On the Road Again

Next week, Wed-Fri, I’ll be at University of Maryland for a workshop titled “From Quantum Information and Complexity to Post Quantum Information Security” sponsored by the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), NIST, and the University of Maryland.  This should be a lot of fun: my talk is titled “Help!  There is a Computer in My Physical System!” and the program looks to have some fun talks as well.  And…here is the important part…it looks like I will have about three extra hours to spend in downtown D.C. (I’m flying out of DCA).  This is amazing because, while I fly in to Washington D.C. a lot, I never ever seem to have any extra time in my schedule when visiting.  So, if you had three hours in Washington D.C. what would you do?  (Cue Libertarian jokes about destroying the government in 3,2,1…)

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5 Responses to On the Road Again

  1. John Sidles says:

    Here is a prescriptive recipe:
    (1) Go the the front (tourist) entrance of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, but do not enter.
    (2) Walk around the building counter-clockwise, and enter a small, anonymous door that is diametrically opposite the main entrance.
    (3) The guard inside will ask to see your identification as a Library of Congress Reader. Inquire of the guard how and where you may obtain this identification. Follow the guard’s instructions … the process will require (very roughly) one hour, and can be traversed on foot … a passport is an acceptable form of identification, and to the best of my knowledge American citizenship is not required.
    (4) Now enter the LOC through the underground tunnel … the discovery of the entry to that tunnel is left as an exercise to the new-minted Reader.
    It is *immensely* helpful if you undertake this expedition with a specific scholarly inquiry in-mind … otherwise you are (in effect) suborning a system that has served scholarship well for the past 195 years … conversely, if you are armed with a serious scholarly question, the librarians will do all their power to assist you.
    I mention this because it would be a good thing (IMHO) if the members of the STEM community were better acquainted with the history of the STEM enterprise … and the Library of Congress is the world’s premier resource for this pursuit.
    A half-day is long enough to begin this pursuit … and needless to say, a lifetime is not long enough to complete it.

  2. dabacon says:

    @kunal Oh man, that is tempting!

  3. Steve Flammia says:

    Go to one of the Smithsonian museums. They are free and awesome. My favorite is the natural history museum. Assuming one hour roundtrip transit time, you have two hours to see dinosaurs, or geology, or whatever!

  4. kunal says:

    Wait! Change your tickets, stay another day, and help restore some sanity and/or fear.

  5. salex says:

    The National Cryptologic Museum (next to NSA) is a nice look at the history and technology of American spying. Pretty much any of the museums on the mall is interesting, depending on your taste in museums. DCA is a couple of stops from Arlington National Cemetery.

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