Felix Breuer's Blog

Time Flies at RISC

It is amazing how quickly time can pass: I am already half a year at the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation in Linz, Austria. (Actually, RISC is in Hagenberg, but I am living in Linz.) I am working in Peter Paule’s Partition Analysis project, which is part of the SFB Algorithmic and Enumeratice Combinatorics, a joint special research program of Johannes Kepler University Linz, the University of Vienna and the Technical University of Vienna. The people at RISC are fantastic and I enjoy the lively - and very international - research environment.

I have been positively surprised by both the quality and the quantity of events that are taking place around here. In addition to the regular Algorithmic Combinatorics Seminar and Theorema Seminar, there are always interesting workshops and conferences to go to. Mentioning just those I attended, there were:

in addition to several internal meetings of our SFB, both at RISC and in Vienna. Unrelated to all these local events, I was also happy to travel to Geneva to participate in the Open Knowledge Conference, back in September, which was a great experience.

Between all these goings-on and the general excitement of a transatlantic move to a new country, I also got a lot of research done. Primarily, I have been working with my good friend Zafeirakis Zafeirakopoulos on the joint project we started back in San Francisco and I have been exploring new territory with Brandt Kronholm, my fellow postdoc in the partition analysis project, and Dennis Eichhorn. In addition, I managed to finally get a couple of papers out the door which have been in the pipeline for a long time, and I have enjoyed many stimulating conversations with the people at RISC and in the SFB, leading up to exciting future projects.

Last but not least, I met a couple of very nice coders in the coworking space Quasipartikel right around the corner from my apartment. Michael Aufreiter and Oliver Buchtala are working on the fantastic editing and publishing platform Substance and I have had many in-depth discussions about Fund I/O with Martin Gamsjäger and Milan Zoufal.

All of the items above, would deserve their own blog post, but that is (obviously) not going to happen. However, judging by the experience of the last few years, the spring is always a good time to start blogging again. So, look forward to further updates soon!


I want to close this post by sharing a couple of pictures of the beautiful scenery that comes with doing research at RISC. The institute itself is housed in the venerable Castle of Hagenberg.

Castle of Hagenberg, home of RISC

The castle’s tower offers a nice view of Wartberg and the valley.

View from tower

My own office is in a very nice new extension building overlooking the pond.

RISC extension building

RISC extension building in the evening

I myself do not live in Hagenberg but the city of Linz. Here you see the view over Linz from the Pöstlingberg.

Linz skyline

As you can see from the list above, Strobl is a favorite location for status seminars of the different working groups here at JKU. Unfortunately, these usually go from early morning to late in the evening, so that there is usually no time to enjoy the scenery. But if you can manage to squeeze in a walk between sessions and the weather plays nice, the view on the Wolfgangsee can be truly breathtaking.

Wolfgangsee, seen from Strobl