Spring School on Combinatorics 2000

See also: List of the participants, Some photos, List of the talks, Study texts

The Spring School on Combinatorics was held in Finsterau, Germany, and Borova Lada, Czech Republic, from May 17 to May 27. 48 students and professors from 9 universities of 6 different countries participated. Participants enjoyed wonderful nature of German and Czech border mountains and made a lot of trips on foot and on bikes; there was also arranged a special canoeing trip.

Some participants from abroad came to Czech Republic before the beggining of the Spring School and some of them stayed after its end in Prague. They were accomodated in a dormitory in Prague and visited the historical centre of Prague. There were arranged special busses for Spring School participants on May 17 from Prague to Finstarau and on May 27 from Borova Lada to Prague. Valere Dussaux from Bordeaux came one day late because of a strike at the airport in Brussel.

There were prepared eight different special study texts for Spring School 2000:

Students participating in Spring School selected one of the study texts before the beginning of Spring School and formed groups for presentations of each of the texts. They discussed in groups via e-mail the topic and the presentation. Each of the students prepared a talk of length between 45 and 90 minutes. In addition Jens Gramm with Rolf Niedermeier from the University of Tuebingen prepared a special talk about parametrized complexity. Professor Andrzej Proskuroski from the University of Oregon visited Spring School in Germany.

The first part of Spring School 2000 was held in Finsterau, Germany, from Wednesday May 17 to Sunday May 21. It often rained during the stay in Germany, but the participants could enjoy playing table tennis and other games at the hostel and they improved their mood by playing guitar and singing songs. Despite the disfavour of the weather participants made some short trips and some of them even made some longer ones - they reached Lusen pike, the spring of Moldau and several other points. Almost all the participants visited the museum devoted to Baverian farm evolution; in the museum there are several reconstructed farms from the 19th century which you can view.

The transfer with carrying the blackboard across the border happened on Sunday. The participants left Finsterau on foot in the morning. Before the noon the border was reached. Just after crossing the border professor Nesetril had a short non-serious speech. The lunch was eaten at resting and information place of Bucina. After the lunch the problem session was hold. Several exercise problems were presented and all of them were solved during the stay in Borova Lada. The route to Borova Lada lead via Furstenhut. Refreshment was served just after the coming to Borova Lada. Several participants left Spring School because of their other study duties and some new participants joined Spring School on Sunday in Borova Lada.

There was planned a special trip for Tuesday. Participants had an opportunity to enjoy canoeing. There were prepared two routes - the first one which was easier was scheduled in the morning and the second one which was rather hard was scheduled in the afternoon. 15 participants decided to try canoeing. Water in the river was cold and almost all the participants found it out themselves. Only two of them (professor Nesetril and Jana Maxova) did not get wet. There were served grog and a special meal called 'drowned' in Czech for the participants which took part in the trip. The logo of Spring School 2000 consists of a canoe to remember the trip. Some of the participants were little injured during the trip; one of them had to see a doctor because of wound-mattering.

The participants made a lot of trips to surroundings of Borova Lada both on foot and by bikes; some of them rented a bike in the local livery. Also some of the participants enjoyed playing table tennis or a soccer with local boys. There were two soccer matches; Eric Sopena, Pavel Podbrdsky, Jan Dema Foniok, Giordano Fusco and Sergi Elizalde took part in the Spring School team.

The Spring School 2000 was full of fun; all the participants met new friends and also learnt some new knowledge. The participants left Spring School after its end looking forward the next year Spring School.