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Retreat in the Allgäu

Sci­en­tific lec­tures, the dis­course of social top­ics, lei­sure activ­ities, team building and time to­geth­er: from these ele­ments, the stu­dents in the Elite Graduate Pro­gram “Neuroen­gi­neer­ing” met for a four-day re­treat in the All­gäu.

A student’s review:

In June 2018, stu­dents of the Elite Graduate Pro­gram “Neuroengineering” orga­nized a re­treat in All­gäu/Ger­many. Be­side of about 30 stu­dents, three Pro­fes­sors joined the event: Jakob Macke (TUM), Ben­jamin Grewe (Universi­ty of Zur­ich), and Thomas Euler (Universi­ty of Tü­bing­en). The pro­fes­sors pre­sent­ed excit­ing re­sults of their re­search, from com­puta­tional neu­roscience to more ex­peri­men­tal work on visu­al sys­tem sig­nals, initi­ating dis­cussions with stu­dents. Some stu­dents also pre­sent­ed on their re­cent re­search pro­jects. Ex­tend­ing the scope of dis­cussions from re­search to soci­ety, stu­dents also de­bated on soci­etal top­ics, such as free­dom vs. secu­rity and more spe­cifi­cally on the Ba­vari­an po­lice task act. An im­portant part of the re­treat is rec­rea­tional group activ­ities such as hik­ing and teambuilding activ­ities. The re­treat turned out to be a good op­por­tuni­ty fos­ter­ing inter­ac­tion be­tween the two co­horts in the pro­gram. On the last day of the re­treat, a workshop on stu­dent-initi­ated pro­jects re­vealed new and inno­va­tive ideas for the study pro­gram. En­couraged by pro­fes­sors, stu­dents drafted a roadmap and es­tab­lished a team pre­par­ing for the Cybathlon chal­lenge at ETH Zur­ich in May 2020.

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Retrospectively …

Ret­rospective­ly, this expe­rience was a unique and valu­able op­por­tuni­ty to de­velop the rela­tion­ship among stu­dents on all lev­els, much more in­ten­sive as this is pos­sible in class­room daily rou­tines. The ex­change of ideas with visit­ing guest pro­fes­sors was a great op­por­tuni­ty to get in­sights into re­search out­side of TUM, showing mu­tual inter­est in fur­ther inter­ac­tions by start­ing joined pro­jects and the­ses.

The feedback of stu­dents and guests em­phasizes the in­tan­gible value of events like these, building a unique envi­ron­ment for get­ting into con­ver­sa­tion on trends and sta­te-of-the-art neu­roscience. There is no doubt that this re­treat in­creased the crea­tivity and im­pacts fu­ture cam­pus liv­ing.

Text: Elite Graduate Program "Neuroengineering"