I visited Georgia Tech this summer (15th June 2011 to 31st August 2011), to work with Prof. Maria Florina Balcan. I would like to share my experiences during this visit.
I met her at a 10 days school on Algorithmic Game Theory in Shanghai last year, where she was one of the speakers. We discussed a few things then. As I wanted to go for an internship this summer, I started applying in Jan. I wrote to 3 Profs, including her, with some time gaps. People generally travel during the summer, so it seems they do not prefer to take summer interns. However, after a while she replied saying that she would be happy to host me. That is how I got it.
The experience was good. I got to interact with many post-docs and two more profs. The people are very professional, and result/paper oriented. I think that it is good for phd students. My mentor is very active, up to date about the results, and all enthu to find out new things. But she was also travelling till 1st August. So, we got to work actively only during the last month. The area (learning theory) was totally new to me, so I learnt a lot.
Theory group at Georgia Tech is strong, and they work in many diverse areas. Two new good profs have joined in theory recently (Nina and Prasad Raghvendra). The group regularly invites renowned people, either to visit for a short duration (Lovasz is visiting now) or to give a talk. There is an invited talk every once in a week. Also, the students meet every week to discuss and give talks.