Narrow streets, fascinating churches, medieval walls, cheap-but-at-the-same-time-tasty food, a river with lovely bridges, independentist flags in almost every balcony, the sea very close and high mountains nearby as well… To me, it seems the right mixture of ingredients to be used as a set of the last Season of the TV series “Games of Thrones”.

Writing! That thing nobody told you was 50% to 80% of your time in academia. And seriously, somebody should have. Especially in Spain, where there is this terrible habit of classifying career paths into “letters” or “sciences” (aka “numbers”). No matter what you choose, in the end, writing skills are amongst the most important abilities in a scientist arsenal - yes, arsenal, because academia is like war in way too many senses.

02 February 2017

Why Do We Need Models?

A model is a representation of a system using concepts, equations or rules. Almost everything can be modeled today: the revenue and growth of a company, the flight performance of a new aircraft wing, the air pollution and, of course, the amount of pharmaceuticals present in our rivers. You can need them to simulate scenarios (what if….?), forecast the future or extrapolate information. Moreover, when you need to make a decision (a difficult one) you may also need a model to compare the benefits and drawbacks of one alternative decision against another. For my research, a model will be especially useful to compare different strategies to reduce the level of pharmaceuticals in rivers. Who else needs a model to make a decision?