Saturday, 11 September 2010

I know

I know what I dislike, I do not know what I like, unfortunately

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Feeding

With papers I feed my mind,
with sport I feed my body,
with poems I feed my soul

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Have a good holiday

Dear readers,
I haven't forgotten you of course!!!
I haven't blogged anything, basically for two reasons:
- I worked really hard during the last weeks
- When I was free I didn't want to stay at home in front of my pc, therefore when I had time I was at the beach or with other friends.

I was involved in many things, most of them were new to me. Trying to list them:
-I was an assistant professor for an exam
-I'm also a student, it means that I have to take some exams. I passed one of them in July.
-I refined my research better and presented them to my research group
-I was in Rome for a presentation about possible partnership between industry and university
-I went to the sea as soon as I had some free time
-Running and cycling

Well if I explained each point thoroughly I would need to write an endless post...
Going to summarize, as an assistant professor it was quite embarrassing at early time because I wasn't accustomed to be called "professor" (actually at first time I barely dwell upon laughing) and neither to examine another guy. Fortunately, I started gradually, at the beginning I only corrected the written examinations and at the last exam session I also had the viva examinations.
I'm also a student, that is, I have to sit for exams.. weird I'm an assistant professor and a student at same time :)

It is due to the fact that we attend advanced courses that require us to take a final examination.
My research is still at embryonic stage, my adviser told and assured me that I' m doing well, but I'm not convinced and I keep on being quite skeptical.
Rome again, yes! it's officially my second city. I have never left Rome in somehow :) I'm still linked to this city, it is not that bad definitely :)

Since I worked really hard, sometimes at night as well, I needed to get rid of my pc. Some days I spent more than 11 hours (on the whole) in front of my PC,
I wanted to give a relief to my puffy eyes and aching spine-column, thus I deliberately left many tasks to do with my pc pending, like replying to friends, shame on me...
Running and cycling is wonderful!, my body is back in a good shape! I adore these two sports. I practice them on the weekend usually. I cycle to reach out the park where I do jogging for 30 minutes and back on the bicycle for other 15 minutes.

Holidays.. tomorrow I'm going to Munich (Germany) for 5 days I'm hosted by a close friend of mine who I met in Rome. She moved there some months ago. I'm really happy to meet her and to visit Munich at the same time :)
From 21st to 27th August I'm going to Umago, Croatia. It is a different holiday from the previous one, we (some friends of mine and I) will be in a residence for guys.
We will be dancing and sunbathing all the time... not so bad :)
Stay tuned

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Hot and tepid water

Hi guys,
as you noticed I've been writing about my PhD studies. I deliberately decided to use this blog as my notebook with advice for new Phd students or candidates, hopefully to help you out in somehow.
When you start your PhD studies (aside from recognizing that you must be quite crazy :) the first thing that you should realize, it is to update your knowledge about your research topic as soon as it is possible. Fill the existing gap between your current knowledge and the state of work. In other words do what you are supposed to do before writing your paper, check the "related work" and then think out of the box!!
In my city we have a common byword: when you find or propose a well established solution to a problem, we say "you discovered hot water". During these last days I've had many "tepid" ideas that turned to be hot as the water, not extraordinary.
In hopes that my tepid ideas turn into cold ones :) I wish to all PhD students good luck for their careers.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Serendipity-Fate-Destiny

Do you believe in fate?
I sustain this idea, it is quite simple.
Many things happen to us, we run into unanticipated events, people and places...
When this unpredictable situations occur we make a decision whether to pick them or not.
Decisions deliberately made, without a specific crunchy reasons behind them.
Sometimes just a word, a smile, a distraction drive our life towards another direction.
We can barely control our life, definitely.
Serendipity, do you know the movie?
I do believe that this theory mostly applies to love-story,
love should came out easily, no effort to find the "right" person... like the two protagonists of this romantic movie do



Or conversely shall we create our opportunities, encourage ourselves to take another street?
The Legend of 1900 here comes, another movie.
Shall we act like T.D. Lemmons? Accept to live on a ship for ever because scared of
the infinity possibilities that are beyond our sight or take the plunge and go ashore?



