Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Return to Berkeley

A couple of weeks ago I returned to the UC Berkeley campus for the first time since my not so memorable first year of grad school. I went for an informal workshop on algorithmic randomness, as part of a 12 PI NSF project on the topic. We met in the math department at Evans Hall, which housed computer science back in the 80's. I discovered the west side offices of Evans have tremendous views of the San Francisco bay including both main bridges. I don't remember any theory faculty having west side views back in the day.

The biggest difference I noticed was walking down the streets and not once being accosted by people asking me for money. I wondered what happened to all the homeless in Berkeley and found them during an early morning jog, large numbers of them sleeping outside of the student union. Walking by there a few hours later the homeless had disappeared replaced by a long line of students waiting for I don't know, perhaps concert tickets of some sort.

Circumstances caused me to cut my trip short before I had a chance to visit the CS department or really explore the city and university. But I'll be back and it hopefully won't take me another 23 years to return.

1 comment:

  1. The homeless people are still there. They live in people's park. Some even have their own little garden there.

    Being asked for money is also still very common. For some reason one also gets asked for cigarettes all the time.

    The students in the queue were trying to get tickets for the Dalai Lama, who is coming in a couple of weeks.