I’m in Abu Dhabi once again, where it’s nice to see NYUAD’s Downtown Campus building become a workplace. My first visit to Abu Dhabi took place just on the eve of NYU’s taking possession of the building, so for me it’s been a little like watching a toddler learn to walk. The building is now about to host its fifth — and biggest — Candidate Weekend. There are 97 candidates arriving here today, and I’ll be teaching my cosmopolitanism class again. I’ll be joined by an exceptionally high-powered cadre of colleagues, who will be leading seminars on a variety of topics: Abu Dhabi and the dilemmas of urban development; the mathematics of uncertainty and inference from Bernoulli to Einstein; the meaning of fairness; the interdisciplinary study of 21st-Century brain science; feminism and inequality; choice theory; the legacy of the Cold War; and the science of genome maintenance.

I was pleased to see a memento of my first visit to Abu Dhabi framed and hanging on a wall near the office of the NYUAD Institute along with other posters from past Institute lectures.

I spent much of yesterday discussing the arts and humanities with colleagues from NYUAD; today I’ll be doing some more exploring of the city and meeting a couple of colleagues from Zayed University whom I met during my first visit.

And, this morning, I was “in the gulf” literally: a brief morning swim. It left me feeling buoyant — again, literally. I’m not a very good floater in general, but the water here is salty enough to buoy even me. Maybe that’s an allegory of something.