MLSS 2014, Reykjavik
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MLSS Social Program

The purpose of coming to MLSS is to learn of course, but we want every MLSS attendee to experience the unique charms of Iceland as well. The social program for MLSS Iceland includes a range of activities, from dinner and drinks in a nice atmosphere, to climbing a mountain overlooking the city. Hopefully there's something here that everyone can enjoy. We've also tried to strike a balance between providing interesting activities and keeping the registration rates as low as possible, so some events unfortunately must be paid for by the students separately.

Note also that with the exception of the joint AISTATS poster sessions, all dates are tentative and subject to change. There will be a finalized schedule available soon however.

AISTATS reception & Joint AISTATS/MLSS poster session

Thursday 24 April, 17:10 - 20:00, Location: Grand Hotel

MLSS attendees will have a chance to present their work to their peers as well as to the AISTATS attendees during the joint poster session. Drinks and light snacks will be provided. (Cost included in registration).

Night out in town

Saturday 26 April, Location: TBA

We'll make some loose plans for 3-4 places to meet up in the city center. Volunteers can help with getting where you're going, but the plan here is loose and informal. (Cost not included.)

Golden Circle Tour

Sunday 27 April (12:45-19:30), Location: Bus departs from Reykjavik University at 12:45, pickup at Grand Hotel at 13:00

The Golden Circle is one of Iceland's most popular activities. The tour consists of three sites: Gullfoss, a dramatic waterfall; Geysir, a hot springs complex that is the origin of the English word "Geyser" with an active geyser that erupts nearly 100 feet in the air every 8 minutes or so; and Þingvellir, a rift valley sitting on the boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates that also marks the site of the first parliament. We will have a bus arranged to leave from Reykjavik University. Cost is 81 EUR (not included in registration) and includes lunch during the tour. Contact if you wish to register for the tour.

Located on the edge of the lake at Þingvellir is Silfra. Silfra is not part of the Golden Circle Tour, but adventurous students may wish to arrange a special outing there to experience one of the world's top scuba diving destinations. Silfra, by virtue of its location in the Þingvallavatn Lake, contains clear, cold water that attracts scuba divers drawn to its high visibility and geological importance; divers are literally swimming between continents. At its deepest, Silfra is 63 meters deep but diving this depth is seldom done and only by professionals. In any case the most wondrous sights are in Silfra Cathedral which is a 100 meter long fissure where you can see from end to end. The rift offers amazing visibility and has been placed on the world's top 50 diving destinations.
Silfra is not included in either the registration fee or the Golden Circle tour, but the conference organizers can assist in getting bookings made for those who are interested.

Alternate option:
Walking tour of Reykjavik, Location: TBA. For those who don't want to book the Golden Circle tour, we'll be offering a guided walking tour of Reykjavik in the afternoon. Cost is not included and varies a bit depending on a few factors (e.g., the tour usually ends at one of the pools that are a mainstay of Icelandic social life, and entry into the pool costs about 500 ISK), but total costs will be between 0-1500 ISK.

MLSS Reception

Monday 28 April (19:00-21:00), Location: Kaffi Reykjavik, 2nd Floor

This is an opportunity for all attendees to meet in one place for drinks and light snacks (stand-up canape-style). Kaffi Reykjavik is located in the middle of the city center (see map). Cost is included in MLSS registration. Map

Pub Quiz

Thursday 1 May (20:00-22:00), Location: St˙dentakjallarinn

We'll meet up at the student cellar at the University of Iceland for some useless trivia. (note: not Reykjavik University, the site of MLSS. See map for details). Map

Entry is free. Drinks and food are available for purchase at the bar. Note that the venue will be pretty crowded, so arriving early is a good idea for seating.

Hiking Trip to Esjan

Saturday 3 May (14:00-18:00), Location: Buses leaving from Reykjavik University (tentatively)

Esjan is a very popular hiking trail up the mountain you can see across the harbor from just about anywhere in Reykjavik. Weather permitting, we'll take a bus to the foot of the trail (about 15 minutes outside of town) and hike up. The hike is not technical -- no climbing is required -- but it is a fairly steep uphill walk. Good footwear is encouraged, but any reasonably active people should be able to enjoy the trip. The trip to the top climbs about 900 meters and takes about 2-2.5 hours, but most likely the summit will still be snow-covered and inaccessible without climbing gear, so we'll hike up as far as seems reasonable and enjoy the views, and then return to the foot of the mountain for the bus back into town. Cost is included in the registration.

For those who want to do something a little less demanding, we will arrange a walking tour of Reykjavik, or students may take the afternoon off to experience Iceland on their own.