Taiwan Trip – part 1

So, I’m going to try and get back up a bit with my blog again. Back in January I had the opportunity to go to Kenting, Taiwan for a conference/symposium called Beyond Moore’s Law. There were about 100 students from the US, Korea, and Taiwan attending a series of lectures and presentations given by guest lecturers that are currently on the forefront of next-generation computer/semiconductor technology. Some of the presentations were really interesting, even though a lot of the subject matter was way over my head. Some dealt with new and emergent physics like spintronics, superconductors, and quantum computing with qubits. All of these are still in the discovery phase and are still many years from having actual devices made with them. Others dealt with up and coming devices, like higher density CMOS using different and new techniques, and there was one very interesting lecture on making programmable integrated circuits that would have the same connection density as mammalian brains – considered one of the necessary breakthroughs for development of strong AI. And of course there were several lectures that were way over my head and were very, very boring. I don’t remember much about those.

Ryoko’s one request was that I take a lot of pictures, since I wasn’t able to take my family with me. I’ll put a lot of them here on this blog, we’ll see if they eat up too much bandwidth or not.

First let me show you where the conference was. It was at the Howard Beach Resort near Kenting. Kenting (Chinese characters 墾丁) is at the very southern tip of the island, and is a famous resort area in the middle of a large national park.

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There is a top view of the hotel itself. It’s quite a large complex, with probably close to a thousand rooms. However, January is definitely the off-season at this place. Out of the 150 or so students, professors, researchs, and staff that were there for the conference, there probably weren’t half as many additional guests at the entire hotel. For it being the off season though, the weather was absolutely wonderful. High 70’s to low 80’s the entire week.

Here’s the front entrance to the hotel:
hotel entrance

Here is another picture about 50m down the road:
hotel entrance 2
You can’t see the details very well in this small picture (I have much larger pictures, but when I try and post them on the blog it cuts off the edge at 500 pixels and I don’t know how to make it wider…), but that is a sign for a restaurant on the left, and a 7-eleven sign on the right. This hotel/resort complex had all sorts of things. A convenience store, 3 restaurants, a bar, a beach, a gaming center
with a bowling alley,
bowling alley
and carnival rides.
bike loop

What was really strange was that since we were there on the off season, everything was almost deserted. The arcade and bowling alley was staffed by one person total, but half of the games weren’t even turned on. There was a pool hall in the next room, but the lights weren’t even on in there. There were a couple of concession stands that were unmanned, and next to this whole area was a souvenir/gift shop area with a dozen stores. I walked by them once and was cheerfully greeted by the shopkeepers, who frankly looked bored out of their minds because I was probably the first potential customer they had seen in a week. I assume they make enough profit during the peak season to sustain them through the year, because otherwise there is no way they could have lasted more than a month in that condition.

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1 Response to Taiwan Trip – part 1

  1. Mitch says:

    Nice! I have never been that far south in Taiwan! Look forward to hearing more! I just arrived back from Jinan in China and will post my own adventures soon now that I’m back in the free world and can access muninn.net (blocked in China – I must have angered someone)

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