Porto Alegre is the capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state, which borders Argentina and Uruguay, and is the tenth most populous city in Brazil. Founded in 1769 on the eastern bank of the Guaíba Lake, a giant freshwater lagoon navigable by even the largest ships, the city is home to more than one and a half million inhabitants and is a chief industrial and commercial center of the country.
In recent years, Porto Alegre has hosted large events such as the World Social Forum, the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and FISL, one of the world's largest free software events. In 2019, NIME will cross the equator for the first time: researchers and musicians will gather to share their knowledge and late-beaking work on new musical interface design at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), one of Brazil's highest-rated universities.
UFRGS has over 31,500 undergraduate and 11,300 graduate students, more than 2,700 professors and about 5,000 concurrent research projects. Located in the heart of the city, next to the Redenção Park, it's in an area very well served by restaurants, bars, hotels and is less than half an hour away from the airport.