Study Tour__

The aim of this tour was to give the participants an overview of the American and Mexican society. To achieve this a number of scientific institutes and cultural phenomena were visited. About two third of the program consisted of visits to scientific institutes. The tour took place from March 28 till April 20, 2003 with a group of 25 students and 2 members of the scientific staff of the University of Groningen.

In the following, we give some information, which will give you an idea of what happened during the tour.

Scientific program
Cultural program
New York
Mexico City


This was the program of the tour. If you scroll down to Scientific or Cultural Program, you can read more about the specific companies, universities and locations.

Boston (March 28 - April 5)

128 MarchFlight from Amsterdam to New York and trip to Boston
229 MarchBoston
330 MarchBoston
431 MarchSun Microsystems Laboratories
51 AprilMicrosoft Technology Center and Hewlett Packard Labs Cambridge
62 AprilMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
73 AprilHarvard University
84 AprilAuto-ID Centre (MIT)

New York (April 5 - April 12)

95 AprilTrip from Boston to New York
106 AprilNew York
117 AprilBell Labs (Lucent Technologies)
128 AprilWatson Research Center (IBM)
139 AprilPrinceton University
1410 AprilBrookhaven National Laboratory
1511 AprilNew York

Mexico City (April 12 - April 20)

1612 AprilFlight from New York to Mexico City
1713 AprilMexico City
1814 AprilUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México
1915 AprilCorona Brewery and Mexico City
2016 AprilDutch Embassy and Mexico City
2117 AprilTeotihuacan
2218 AprilMexico City
2319 AprilFlight from Mexico City to Amsterdam via Houston
2420 AprilArrival in Amsterdam
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__Scientific program

The aim of the scientific program was to highlight some areas in Physics, Astronomics, Mathematics and Computer Science. We visited the following universities, scientific institutes and companies:

Harvard University

Harvard University in Cambridge is one of the world’s most famous universities. Over 350 years old, 18000 students and 40 Nobel Prize winners over the years are just some facts of this prestigious university. Harvard University has a number of faculties, of which the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the most interesting for us. Research is done in all the fields the FMF covers. We will try to visit the group of Professor Lene Hau. She gave the Hendrik de Waard lecture in 2001 in Groningen about stopping light in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Besides the research, we will of course take a walk over the beautiful campus.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Besides Harvard University, MIT is the other famous university in Cambridge. MIT is oriented more on the natural sciences. We will visit the School of Science and the School of Engineering.

Princeton University

The most famous university around New York is Princeton University. This university has a very rich history with lots of famous scientists. Albert Einstein was a professor at Princeton for 22 years. The Princeton campus is at the moment well known from the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’.

Bell Labs (Lucent Technologies)

One of the most prestigious industrial research institutes is Bell Labs, now a part of Lucent Technology. The laser and the transistor are invented at Bell Labs and they developed UNIX. Bell Labs does research in many fields in chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer sciences. Next to applied research, fundamental research is done at Bell Labs. We will visit Bell Labs in Murray Hill, near Boston.

Watson Research Center (IBM)

The Thomas J. Watson Research Center is the main establishment of IBM Research, the largest industrial research institute in the world. We will visit the laboratory in Yorktown near New York. IBM Research does research in many fields in chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer sciences. Next to applied research, fundamental research is done at IBM Research.

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Brookhaven National Laboratory is a research institute in the areas of nuclear and high-energy physics. Brookhaven has among other things a Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, two Synchrotron Light Sources and a test facility for particle accelerators at its disposal.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is the largest and most important university of Mexico. It has a very wide variety of faculties, like humanities, natural sciences and economics. We will visit the department of natural sciences.

Microsoft Technology Center

At the Microsoft Technology Center in Cambrigde research on Hardware and Integrated Systems, Machine Learning and Perception, Networks, Programming Principles and Security is performed.

Hewlett Packard Labs

At the HP Lab in Cambridge, research on Wireless and Mobile Technology, System Verification, Scalable Computing, Intelligent Information Appliances and Datamanagment is done.

Sun Microsystems Laboratories

At the Sun Microsystems Lab Massachusetts in Burlington, a very large research facility, research on design automation, internet security, Java, knowledge technology, network communities and speech integration is done.

Corona Brewery Mexico D.F., Grupo Modelo

The Corona Brewery in Mexico D.F. is a part of the Grupo Modelo, the largest producer of beer in Mexico. The annual production is 46 million hectolitres of beer. Grupo Modelo brews ten brands.

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__Cultural program

In addition to the scientific component some cultural activities were planned to learn something about the American and Mexican culture. Three weeks are very short, but we wanted to give the participants a short impression. In the following we will tell you something about the three cities we visited.


"Boston is known for it's pleasant environment". People from Canada have told us, they prefer a trip to Boston instead of to one of the other big cities in the area. Although it's smaller than New York, you won't find less research in this area. All the universities and research labs make it very interesting to visit.

Quoting "Boston prides itself on being one of the most livable cities in America. 20 diverse neighborhoods offer more than 600,000 residents the opportunity to taste, touch, and experience things from all over the world. Neighbors benefit from exceptional medical facilities, vibrant neighborhood business districts, and a solid network of parks, community centers, and libraries. Former U.S. President Clinton has called Boston a nationwide model in crime prevention, and Boston's schools continue to grow stronger each year."

Though Boston is relatively small, it played a very important role in the American history. The Boston Tea Party was the first step to independence. In Boston we will walk the Freedom Trail, a walk by lots of famous old buildings that played a role in the American history. We will also visit the Science Museum and we will go to a NBA basketball match between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.

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New York

Since 11 september 2001 New York has changed. "We will rebuild!", said Residents of New York are proud of their city and nothing will and can change that, as you can see on this virtual tour. New York has a lot to offer to people like us. There are universities and research labs around this big beautiful city.

In this video tour you get a short introduction to New York: What do you think of "New York, New York"? Relax in Central Park, shop, museums, over 25.000 restaurants, the biggest, most famous and most exciting buildings of the world. That's what you think of "New York, New York".

New York is as the biggest city of the United States one big melting pot of cultures. Though the city is relatively young, lots of interesting historical and cultural sights can be visited. We will certainly visit Manhattan with its financial district, Broadway, Time Square and Chinatown. We will also enjoy the view from the Empire State Building, walk through Central Park and pay a view on the Statue of Liberty. Museums like the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art will be visited. The New York nightlife will also be explored with among others a visit to the Broadway musical Aida.

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Mexico city

Quoting "Mexico City is the cultural as well as political capital of the country, as evidenced by its 80-plus museums -some of the finest in Latin America. In buildings of architectural merit, can be seen the sweeping murals of native sons Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and Juan O´Gorman; the gripping surrealism of Frida Kahlo; stunning pre-Hispanic ceremonial pieces; outstanding collections of religious art and important collections of modern and contemporary Mexican and international art."

"Mexico City (...) ranks as the world's second-largest city, with about 18 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. (...) Nowhere is Mexico's explosive past better depicted than at its central plaza, the Zócalo. Surrounded by some of the finest buildings of the Spanish colonial era, lay the remains of one of the Aztecs'principal monuments, the Templo Mayor. The temple's mysterious shapes, unusual icons and enduring colors stand as a haunting tribute to the pre-Hispanic civilization that flourished here long ago."

When reading texts like these, you wish you would be there tomorrow. Mexico City is a place you should have been once in your life. Next to the Templo Mayor, we will certainly visit the Palacio Nacional, the Catedral Metropolitana and the Museo Nacional de Antropología. One day we will visit Teotihuacán, the capital of Mexico in the pre-Hispanic era. Very old Aztec temples and pyramids remain here.

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