Saturday, March 26, 2011

What happens in Urbana-Champaign stays in Urbana-Champaign

Tomorrow morning I will fly away from North Carolina to visit University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and give a seminar in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.

Back in 2002 (when I was still a graduate student), I interviewed for a faculty position in that department. It was still called the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the time, as the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics had not yet joined forces with it. This is my first time visiting UIUC since that long-ago interview.

I know quite a few faculty members at UIUC both in that department and in other departments (in fact, one of my friends from graduate school is in the MechSE Department), and one of my friends from my postdoc era at Caltech is currently a graduate student in physics at UIUC. She was my regular ping pong partner back then, though whether or not we actually play ping pong or hang out in some other way (she'll be picking me up and dropping me off at the Indiana-Bloomington airport, for example) depends on whether we can actually find a ping pong table.

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