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Archive for April, 2013

One Hour on Procrastination

Procrastination – we all do it (admittedly or not admittedly) and we presumably all hate that we’re doing it. I’m doing it right now. Tuesday evening we Southamptoners were lucky enough to enjoy a talk by Jorge Cham, the creative mind of PhD comics. His presentation was called “The Power of Procrastination” and like the comics just hits the nail on its head. Very often I find myself thinking or saying to someone “Oh my god, I could be and should be doing work right now and I won’t even have any time to sleep anymore” and find myself browsing the internet five minutes later. But Jorge’s talk gave me a new viewpoint on the whole topic and can probably help keeping many PhD students sane. (more…)

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Phosphorus Dynamics & Lake Eutrophication

One of the projects I carried out as part of my PhD decision process is nearly finished now. Or let’s say it is finished, but I am still writing it up. I have published my Matlab code on my Git repository, so feel free to have a look.

I have reimplemented a model on lake eutrophication developed by Carpenter (2005). It is a very neat mathematical model that can predict eutrophication and algal blooms. However, this model does not take into account the role of the biota explicitly. I attempted to fill this gap, but had to discover that essential data to take out this model extension in a justifiable way is missing. Therefore my report will be a position paper that points out gaps in knowledge and gives suggestions on how to fill these gaps with the sampling of further lake data.

Carpenter S R: Eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems: bistability and soil phosphorus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (29): 10002-10005, 2005

Research Update

My Research page still claimed that I am quite indecisive for what I want to do with that PhD position of mine. That has actually been untrue since January, because then I had finally decided that I will leave bioinformatics behind me and engage in more physical fluid dynamics simulations for medical research and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in particular. I am still quite unsure of what “field” that now leaves me with. Medical physics Simulation? With a big question mark attached to this I think I can deservedly claim to be in complex systems simulation.

Because I have trouble naming my research in less than 10 words I have finally got round to updating my research page. That also means that it is getting serious now. Soon I will have finished the first taught year in the DTC and in the remaining three years after that I will hopefully manage to answer at least a few of the many unresolved questions surrounding AD resulting in a doctorate degree.