On Friday the 13.10.2017, the DK Retreat took place. The group, comprised of the majority of doctors and doctoral students from the Department of Mathematics, arrived at the Pilgramhof, in the vicinity of Friesach, early in the afternoon. Shortly after arrival, the group was subjected to a variety of teambuilding exercises, challenging each participant’s athletic abilities (or lack thereof).
Following these tribulations, the group was split into pairs – preferably consisting of one doctor and one doctoral student, from different research groups – with each participant being tasked with holding a short presentation about their teammate’s research project to the rest of the group. Finally, the scientific program concluded with several of the professors presenting selected major unsolved problems. After successfully solving all of said problems, the group went for a well-earned traditional Austrian dinner at the Buschenschenke.
The following day was dedicated to excursions. The first destination was the Craigher chocolate manufactory. Here, the group was introduced to the history and technology behind chocolate production, and was offered taste tests from a large variety of chocolate and chocolate products, ranging from bitter xocolatl to sweet milk chocolate. Next up, the group visited the Burgbau Friesach, a project to build a medieval castle using only authentic, period-appropriate tools and manual labor. The Retreat ended with lunch at the Seppenbauer.