Sunday, 9 May 2010

Problems

It is not what kind of problems that makes us academicians, but how we manage to sort it out.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

How to present your Working package

Dear guys,
As I wrote in my former post, I attended two European meetings last weeks.
One of them gave me a preliminary idea on how to present your working package. Firstly, a kick off meeting is hold, mainly, because the partners need to present their working packages and duties. For the ones not aware of the structure of an European project, they are split into working package (WP).
Each WP represents a "work unit" that encompasses some tasks. The WP is presented by its leader. I prepared the slides for the working package in which was involved my university (but I didn't present it). After the meeting realized that I was neglect on some points. What I learnt and I wish to share with you is:
  • Kick off meeting is not only a presentation of your institution and the working package you're charged of.
  • Avoid presenting your working packages as a standalone piece, it has interactions with other WPs, find and highlight them.
  • Show the potential weak and toughest points, your partners and you might agree on a common strategy to sort them out.
  • Propose and discuss solutions, if you already have any in your mind.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have other suggestions.

European meetings

Dear guys,
Last weeks I attended two weeks.The first meeting was two weeks ago in my city. The audience was heterogeneous, exponents coming from both academic and industrial world. The meeting lasted the entire days and several panelists had their talk, some of them were well known professors. This meeting was interesting because I gained a deeper insight about some scientific topics that I ignored or barely knew,

The second meeting held in Rome last Friday was more exciting and with a different focus. It was a kick off meeting that involved all the partners of a consortium.
This fruitful and amenable meeting helped me to understand how different European groups join and work. Indeed the participants were German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, CECIc and... Hungarian :) and they have expertise on different subjects. To tell the true, a kick off meeting is not easy to chair. You have to keep things moving correctly since it's the first meeting you have to establish the roles of the partners. Moreover, these meetings are a viable opportunity to make new partnership,
exchange contacts and ideas. I personally managed to get in touch with two people who might cooperate in the future for some research activities :)

But the best part of any meeting is ... the lunch and coffee break!
You can't miss them.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sunday, 4 April 2010

What Pulcinella are you looking for?

I've seen the statistic for my blog, I noticed that a lot of you research the word "pulcinella" and get my blog about this character. I don't think that it is what you were searching, maybe you were more interested in the "Pulcinella di Mare" that is a popular kind of bird. Please let me know what pulcinella brought you here when you search by "pulcinlla". Thank you.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Hard copy book lover

Can we get rid of books made up of paper?
Honestly, I do not know, I reckon that is something really linked to your personal flavor.
Many technological solutions address the problem to store and retrieve information easily, reliably,
permanently and at low cost. Indeed one of the goals for the next years onwards is to reduce the amount of documents that are made up of papers, the so called "dematerialization" of the documents. A document in electronic format, let's say a "pdf document" has many nifty advantages over a document of paper:
  • portable. You just need a usb flash drive to store and bring it everywhere you want without wasting space!
  • deliverable. You can buy and get it within a few minutes, you can also pass it out by attaching to an email.
  • money saving. You don't need to take a car or bus to get to the library-> fuel not wasted. Additionally, It is not a hard copy made of papers,
  • time and energy saving. You just add it to your virtual chart with a click, you can attach it to your email and sending it to your friends without planning an appointment,
  • green. You do not increase your ecological footprint because you do not need to take a car or whatsoever to reach the bookshop. Additionally , cut the number of trees hacked up.
  • usable. You can write on it with "add comments" command of your pdf reader and change it over and over easier than using a pencil
  • copyable, if you hold the proper grant you can copy the text from the it to your document (the well known copy and paste) it 's quicker than typing.
  • safety. Less paper in your house harder it blazes :)
  • cleanness. You do not have shelfs and books to dust off :)
Despite all these advantages (some of them are really quirky e.g. cleanness but I think it makes sense in somehow) I still do believe that books of paper are far away from disappearing.
I consider myself "a true hard-copy book lover", I need to touch them, to sniff at them, to flip through them, to see them, to blend the upright side corner for reminding me the most relevant pages, to pile up them on my bedside table ... in a nutshell I cannot image a world with no hard copy books..
Are you a hard-copy book lover?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Marriage vs PhD

From http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Dealing with the damned prepositions: "talk to" or "talk with"

