Located in the Midwestern United States, Indiana is known as the "Crossroads of America" because of the numerous interstates thatcrisscross the state, linking Indiana with the rest of the country. This central location also allows you to travel easily anyplace in the country with just a short plane-ride. Indiana ranks 14th in population and major Indiana cities include Indianapolis, Lafayette-West Lafayette, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Bloomington. Santa Claus, Indiana is a popular destination with the Holiday World amusement park. Visitors can send their Christmas cards with the famous postmark. Indiana Beach is another favorite amusement park.
Indiana's landscape is divided into three regions: the Great Lakes Plains, the Till Plains, and the Southern Plain and Lowlands. Located in the northern part of the state near Lake Michigan, the Great Lakes Plains is characterized by sand dunes and lakes just south of the dunes. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a major attraction and a great place for a weekend getaway. The Till Plains are characterized by low hills and valleys and run through the center of the state, providing fertile farmland. The Southern Plain and Lowlands, in the southern part of Indiana, is filled with rolling hills. Several caverns, including the national landmark Marengo Cave and Wyandotte caves, have been carved into the landscape by streams running underground.
In a report titled Rich States, Poor States, Indiana ranks 17th overall and 1st among the Midwest in a 2009 ranking of the economic outlook across the fifty states. Indiana led the Midwest due to its population growth and personal income growth (from the American Legislative Exchange Council). Indiana is home to a growing market in alternative fuels. The American Wind Energy Association ranked Indiana as the fastest growing state for wind energy installations in 2008 and the state capital, Indianapolis, made the Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 list of the Top 25 cities with the most ENERGY STAR labeled buildings. Indiana is also home to an emerging life sciences economy. According to Biocrossroads:
- Indiana's life science industry has invested more than $2.4 billion in new expansions and buildings since 2002.
- Indianapolis ranks #2 in the U.S. for employment concentration in Drugs and Pharmaceuticals.
- Purdue Research Park is ranked the #1 university research park in the country.
- Central Indiana is home to a $13.6 billion global life science hub.
- Indiana has the fifth largest number of workers (per-capita employment) in the medical technology field in the U.S.
Learn more about Indiana by visiting the following links:
Indianapolis, Indiana's State Capital
Just an hour's drive from Purdue, Indianapolis offers a number of fun diversions for graduate students.
Known as the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World," Indianapolis offers spectator sports for nearly every sports enthusiast. Indianapolis is home to the Indianapolis Colts professional football team; the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, the men's and women's professional basketball teams; and the famous Indy 500 racing event. The state capital is also home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) headquarters, which is the governing body of college athletics. The NCAA Hall of Champions is one of a handful of museums in Indianapolis.
Other Indianapolis museums include the world's largest children's museum, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which will soon be home to one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Attractions also include the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, galleries, wineries, theaters, bars and nightclubs, shopping malls and antique stores, and the Indianapolis Zoo.
The Web sites below offer more information on Indianapolis: