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Published: June 24th 2013
Arriving at Cambridge
Very old buildings and lots of green areas with trees.
Remember that I had given a talk at our Norwegian partners’ client event? The other speaker there had been Michal Kosinski
from Cambridge University. He had found my talk interesting and thus invited me to speak at Cambridge University. I was super excited! We scheduled the talk for the 31st of May, the Friday after my triathlon. And again, I did a good job in terms of self-handicapping…
I arrived in Cambridge on the evening before the talk, and Michal and his colleague Vess picked me up from the bus station. They invited me to a pub and then to another pub, where some students joined us. We drank a lot of strong cider and it got really late so that I did not get a lot of sleep during the night. But somehow, my brain worked in spite of all that and I even managed to make some changes to my presentation the morning before the talk because Michal had given me some ideas that he thought would be interesting to my audience.
The talk was on “Fair testing in Web 2.0 – where psychometricians’ and candidates’ interests meet”
, basically on how we can achieve reliable and valid test results while on the other hand making testing as transparent and pleasant
The Round Church
One of the oldest buildings in Cambridge, dating from 1130 AD.
as possible for the candidates. Professor John Rust, Director of the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge University
also attended the talk. I really enjoyed it because everyone there was so open-minded. I am not used to that because very often when I present some of our findings at congresses, I am faced with a lot of skepticism when talking to researchers from academia. They often give me the feeling that they don’t trust what comes from a practitioner. In Cambridge, it was different. People there asked a lot of interested questions and I got the feeling that maybe a research collaboration could work with them. It was a great experience.
I also enjoyed the rest of the weekend. Michal and Vess showed me around the different colleges in Cambridge. Most of them were not open to the public at the time because there were exams going on, and even if it was possible to access them, normally you had to pay an entrance fee. I did not have to because I was accompanied by two people working for the university. I felt very privileged. And I felt like in a Harry Potter film, everything just looked so much like it! I could hardly believe it when I saw one dining
Cambridge city centre
... beautiful old building.
hall that looked exactly like the one in the film. The guys smiled about me getting really excited about this – to them, it is just normal!
I loved the atmosphere in Cambridge. Everything there feels venerable. The university there was founded in 1209! The city is so old and is full of knowledge and wisdom. So many important scientists used to study and work there and still do, very smart people from all over the world. I just loved it.
We spent the evening in a pub again and enjoyed the warm and sunny weather. I got to taste Pimm’s
, a kind of liqueur that is mixed with lemonade as well as slices of cucumber and lime, a very refreshing drink. However, as I had not slept a lot during the previous night, I went to bed quite early on Friday evening.
The next day, I wanted to go punting with some people, which seems to be a very popular thing to do on the Cam River. However, the weather was not very nice on Saturday. It was not raining, but it was cloudy and not too warm. So everybody found an excuse for not coming,
... after which Cambridge is named, with boats on it that people use for punting.
and in the end, it was only Michal and myself who met in town. We decided not to go punting and instead went for a walk along the river, had some scones and even ginger beer (!) in a pub on our way and then walked back into town. Cambridge is a very green city with a lot of trees, another thing I liked about it. When we got back into town, we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum
, a museum where there are various pieces of art from all over the world and from various parts of the world. The exhibits were great, and so was the building itself, with each room being different.
I flew back home on Sunday. I was all happy with the weekend. Michal and I had worked out a few ideas for a research cooperation between cut-e and the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge University and will discuss them in more detail when he comes and sees us in July. And thank you Michal for taking time and showing me around the city!
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