College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

All Things American

Monday, May 29

Today, we bused to Disneyland, walked into Hotel New York, passed by McDonald's, and ate at Billy Bob's. No, we didn't take an early flight to the U.S., but we did come to realize how much an influence the States have had on Parisian culture as well as culture around the world.

To be more precise, we attended the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS). This year, the conference took place in Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris (a.k.a. Euro Disney). The conference brought together researchers from around the world who speak different languages natively. Unlike last Friday, the lectures were given in English. English has become the universal language in science and engineering due in part to the United States' pervasive international influence. Today, the University of Minnesota played its part in spreading American ideology:

UMN seminar introduced at the ISCAS opening ceremony

Besides the ten sunny days in London, this was the warmest welcome we have received so far. As a bonus, this was the first day that Adam Pagel met with all of us after flying in from Tel Aviv, where he had been with the Middle East Seminar group.

Crowd applauds the Nano-bio seminar group

The first part of the program consisted of an opening ceremony and a keynote speech in a large ballroom. The second part of the program consisted of a myriad of conference room lectures from researchers whose papers were accepted by IEEE reviewers. Many of the papers were submitted by American university researchers. Because several lectures occurred at the same time we could choose to attend the ones we were most interested in. The lecture schedule is given at the following link:

Live demos and poster sessions were presented in conjunction with the lecture sessions. The poster schedule is given at the following link:

ISCAS opening ceremony

University of Minnesota at ISCAS

Keynote speaker Giovanni De Micheli at ISCAS

In between the first and second sets of lectures, we were provided lunch at one of a few locations. Most of us chose to eat at Billy Bob's, a Disneyland restaurant with a country theme. On our way to the restaurant, we passed by a colossal McDonalds.

Supersized McDonalds Restaurant

The girls at Billy Bob's

The guys at Billy Bob's

ISCAS would continue for a couple of days, but only Professor Sobelman will be attending for the remaining days. This was rather fortunate for us not because lectures are boring (although lectures are boring) but because, having hoped to leave America for three weeks, we found that America had followed us across the Atlantic. From Disneyland and New York to McDonald's and Starbucks on every corner to American music and movies to country-themed restaurants and to all things American, we learned that the U.S. is inextricably tied to the rest of the world.


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