often do you get to say you learned about Cython in the basement of a Greek folklore museum with a patio that looked over a lush green valley leading to the ocean?)
All in all, I rate the experience very highly. In fact, it might even be one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, and I wasn’t even on vacation! The icing on the cake: I was able to leverage my new knowledge on my very first day back at DTU during a code development meeting, and I’ve recently been given the green light to teach some scientific Python programming workshops in my department based on what I learned in Greece. And if that’s not a good metric for a successful trip, then I really don’t know what is. 🙂
Many, many thanks to the summer school organizers and financial supporters! It’s thanks to your efforts that I was able to learn so much. For anyone interested in reading more about the school or checking out the list of lectures, the website can be found here.