Ada Lovelace Workshop 2019

Ada Lovelace Workshop 2019

This week (August 25 to August 30), the Ada Lovelace Workshop on Numerical Modelling and Lithosphere Dynamics takes place at La Certosa di Pontignano near Siena, Italy. 

And the workshop started… how should I put it… electrifying. Literally, because the WIFI device got struck by a lightning bolt and therefore there is (at the time of writing) no internet connection. Can you imagine what this does to a bunch of scientists when they are a few days without internet? Chaos has broken out and everybody is on their own now.

Ok, you got me. I’m exaggerating … a lot.

So, let’s have a look what we are actually doing during the workshop.

Every day is organized with 4 keynote talks in the morning, a plenary discussion with the keynote speakers after lunch and a poster session in the afternoon.  The poster session is also preceded by a PICO-like 1-minute oral presentation by every poster presenter.

All of this takes place at the beautiful “Certosa di Pontignano”. Here are a few pictures of the charming venue:

In the following is an overview of the keynote sessions which took place in this beautiful conference room:

Day 1

The first day started with a session about “Planetary Geodynamics”:


The second keynote session was about “Plate-mantle dynamics in the Early Earth”:

Day 2

The topic of the first keynote session of the second day was “The emergence of plate tectonics”:

And the second keynote session’s topic was “Global mantel convection”:

An impression from the poster session in the afternoon:


During day 2, participants have also been asked what they like most about the workshop. Here are their answers:

Very relaxed environment to discuss science with your peers.

It is really nice to get to know the community of geodynamics. And of course the delicious italian food.

There are a lot of serious people with serious answers to serious problems.

The lovely landscape

There is a lot of time to discuss with people.

Meeting the community in a friendly and open environment.

I like the PICO-like poster sessions.

The anomalous overall friendliness of the geodynamics community.

Being together with a bunch of other nerds.

Plenty of informal time to interact and discuss with people and you don’t have to run from one room to another such as in a big meeting.

Juniors can talk to seniors without any borders

I will tell you my answer after the Karaoke session.

Not too big, not too many people: you can get in contact with a lot of people.

We are locked up, so that forces us to talk to each other.

Being tortured by a geologist.

The mobile data connection in my room (for real)

The wine

The compulsory digital detox

The amount of garlic in the food

The perfect venue

Day 3

The first keynote session on Wednesday was about “Plate-mantle dynamics in the Cenozoic”:

The second session was about “Modelling deep surface process connection”:

On Wednesday, instead of a poster session there was also a guided tour to Siena where we have learned a lot about this beautiful city with its famous horse race called “Palio” that is organised twice a year.

Day 4

The last day started with a session called “Data assimilation and inverse geodynamic modelling”:

And the last keynote session was about “Geodynamics across the scale” where Ylona van Dinther gave a keynote talk “How Tectonics Affects Seismicity”.

So, the non-existent WIFI wasn’t too bad after all. In the end, it brought the geodynamics community even closer.
The workshop will finish on Thursday evening with an epic party.  I’ve been even told that some people only have started doing research in geodynamics because of the party at the end of the Ada Lovelace Workshop! So, if you want to take part in the next Ada Lovelace Workshop (taking place in 2021, place TBD), make sure to not miss the registration deadline!
(Note from the author: Although I could update this last paragraph about the party, I am not doing so as the party was indeed epic and therefore “What happens at the ALWS farewell party stays at the ALWS farewell party.” But you should definitely come and experience it yourself next time at the ALWS2021!)




Grace Shephard / Tobias Meier / Jyotirmoy Paul
Find out more about the blog team here.

1 Comment

  1. Iris van Zelst

    Oh this sounds amazing! Thanks for the funny overview Tobias! I wish I could be there! Enjoy the next few days and enjoy the epic party on Thursday 😀 Fingers crossed it will be reported on this blog as well 😉


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