Winter retreat 2018


From the 7th to the 9th of November, 2018, the PhD students of π³ went on their third winter retreat. It took place at the Relexa Hotel in Braunlage in the heart of the Harz.

The purpose of our retreat concentrated many aims: first of all, to get together as a group and to strenghten our relations; secondly, to work on different non-mathematical topics related to our PhD, which have been organized in sessions by ourselves; and last but not least, to discuss our posibilities for our future career in a one-day workshop, „Career paths between academia and economy“, leaded by Dr. Christine Issa, managing director of Saminworld in Düsseldorf.

After a comparatevely long bus ride of approximately 3 hours, we arrived at the Relexa Hotel. After lunch, we started with our first exchange session: “Life inside the RTG π³” guided by Georgia Sfakianaki, where we discussed the same points as in the previous exchange during our winter retreat in 2017, which was led by Malin Lachmann and Miriam Steinherr. In this way, we were able to compare the findings and could identify further potential improvements, which will be sent to the RTG's steering committee. Afterwards, we continued with the session “Math history”, led by Daniel Otero and Ilias Bougoudis, where we learned many interesting historical facts in a very entertaining way.

As in our previous retreat, we saved the second day for the workshop. This year, we debated steps to finish our PhD and extended our ideas of possible career opportunities in academia or industry.

For our last day, two sessions were organized. First of all, “How to face the loss of motivation” by Ilias Bougoudis and Alexander Konschin with a presentation about the understandings of motivation followed by a productive group discussion about real motivational problems, which typically occur during a PhD. The last talk of our winter retreat, presented by Sören Schulze, was dedicated to making an effective use of LaTeX, where we learned succesfully to exploit the capabilities of this program.

We closed our stay with a conclusion meeting to evaluate the organization and communication, the program as well as the venue of this year's event.