The original plan for this trip had a tight schedule consisting on staying from Wednesday till Sunday afternoon in Boston for Joe Harris’s 60th birthday conference, in Connecticut with myfriends the Merris’ till Monday evening and till Thursday morning in New York City visiting my friend Blanca. Then I would take a bus back to Boston and fly off to Scotland.

The journey to Boston was long. The first day I stayed more or less 24 hours awake to avoid the jet-lag. The accommodation is really lovely and I had the chance of visiting the Harvard Musum of Natural History. Amazing, I saw animals I had never seen before, although they are most proud of their collection of glass flowers.

 

Later, by chance, I met Eric and Val on the street and had a drink with them, still managing to be sleeping by 10.

This morning I had a message from Corri Merris waiting for me when I woke up, warning me about the Hurricane. This has messed up my plans and I will be leaving on Saturday evening to avoid being stranded in Boston on Sunday. New England is expected to be hit during Sunday. I am not sure whether Blanca will make it to New York by Monday. Exciting time, I guess. At least none of the Americans seems very worried. Nothing to do with Katrina.

On the academic side, the lectures went on smoothly. James McKernan opened up showing how the Minimal Model Program aids in the study of the Moduli of Varieties of General Type. Izzet Coskun illustrated a very geometric study of Grassmannians. Griffiths talk was a bit beyond my understanding so I cannot comment on it. Johan de Jong gave the most entertaining talk of the day. Later there was a discussion on open problems.

Lectures resum today. I’ll keep you posted.

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