In Switzerland

I am on a short trip to Switzerland.  I am visiting IDIAP in Martigny to review a NCCR research project in Interactive Multimodal Information Management.  The site visit is on Nov. 16 and 17th and I will be back on 18th.  I will arrive in Martigny on 15th around 7 PM.  SO there is really absolutely no time to enjoy Switzerland.  When many of my friends say to me that I get to go to nice places, I want to tell them how ‘interesting’ these trips are.  I will travel about one day to get to the meeting place and after the meeting I will return back.  These trips are definitely a strong burden on your body and are no fun.  Of course, you do it for professional reasons.


I am eager to find out the research progress in multimodal aspects.  It is common that people talk about multimodal but end up doing mostly mono-modal work.  Reductionist approach to science results in researchers becoming expert in a specific area.  It is common to find researchers focus on audio or visual information, but not utilizing both.  Lately there is a push on researchers to really look at multimodal information.  It is clear that multimodal information simplifies problem solving.  This will, however, require a slightly different perspective in research.  So I am eager to see what this leading research group in Switzerland doing to adopt multimodal approaches.


Switzerland is known for its cleanliness and efficiency.  Though I have been here numerous times, I am still amazed at how they do it.  Here the population is not much and they don’t have the luxury of throwing people to solve problems.  That only means that people are much disciplined and this must come from early childhood.  On my way, at LAX I saw part of Federer – Roddick match in Masters tournament in Shanghai.  Roger Federer has dominated Tennis for the last few years with his precise perfection of the game.  The beauty is how easy he makes it look.  He definitely brings true Swiss spirit with him in his game.


I was expecting it to be colder than it is.  When I landed, Zurich was nice 12 degrees C.  Not bad for this time of the year.  Now I am in a train going to Martigny.  There is a very convenient train directly from the airport to Martigny with a change in Laussanne.  Total train ride is 3:24 and it will definitely take exactly that much time.  Everything in this country works like the watches and clocks they are famous for.


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