Prof. Camille Peres and Prof. Farzan Sasangohar invited Prof. Nancy Cooke to visit Taxes A & M university on May 8th and 9th. Mustafa Demir (postdoc), Chris Lieber (graduate student), and I were fortunate to get to travel with Nancy. Camille and Farzan arranged a wonderful trip itinerary for us for two full days of events. The tornado just made the whole trip an unforgettable adventure.
We almost did not make it. The storm in Houston airport canceled our original flight from PHX, and postponed the alternate PHX fight for 5 hours. When we were waiting in the airport without knowing whether we were able to take off that night, we were on the edge of cancelling the trip because if we miss the main events early next morning on the itinerary. The point of the trip would be greatly discounted.
Disaster City: A disaster simulation city with various firefighting training facility and earth quake search and rescue facility.
Cool Labs: firefighting motion capture, disaster relief staff fatigue measurement, command and control room, disaster drones, water rescue robots, vehicle front light testing tunnel.
Nancy's one-of-a-kind tornado talk. After Nancy introduced the topic on the first slide, tornado warning went off and everyone needed to be evacuated. Nancy was humorous, saying,"Ok, this concludes my talk, any questions?" Camille was calm and organized the group to continue to listen to Nancy's talk at the shelter in the flag room in the next building. There were many people in the flag room, and someone was playing piano in the back. Nancy finished her talk with her laptop on a table, and people still asked many questions in the crowd in spite of all the noise in the background.
Nice people. We had a homemade dinner at Dr. Robin Murphy's house. It was Taxes steak made by Dr. Murphy, so delicious! And she was very kind talking to students for hours. It felt like in a dream.