See that activity to the left? I’m bidding it good-bye for a while.

I’m doing a PHD down in Tainan, commuting a couple of days a week. Hence on Monday I rose at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am, drove madly to train station on my new scooter, got on the train at 6:00, got to Tainan at 8:30, and found myself sitting in a class on e-commerce. Whoa! In the afternoon I attended my seminar class, which will bring in experts to speak on topics of interest, and then hopped back on the train, zoomed back to Taichung, hopped on my scooter, and zipped down to Chaoyang for a night class. Whew! I sure hope the physics guys get the quantum teleportation thing going soon….sitting on a scooter for an hour is worse than riding camels in India.

My PHD courses are all in Chinese, although for some reason I had developed the impression that they would be in Anglais (Ministry reform policy, for example?). I personally have no trouble with the lectures, though sometimes there is a bit of technical vocabulary that I don’t know the English equivalent of, but apparently none of the other international students except a couple of overseas Chinese have anything more than a rudimentary ability in Chinese. There is even a Japanese guy who has almost no English, and only halting Chinese. I have no idea how he is going to survive. Only two courses, risk management and questionnaire construction, are in English.

On the other hand, the university means well and is obviously trying hard to accommodate us. Taiwanese bureaucracies are like elderly men — always willing, but of limited flexibility. The other PHD students have been warm and welcoming and I look forward to getting to know them. The campus is gorgeous. old university and has real old uni feel. Beautiful and well-stocked library. Lots of old trees and even a little grass, and filling with a milling, moving, masss of students out practicing martial arts, drawing, walking hand in hand, and exchanging joyful greetings.

Ah. campus life. Anybody know a good text in English on multivariate analysis?