Happy Thanksgiving

Hi -- very quick post. Sadly I only have a few days with Will this month.

I spent Monday mostly finishing reading the dissertation I was vivaing Thursday, the writing the talk I was giving at Bath: A Primer on AI for Domestic Robots: Does Thinking Help?
Then I finished reading the dissertation on Tuesday on the train down. My talk went very well, and a good number of people came, including Nick Lewis. I've been staying with Nick and his wife Sarah -- they are a really interesting couple we met through the Widcombe association, and their youngest son has just gone to university so their house seems empty to them. Unfortunately Will couldn't come this time to help me fill it!

I also saw my student Mark Wood (who the Birds had over for dinner a few years back) who is trying to finish his PhD, and ran around dealing with some red tape on that. I also spoke with three other students (one PhD, one undergraduate, one just finished an MSc) who'd asked to meet with me. Wednesday I was supposed to meet a scientist, Deborah Custance for dinner, but she couldn't make it, so I went to see an awesome play about a cartoon character Alex. Alex the character started in the financial industry the same time I did, only in London not Chicago, and he always seems to have made more money than me...

Thursday was the viva, which went well. The student's supervisor was my old MSc supervisor and friend Geraint, and it was great to see him, but it was only very brief as I'm still sentimental about Thanksgiving and so hopped on the train and came home. We went out to a new restaurant that's actually OK --- shocking for Beeston --- called The Library. They do "Swedish Tapas". I didn't manage to order any turkey, but we had some pumpkin and sweet potato in some dishes. The deserts didn't look appropriate though so we walked over to a pub to have sort of a weird version of pecan pie.

Then Friday I attended one of the clinics Will and his boss Cees teach for the first time. Will was totally brilliant, it was by far the best teaching I've seen him do. He's really figured it out! I learned a lot and enjoyed myself.

Today we have just stayed home to be together and hardly worked at all, except I tried to book some tickets but failed. So I won't see him again until 20 December after tomorrow morning.


Tom said…
Good to see your great comments about Will's teaching.

We understand about different Thanksgivings; ours did not include any kids this year and we had food that was prepared by a deli, with cooking instructions. We ate with Brian and Les, and Don and Margaret, at Brian's house on Phyllis's dining room table. There were a lot of people missing that used to surround that table.
Joanna said…
On another question someone asked by email --- "viva" is short for "viva voce" (or some such), an oral exam. In this context, it's what at MIT we called a thesis defense. The difference is in the UK it's private and there are only two examiners (unless the candidate is also staff or some other odd exceptions.) In most places it is public or at least open to the department. MIT was totally public and people from industry often came.