Bogazici University IMBM

Open Questions in an Open Universe

August 12-17, 2013

Istanbul, Turkey

Organized by

Istanbul Center for Mathematical Sciences (IMBM)


Boğaziçi University

With generous support from The International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)


The focus of this workshop will be on de Sitter space, singularities and branes. A small group of experts of all ages and nationalities will be assembeled to catalyze stimulating discussions and exchange of ideas on these topics.








Boğaziçi University

Boğaziçi University


Please register before April 15 2013 by filling in the registration form found in your invitation e-mail and mailing it to

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

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  • Özgür Akarsu (Koç University)
  • Dionysios Anninos (Stanford University)
  • Mert Beşken (Boğaziçi University)
  • Adam Brown (Stanford University)
  • Nihat Sadık Değer (Boğaziçi University)
  • Frederik Denef (KU Leuven)
  • Tekin Dereli (Koç University)
  • Deniz Devecioğlu (METU)
  • Gaston Giribet (University of Buenos Aires)
  • Rajesh Gopakumar (HRI Allahabad)
  • Umut Gürsoy (Utrecht University)
  • Rahmi Güven (Boğaziçi University)
  • Daniel Harlow (PCTS Princeton University)
  • Thomas Hertog (KU Leuven)
  • Diego Hofman (SLAC / Stanford)
  • Emre Kahya (ITU)
  • Nihan Katırcı (Boğaziçi University)
  • Ali Kaya (Boğaziçi University)
  • Matthew Kleban (New York University)
  • Albion Lawrence (Brandeis University)
  • Mehmet Özkan (Texas A&M)
  • Massimo Porrati (New York University)
  • Cihan Saçlıoğlu (Sabancı University)
  • Özgür Sarıoğlu (METU)
  • Leonardo Senatore (Stanford University / CERN)
  • Ergin Sezgin (Texas A&M)
  • Shahin Sheikh-Jabbari (IPM, Tehran)
  • Merve Tarman (Boğaziçi University)
  • Dieter Van den Bleeken (Boğaziçi University)
  • Alexander Vilenkin (Tufts University)
View from IMBM

View from IMBM

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The dinner will take place on Tuesday at the Asitane restaurant. We will leave together after the workshop and on our way to the restaurant make a boat trip and visit the Chora Museum, famous for its Byzantine mosaics.

Hagia Sophia

Chora Museum


We recommend to take a hotel in the Tünel/Taksim area, which is one of the most lively and interesting areas of Istanbul with easy access to the major tourist sites. We recommend the following hotels, at which a discount will be offered when you mention "Bogazici University Physics Workshop Attendee" when making a reservation.

5 Oda Hotel, reservations can be made via their website or by e-mail to

Tünel Residence, reservations can be made by e-mail to

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Directions: The workshop takes place at the IMBM (Istanbul Center for Mathematical Sciences) which is located on the south campus of Bogazici University, indicated by an X on this campus map. The adress of the university is

Boğaziçi University South Campus (Boğaziçi Universitesi Güney Kampüs) 34342 Bebek, İstanbul, TÜRKİYE

Taxi: Tell the taxi driver to take you to Bogazici University (say: 'Boazichi'). He will take you to the main entrance, labeled as "Zincirlikuyu - Bebek St." on the campus map. From there you can either walk, or continue with the taxi, keeping right at the fork, until the end of the road. The path to IMBM will be on the right, see again the campus map. Note that cabs run on meter, we do not tip cab drivers in Istanbul. From the Taksim area a trip should cost around 30-40TL, from the airport around 60-70TL. In general it is adviced to take taxi's from taxi stops instead of those simply passing by in the street.

Public Transport: Information about public transport can be found at The 559C (RUMELİHİSARÜSTÜ-TAKSİM) bus leaves every 10 minutes from Taksim square to the university. The stop BOĞAZİÇİ ÜNİVERSİTE is next to the Etiler Gate of the university, which is easily recognizable and will be on your right. It is labeled as "Zincirlikuyu - Bebek St." on the campus map. This takes about 50 minutes.

Eating on and around campus: There will be lunch at the Faculty Club (Kennedy Lodge) every day. For people staying at the university housing we suggest Teras Kantin, building 10 on the campus map, for breakfast. For dinner there are many restaurants in the Rumelihisarüstü neighborhood (which is by the Etiler Gate of the University): Hazal Ana (kebab), Dalyan Balık (fish), Yenice (home cooking), etc. The Etiler Gate is labeled as "Zincirlikuyu - Bebek St." on the campus map. Or one can walk down to the Bebek-Hisari street, at the bottom of the campus map, next to the Bosphorus and explore the Bebek and Rumeli Hisari neighbourhoud.

Electricity: Turkey operates on 220 Volts, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs that fit into recessed wall sockets/points.

Water: We do not drink tap water in Istanbul. You can buy 0.5-liter bottles of water for 50 kuruş which means 0.5 TL.

Tipping at restaurants: It is optional. Most people tip around 5-10 %.

Exchanging money: It is very easy in Istanbul. In Taksim and Sultanahmet, you will see many exchange offices. They do not charge any commission. The spread (i.e., the difference between the buying and selling prices) is around 2%. The spread at the exchange offices at the airport will be slightly worse. You can also of course withdraw TL from ATMs which are everywhere in the city, but they will charge you an ATM fee (a few euros) and their spread will be even worse.

Credit cards: Almost every restaurant and store will accept Visa and MasterCard. American Express is not as common.

Blackboard vs. beamer: In the seminar room of IMBM, there are multiple blackboards and a projector screen. It is possible to use the projector and write on the boards at the same time.

Wireless internet: There is free wireless internet on the Boğaziçi University campus, including IMBM. There is no password.

Visa to Turkey: Most of the participants coming from abroad will need a visa to enter Turkey. However, this is a trivial matter. Once you land in Istanbul, there will be a desk just before passport control. There you pay 20 dollars or 15 euros and get a stamp. That's your visa. In other words, you do not need to do anything beforehand. (There might be exceptions. Please double-check if you are not coming from the US or an EU country.)

General Visitors Information: More information on Istanbul for a variety of topics can be found at Frommers.

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If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the organizers Nihat Sadık Değer, Matthew Kleban and Dieter Van den Bleeken

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Last updated: August 7, 2013.