Greetings from Norway! I paid a visit to Lukasz and some former colleagues last weekend so I thought “Why not write a post (or a series of posts) about places for science in various cities?”. Here is where I start – the University of Oslo or to be more specific the Department of Informatics and Mathematics and to be “Swiss sharp” – the Nanoelectronics group.
The University of Oslo is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway being the biggest in number of students in social sciences. When it comes to natural sciences it has a pretty strong competitior namely the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Nevertheless, the Department of Mathematics and Informatics has a number of applied science research groups, in addition to that the pure theoretical maths and physics groups do not fade-out too much in the overall picture. The main campus (Blindern) is also merged with Oslo Science Park and dozens of applied maths/informatics private or public companies e.g. one of the major being Sintef. Besides mathematics and informatics as a “Si person” I should also mention something about the semiconductor/applied physics opportunities in that place. Unfortunately when it comes to microchips there are only a few spots in Oslo doing design, these few “spots” however on the contrary have a long history (in the context of the semiconductor industry) e.g. Texas Instruments c.a. 13 years and nowadays OmniVision (before Photobit – Micron – Aptina) about 15 years old. Some rumours about Nordic Semiconductor opening more positions in Oslo have been spreading with the speed of light recently too. Speaking of applied physics a mini-cocktail of small companies in microfluidics, optics, and nanomaterials exist, but maybe someone with broader experience should hint what actually the situation is.
Anyway, I aim to give a virtual tour of the Nanoelectronics group at IFI in UiO and provide you with some “live” pictures from my ultra-high noise, low dynamic range and shaky camera.
First stop – Department of IFI (Institutt for Informatikk) or as I often like to call it – “THE MOTHERSHIP”!
IFI – Department of Informatics @ UiO (typical Scandinavian weather)
This place is vacated by an extremely large number of research groups, here’s a link providing an alphabetically ordered list of all research groups at the department.
Apart from research groups, the first and second floors of this building are tailored for students offering all sorts of lecture halls and individual study rooms which one can book online. I really like the idea of giving names to rooms instead of using boring number-based systems, it seems like all Scandinavian universities I have visited so far follow this system and it is maybe something to consider by some institutions in the rest of Europe. It’s more fun to have laboratory exercises in e.g. “Olympen, Asgård, Egypten, Southfork, Muxen, Ada, Touring, Hopper, Mead, Volt, Kepler or Schrodinger” than “2.210, 4.311, 10.304, C.53 or 7.777 (:”.
a Practical Extraction and Reporting Language
After BASIC, my first ever official program used Pascal
This place is Chilly like Norway
Caml – humpy as a camel’s back ?
C – I see
Xml – eXtensible markup language? I am sure you can do better with PERL
Awk – hates PERL but both go out for dinner from time to time together with bash and tcl (;
“Master! Master! Where’s the dreams that I’ve been after?”
Limbo? Hell’s edge, or?
The baroness of all programming languages, ever!
They have even built a room dedicated to our blog, oh such an honour.
Kappa – the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet?
Photons hit electrons, but not before they’ve passed though the optics.
And the corridor & rooms goes to infinity
Ok, pretty lengthy, but the child in me screamed out so I had to take pictures of the room nameplates. Follow me to the 5th floor which is occupied by the Nanoelectronics group.
At the entrance we are greeted with some posters.
“The gods must have gone crazy” – stacked games, stacked sandwich, stacked chips 🙂
“We are the robots, we’re functioning automatic and we are dancing mechanic…”
This is what oil leads to – you guys need two more, this is not enough.
The average PhD’s heaven! Just give me coffee and a white board.
Lukasz’s messy desk – messy = work
And a poster of his master’s thesis
Chips chips chips 😉
And more chip (ship)s’
Dungeon and no dragons
The anechoic chamber!
Can you hear my heartbeat?
Network analyzers, but wait, what do we need them for?
Of course, to measure a random cable’s rf medium quality, handy!
Smells like electronics
Lukasz’ master thesis – the bio-inspired image sensor
And its camera control board
And a color wheel for testing purposes
Another angle (now I am really starting to suffer from comment idea deprivation)
The new testing furnace. We used the old one to bake a frozen pizza but it didn’t go very well. I wonder why? The fire-fighters were not quite happy to visit us, nor the departmental head. Dear readers, in case you want to bake a pizza in a temperature testing chamber make sure you have set the right temperature profile for your pizza indicated on its package. Alternatively you may want to try with cookies as well, what could possibly go wrong?
A microprobing station for emergency chip surgeries.
A c”s”hip. Hint, Swedes pronounce ch as sh (accent) so, if you say so – it’s a ship.
And another emergency room
Accompanied by some chip pulse and health monitors
And some other randomly scattered scalpels.
A PCB printer, I wish I had one at home some years ago
With this my shaky virtual tour ends. Unfortunately the trends point that chip design loses more and more popularity amongst students (not that it has been an extremely popular science to start with but…) as opposed to computer science, physics or mathematics. So hopefully this tour would inspire you to go forward and dive into the endless river of microelectronics.