Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

Simons Institute to Open for Outdoor Collaboration in January

We are delighted to announce that after nine months of operating entirely remotely, the Simons Institute will be opening for outdoor collaboration on February 1.

UC Berkeley has approved the Simons Institute to participate in a small outdoor pilot program, which will allow long-term participants in the Institute’s Spring 2021 research programs, Satisfiability: Theory, Practice, and Beyond and Theoretical Foundations of Computer Systems, to gather for research collaboration meetings in the outdoor spaces surrounding Calvin Lab. The area will be adapted to suit this purpose, with mobile whiteboards complementing the blackboards long affixed to the building’s exterior. Outdoor heaters will be strategically arrayed where permitted to ensure a comfortable work environment.

The Institute’s workshops, public lectures, and internal program events will continue to take place remotely for now.

The outdoor pilot program features a variety of measures to ensure that participants are protected from being infected by the coronavirus. Mask-wearing and social distancing will be maintained throughout. Additional mandatory compliance measures for participants include a negative coronavirus test just before the beginning of their visit, weekly testing and daily symptom screenings, a flu shot (or approved exemption), and completion of two online health-safety training sessions. In addition, participants traveling to Berkeley must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Participants will also be eligible to opt into the innovative smartphone-based California COVID Notify program, which sends alerts to users when they have been in close contact with others who have tested positive for the coronavirus.