"Postcard" from Jo at Stanford

ICOA PhD student Ioana-Cristina Cristea is spending six months at Stanford as a Visiting Scholar. She has sent us this exciting travel letter from this world hot-spot of research.

2014.03.06 | Morten Bygvraa Rasmussen

Dear ICOA and friends,

Here is a small update from my stay at Stanford as a visiting PhD student.

This is definitely one of the most exciting times of my life! There is something about this place that feels like magic. And you can find it everywhere... in the people, the buildings and palm trees, the Harry Potter style libraries and even in the awesome California weather.

Ever since I got here I have only been surrounded by wonderful people, interested in knowing more about your research and eager to connect you to other wonderful people.

I am very lucky to be part of a community like Scancor. It makes a big difference - it is like your family on campus. I even feel a bit pampered with a permanent bit of the ICOA home feeling as in the selected scancorian library I found Rich & Børge's OD bible.

The Scancor community is the place where you attend the Monday/Friday seminars and there you find Dick Scott, Mitchell Stevens or Woody Powell, ready to jump in with a funny and yet brilliant comment at all times. Along with them, the scancorian family is always trying to challenge the researcher offering feedback from many different fields and then tackle him/her over them during friendly lunches.

Then there is the Center for Work, Technology and Organization (WTO). There you are sitting at the table with people eating the same dinner, who work together on developing ideas for new cooking recipes, led by the world famous chefs Pam Hinds & Stephen Barley. Being around them is incredibly motivating! Even a short walk in the Main Quad with one of the younger cooks is a good source of stamina.

The daily schedule is pretty packed, but it is just great that way. By own will you choose to be on campus from early morning till late in the evening. However, it can be challenging at times to find a balance between "desk research", like writing & reading, and "action research", like seminars, courses & colloquia. At any point of the day there are so many interesting activities you can be engaged in that you really need to resist the temptation and try to say no sometimes. And that can be tougher than anticipated!

What I noticed so far is that besides being very knowledgeable, people here are also very open, international and absolutely in love with interdisciplinary activities. And that makes it quite impossible not to feel embraced by the greatness of this place. With every step you take on campus it literally feels like walking “on the shoulders of giants".

For sure I could spend another hour writing about my stay here. But I will stop here now. I have attached some pictures I taken from around campus and from the Scancor trip to Half Moon Bay this Saturday (the first trip since here!).

I miss ICOA and I am very happy Dorthe will be visiting me!!

Hugs from rainy Stanford,


People , ICOA