CIAN International Travel Grant: Jelena’s Trip to Germany

As part of the CIAN program Jelena Marašević, a CIAN student at Columbia University, applied for and received a CIAN International Travel Grant to collaborate with CIAN partners at TU Darmstadt as well as attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Read about her experience below! CIAN Travel Grants are currently available. Apply today! 


Jelena and The Darmstadt Wedding Tower

My travel went great. I was really impressed by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) experience. It felt a bit intense—the program would start every day at 9am—and then the day would be quite full, with dinner ending around 10pm. Overall, it was worth it. The talks by the laureates were quite broad—from history of the computers, over Alan Turing’s work, to how to write mathematical proofs using software. We had a lot of chance to interact with the laureates, both during coffee breaks and during dinners. I was most impressed by Leslie Valiant and Endre Szemeredi, two brilliant scientists with very different personalities. 


Jelena and The Darmstadt Russian Chapel

Apart from lectures, we had multiple tours of the area — they gave us a Heidelberg castle tour, where we also had dinner, we had a tour of Heidelberg city, a tour of Speyer city with a tour of their Museum of Technology, where we also had dinner. The director of the Speyer Museum of Technology gave us a beautiful lecture about the history of space travel, pointing out every so often the parts of that history being kept in the museum.

One thing that I really really liked about the HLF is the way that the laureates were treated. I felt that this was one of the few events where the laureates were treated the way they deserve—as superstars. Also, the HLF was quite a big deal for Heidelberg—we had Heidelberg Lord Mayor, Speyer Lord Mayor, and German Vice-Chancellor all give talks at the forum.
On my way back, I paid a visit to Franko Kueppers’ photonics lab at TU Darmstadt (one of CIAN’s international partner institutions). Franko was a great host: he gave me a tour of the campus and of his labs, and we talked about my and his lab’s work. I also met with his students and they were more than great hosts.

Thanks to CIAN and the NSF for making this trip possible! It was a truly wonderful experience.

Jelena Marašević – PhD Student
Columbia University

Jelena Marašević is a Ph.D. student in the Wireless and Mobile Networking Lab at Columbia University. Her research focuses on algorithms for fair resource allocation problems, with applications in wireless networks. She received her B.S. degree from University of Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering, in 2011, and her M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University in 2012. For her M.S. degree, she received the M.S. Award of Excellence.

In Spring 2012, Jelena organized the first cellular networking hands-on lab for a graduate class in wireless and mobile networking. For this work, she received the Best Educational Paper Award at GENI GREE2013, and she was also awarded the Jacob Millman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Assistance from the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. 

Jelena is a co-winner of the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship 2015, for an inter-disciplinary research proposal on full-duplex wireless communication.

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