Here at KITPC, Beijing, the companion program has gone into (soon) the sixth week.
The first two weeks of the six centered around a ICTP-financed school on related topics, which gathered a considerable crowd of students (60 or so) in particular from China and eastern Asia.
Since then the main idea has been a daily lecture or two, and lots of work. It will remain to be seen how productive the KITPC program will prove to be - one never can predict these things with any accuracy. However, a word must be said for the Chinese cuisine, and the culinary (and scientific) leadership shown by the local main organizer, Haijun Zhou.
The daily scientific life has also included two discussion sessions so far, one on K-SAT problems and such (Eliza Maneva, Roberto Mulet and Mikko Alava convened) and another on biology and global optimization (Henri Orland and Jooyoung Lee). Some lively discussion ensued.