Friday, March 21, 2014

What a Spring Break in Sweden

Tomorrow morning I am headed at 4:30 AM to the airport in Gothenburg, Sweden and then off to Amsterdam Schiphol, which was recently selected as one of ten top airports in the world (and I agree),  and then onwards to good old Boston Logan.

The past ten days here in Gothenburg, Sweden have been filled with many impressions from the crocuses blooming, to the flower displays outside many shops, to the seagulls flying outside my office window and chirping away, and to terrific conversations with colleagues, an editor, and friends that I have made in this very special community.

This is the third year that I have been appointed a Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg and I am so grateful for this very special program! I spend about 44 days here each year.

I have enjoyed working at my standing desk, while sipping cappuccino from the new coffee machine in our office suite, sampling Swedish cream puff pastries with marzipan, which are traditional at this time of year, with students, staff, and colleagues, and brainstorming on various research projects.

Evenings, when the rain is falling and I am in my top level apartment that looks like a turret in a castle, I do more research with many beautiful math equations while I gaze at a watercolor painting, to the music of the rain.

Everywhere I walk - to the foodstores, to work, to downtown, and the gorgeous parks, especially Schlottskogen.

Plus, I discovered that, at the Press Stop close to the grand Central Train Station, I can get a New York Times, printed on demand - now how cool is that!

I will be leaving with a heavy heart because I really wish that the United States could be more like Sweden!

Also, this has been a difficult week in many respects, since our great benefactor, Mr. Eugene Isenberg, after whom the Isenberg School of Management is named, passed away on March 16.

In addition, the takeover of Crimea, such a beautiful part of Ukraine, that I have written about, since I was there a few years ago at a Network Science conference, has shocked us all.

I take some solace (see photos below) that here, in Gothenburg, many of the trams and trolleys fly the Ukrainian flag, so no wonder that  I feel so at home here.