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[Computational Complexity] Missile Season

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  • Lance
    Eldar Fischer reports from Haifa. Truth be told, the beginning of the missile season was a surprise for us all. It is true that enough people can claim to have
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9, 2006
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      Eldar Fischer reports from Haifa.

      Truth be told, the beginning of the missile season was a surprise for us all. It is true that enough people can claim to have seen it coming, but there was nothing special or expected in the date it started. One day it was business as usual at the Technion and the next day it wasn't.

      Haifa has it better than most of northern Israel. We need to stay indoors at all times, and go to the reinforced rooms when we hear the alarm several times a day (our faculty building has a couple of such rooms in every floor, as any post-1992 building is required to have in Israel). Haifa gets hit with actual missiles several times a week—my father told me that it is not unlike the air-raids on Tel-Aviv that he remembers from the 1948 independence war. There are cities to the north that have it much worse, in which life over ground has practically ceased.

      All academic interaction with undergraduate students has stopped, as having a concentration of so many people under one roof is deemed to be an uncalculated risk. There will be much work to do when the aborted semester-end tests are resumed and shoe-horned into what is left of the schedule. For graduate student the decision is more personal. Some of them have joined the masses of Haifa residents that have left town (parking space in Haifa has never been so abundant), and others have stayed. A good many of the undergraduate and graduate students (including one of mine) have been called to active reserve military duty, and we all hope they will come back safely.

      Faculty members have faced a decision similar to that of the graduate students. Some have taken their work elsewhere (August is considered a good month for academic visits and traveling also in peaceful years), and others like me have stayed. Research at the Technion has not stopped. Thinking is turning out to be possible also in varied settings, and where needed email is taking the place of personal communication. It is not the same as when the hallways were lively with people, but research is done and you can expect good things from the Technion in the upcoming conferences.

      --
      Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 8/09/2006 08:32:00 AM

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