During a four-day summer school from September 14th until September 17th in the Swiss city of Engelberg the fellows of the doctoral training programme QUSTEC came together for scientific exchange, lectures and socializing in a breathtaking mountain setting. Organised by the University of Basel in collaboration with IBM Research – Zurich, around 60 early-stage researchers from Germany, France and Switzerland came together within the framework of the QUSTEC project.
Carlo Ciaccia, Daniel Miller and Grazia Raciti are PhD candidates from the University of Basel and were part of the summer school organisation team.
Mr Ciaccia, after so many videoconferences: How did it feel to finally meet the other fellows of the QUSTEC programme?
Carlo Ciaccia (University of Basel): It felt really nice, not only because it was one of the first in-person meeting after a long time of restrictions, but also because I was really curious to finally meet the other QUSTECeers in person.
Ms Raciti, what part of the summer school did you like most?
Grazia Raciti (University of Basel): The part of the summer school I liked most was the poster session. I had never presented a poster before this summer school and I found that experience productive both scientifically and socially. Another aspect I have appreciated in this summer school was the possibility to interact with the Professors. We are used to read papers about our project and I found amazing the possibility to speak with the authors of that papers during a lunch for example.
Mr Ciaccia and Mr Miller, you have been part of the organisation team. What advice do you have for the organisation team of the next summer school?
Carlo Ciaccia (University of Basel): What I have noticed towards the end of the school, is that participants were not actively involved in the school too much. Most of the time we were sitting in the conference room listening to lectures, that, as interesting as they were, did not require much action from our side other than asking questions. As an advice to the organisation team of the next summer school, I would encourage them to involve participants more. To promote talks from their side as well as group activities. That been said, organising and taking part in this summer school has been one of the nicest parts of my PhD so far.
Daniel Miller (IBM/Uni Basel): Do what you think is best.