RGS Jamboree 2011
Since it included a torchlight hike at night, the 2011 RGS Jamboree must have partially resembled a scout meeting. Fortunately, the desperate attempts by the graduate students to extinguish their torches (see photo gallery below) sufficiently corrected this impression.
This year’s Jamboree got off to a rocky start, with complications before the gathering had even begun. Last year’s location, the Universitätskolleg Bommerholz of the TU Dortmund, was reserved in advance but was shut down unexpectedly forcing a late search for an alternative. Fortuntanely, the new place, Meinerzhagen in the Sauerland, turned out to be more than a mere replacement. The hotel Nordhelle added to the overall success of our small internal conference. The presentations began in earnest immediately after arrival, and with approximately 15 graduate students presenting their work to the audience in one and a half days; the schedule was extremely tight. The students covered highly diverse research questions and topics, from structural breaks and spurious persistence in stochastic volatility models, to the question of whether immigrants in Germany can economically assimilate. Unsurprisingly, the tight schedule and overwhelming amount of information presented, resulted in most of the students becoming quite exhausted at the end of the second day. Of course, this fatigued constitution may also have been caused by the intensely physical evening activities. Some relaxed in the hotel swimming pool or lounged by the fireside after the first day of presentations, but some brave students challenged Professor Leininger to a table-tennis game. The result must have been rather disappointing for the contenders, since they could not win a single set against the master skills of Professor Leininger.
The latter part of the Jamboree was devoted to two former RGS students, who have recently finished their PhD. Each gave a talk about their experiences as graduate students and the latest cohort gained some very informative insights about issues such as, referee processes or the use of very sensitive data. Thus, the 2011 Jamboree is again characterised by lively academic discussions, a plethora of interesting presentations and some convivial evenings spent in amiable company. Indeed, the last could be argued to be an equally essential aspect of the gathering as the actual conference discussions. All in all, we have begun a little tradition out here in the Sauerland that we hope will continue in the years to come.