Over these past two years, I have gotten familiar with a range of open source tools (that means free!), that have greatly helped me to cope with my daily work. They are many, and each one of them definitely deserves its own blog entry. However, we don’t have that much time, so I will describe the most important ones. If you think they might be useful, I suggest you take a look.

Mobility is one of the main cores of European Marie-Curie research fellowships. As PhD fellows, we have the opportunity to travel, engage international research groups and integrate into other cultures. However, we also must deal with lots of paperwork. When moving from one country to another, we not only need to move our personal stuff but also our social security provided by our home institution. I know this can be a pain in the neck for many PhD students. This is the reason why I am going to use this entry to share my knowledge on how I managed to have social security in Belgium, being ICRA my home institution.

15 May 2017

Getting Started

Starting something could be seen either as an instantaneous action or as an endless process. In physics we use the terminology t=0 to refers to the beginning of a specific event; such as the movement of a sphere on a sloping plane. In this case, the start corresponds at the instant when the sphere begins its own motion. Same thing if we consider a stone falling from the Pisa’s tower. In fact, according to the legend, Galileo climbed the Pisa’s tower in order to study the gravity fall of some stones. Basically he was throwing these stones from the tower and then doing some math. In his studies, t=0 was the second he was releasing the stone. And we could go on with many other similar examples. But, can we really say that “the discovery of the law of gravity” began with those throwing? Wouldn’t be maybe more precise to say that the discovery started a bit earlier? Is not true that Galileo went on top of that tower just because he had started a thinking before? So, we can also look at that throw as “the end” of a longer process which started Only-Galileo-Knows-When!

05 May 2017

The flexible I

We change and transform bit by bit. Often we don’t notice it and maintain the feeling of the constant I for the longest periods of time. Recently, in a moment of self-reflection, I looked back at myself in the past. The amount of personal change since the start of my Ph.D. amazed me. Most of it is positive and offered some insight to me into the importance of self-managed ventures as a Ph.D.