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Perimeter gets Loll to teach 3-week QG minicourse

  1. May 15, 2009 #1


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    Perimeter Scholars International is an interesting 10 month educational concept where you earn a Masters degree in theoretical physics (cosmology, quantum gravity, condensed matter, string, foundations, quantum information---broad range curriculum, you take your choice of specialty).

    The plan is innovative. They bring in international experts to do a 3 week lecture gig. Then they have local experts for advisor/tutor, who are there the whole 10 months.

    They have several Perimeter people of international stature in QG. But in addition they are also bringing in Renate Loll to do a 3-week series.

    I don't know when her course will run. Sometime between August 2009 and June 2010. The PSI school will run for those 10 months.

    It is an interesting idea because you don't have to hire some top expert like Philip Anderson away from Princeton, or get X-G Wen away from MIT. You just hire them as temps, and they go back home afterwards.

    They have some very prominent people lined up in pretty much every department. Hopefully the talks will be recorded and online at PIRSA.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing is the list of topics that PSI considers hot. They have reviews of major subdisciplines, like QG, cosmology etc. But besides that they have shorter "exploration" courses where once you have done the broad review you go into some hot research sub-sub-discipline, specializing in a particular problem or set of problems. I have to go, but when I get back I want to look over that list of "hot" areas where they have the shorter exploration minicourses. It is listed at the website.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
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  3. May 16, 2009 #2


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    I had to go out today and wasn't able to finish the above post. I want to copy the list of what PSI thinks is "hot" in theoretical. And what they have devoted "exploration courses" to. These are 3-week minicourses. I have highlighted some:

    6 of 9 (3 weeks, 18 hours of lecture, 18 hours of tutorial)
    PSI Explorations in Quantum Information (Phys 641)
    Review of selected topics in Quantum Information.
    PSI Explorations in Gravitational Physics (Phys 642)
    Review of selected topics in Gravitational Physics.
    PSI Explorations in Condensed Matter Theory (Phys 643)
    Review of selected topics in Condensed Matter Theory.
    PSI Explorations in Quantum Gravity (Phys 644)
    Review of selected topics in Quantum Gravity.
    PSI Explorations in Foundations of Quantum Theory (Phys 645)
    Review of selected topics in Foundations of Quantum Theory.
    PSI Explorations in Particle Physics (Phys 646)
    Review of selected topics in Particle Physics.
    PSI Explorations in String Theory (Phys 647)
    Review of selected topics in String Theory.
    PSI Explorations in Complex Systems (Phys 648)
    Review of selected topics in Complex Systems.
    PSI Explorations in Cosmology (Phys 649)
    Review of selected topics in Cosmology.

    So the idea is that they bring in, say Renate Loll, to do a review of QG. And if your interest is in QG then you take Loll's review minicourse. And then, after the review has brought people up to speed, somebody will be teaching an exploratory selected topics in QG.
    There they will show you what are some interesting research topics to work on. Some area where problems are currently accessible to be solved. Then you get a topic, and you write a masters essay. They call it essay, not masters thesis.

    You will need to put references, a bibliography, in your essay. So they have Nima Arkani Hamed going to teach the course on how to write research papers. This is cute as hell. It is a very clever innovative format.

    So now we should all look alertly at this when it starts up to see what "selected topics" they decide to talk about. And who is going to teach these "exploratory" minicourses.
  4. May 16, 2009 #3


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    Like Cambridge's Part III? Except they don't get "temps" for that.
  5. May 16, 2009 #4
    Will any of these classes get posted on the internet, as the Smolin time course was?
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