Thursday, July 10, 2008

Drained brains

Italy has long suffered from the so-called "brain drain" which has led many Italians to leave the country and complete their education elsewhere, as I have done myself. To reverse this process, a few years ago, a "brain re-entry" (rientro dei cervelli) program was instituted for people like me who are teaching or conducting research abroad to entice us to get back to Italy and contribute our knowledge to our native country. I was recalled by the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) as part of the program, but my candidacy has been on hold for several years due to the repeated government changes and elections that are unfortunately commonplace in my home country. No wonder the brains leave! Anyhow, today I had a meeting at IUAV to discuss the organization of a fall symposium on (1) New technologies, (2) Institutional frameworks and (3) Information design in the field of geospatial urban data management. It rekindled my interest in the institute, especially since I had chance to see some really cool laser scans of urban landscapes that created dot clouds very similar to those shown on microsoft's photosynth, which is a really fabulous application with great potential. Who knows? Perhaps my brain has already been drained and I might as well reman in the US for the rest of my career...
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