Monday, May 31, 2010

Weeknote #3 (w/e 30/5/10)

Not a great deal to report this week, as I've been suffering from a particularly painful seasonal disorder (i.e. marking). The delay to our Madrid trip due to Icelandic intervention was a blessing in disguise, I think, as it allowed me to clear the decks of a load of scripts before jetting off to give three afternoons of lectures at the Universidad Polytecnica de Madrid. If we'd gone when we'd originally planned to then the scripts would have been sitting there in my study at home, a distant yet malign cloud hanging over the trip.

Arrived in Madrid yesterday, after a relatively painless flight from Liverpool with EasyJet. It was all going too well, however; on arrival at the hotel, our daughter ran towards a display of flowers in the lobby, caught her foot on a rug and went face-down onto a table. She cut her eye quite badly, but she's a hardy little thing, and was back on top form today.

I gave my first set of lectures this afternoon/evening, as the guest of Alfonso Rodriguez-Paton. He's the "Madrid node" of our BACTOCOM project, and kindly invited me to teach some of their postgraduates (others involved this year include Christof Teuscher, Milan Stojanovic and Friedrich Simmel, who's also involved with BACTOCOM). I'm here to talk about "molecular and cellular computing"; ┼žoday was motivation and historial background, a bit of biology and an overview of Adleman's experiment. Tomorrow is formal models of DNA computation followed by self-assembly and DNA origami. The final set of lectures on Wednesday will deal mainly with synthetic biology, so I hope Fritz has left me something to talk about.

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