What preposition follows the verb "to talk" when it means to speak, to communicate?
I was pretty convinced that the correct preposition was "to", therefore "talk to "is allowed and "talk with" is frowned upon... Now, I step back after discovering that on BBC they use "talk with"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8583589.stm

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The copy and paste people

I was sitting on my barber's armchair, we were making small talks, interleaving them with a serious reflection, then a laugh and again this cycle.
All of sudden, he asked me, you have been working at university for some weeks, is it a good job?
I rolled my eyes around, thought for a while trying to answer in the best way avoiding bothering him with unpleasant grievances.
Finally, I manged to summed up what I had in my mind and I said to him:
"Currently I'm a PhD student, it means that the university is offering me the last educational stack.
Indeed I attend other courses like an ordinary student does, additionally I'm learning how to do, lead and present researches. After three years (that is the complete course) I'll be granted a PhD title and I'm prepared to work as a researcher.
Then the barber added: you'll be a sort of scientist...
Regrettably, in Italy the State does by no mean support the research!
In the past, every two-three years, Government called researchers for a national competition, the winners could get a full time position as researchers. Recently, some laws have been changed and it's not possible to hire a researcher for a permanent position, but only for three years. After these three years your contract might be renewed for other three years and then you are finished."
My hairdresser: it doesn't sound really good for your future. You are destined to a precarious condition.
Then I replied: it's not me, but the research is destined to an uncertain future and in long haul to disappear!
In the future other students will not be pushed to keep on studying, it's not worth doing or payoff (if you are not really animated by a strong passion and you were born with a tea spoon in your mouth).
My hairdresser: "What will it happen to Italy?"
me: maybe Italy is going to become an executive arm, just an arm without a brain to master it. Presumably, we will become the "copy and paste people" ... you know. when you do some researches and just copy someone's results/ideas and sell as yours...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

How many passwords do you have to remember?

Mine:
  • 4 Bank accounts
  • 3 emails
  • 4 social networks
  • 2 computers
  • 1 internet connection
On the whole 14!!! it freaks out

Sunday, 7 March 2010

PhD equation

My PhD officially started off last week. Now, I'm eager to know what my research theme(s) will be...
At the moment I'm busy with my first publication, the firm that should sponsor my studies
and something that I have to study for the next European call.
What is a European call ?
The research needs fund, a way to get them is to submit a proposal to a call of the European Commission (EC).
EC periodically calls for new ideas, for solutions to new problems, in turn they fund researchers
that want to (and can) address their problems.
Well, I should also be involved in one of this European Project as part of my duties.
Summarizing my PhD equation is
EC projects + Firm + ? = PhD
I hope to replace the question mark as soon as it is possible with my research themes...

Monday, 1 March 2010

My first PhD school

A new life, a new School...
When you are a PhD student you should (or better it is warmly advised ) to attend some PhD Schools. A PhD school is a school (of course!) that lasts, generally, one week and the students are all graduated.
During the week, several professors have a talk, seminar. For instance, in the morning you can attend a course and in the afternoon another one. A university hosts these series of events, but there are also professors and students coming from other universities, in this sense it seems a sound occasion to meet other researchers, explorer new ideas, discuss a topic of common interest and learn a lot.
I adore this jubilant spirit, I met people who are really concerned about what they do... great!
In these moments I feel satisfied and I'm enthusiast for the decision that I made.
Stay tuned :)
PS in July and in Sept I should attend other school, I'm looking forward to being there :)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

At secondary school after years and years

Dear
Have you been at your secondary school after several years?
Have you met your professors since then?
I was finished with my studies at the secondary school about seven years ago.
I attended a school for technicians, you develop some technical skills in a particular field,
in my case I studied mainly electronics for telecommunication systems.
It means that mostly, during my last years, I focused on subjects like telecommunications, electronics, electrical systems and so on. It was my first time that I dealt with those topics.
At the end of my studies I also was a lecture in that school. Yes you read correctly.
For teaching to some courses you are not supposed to hold a master degree. Actually there are two kinds of professors, one of them is a "support teacher" who works during the lab sessions.
I was one of them :). It was fantastic, so young and already on the other side of the desk :)
My professors were my colleagues, some friends of mine were my students... so funny!
Well, after this experience that lasted some months (it wasn't a full time position) I have never
been there. Last week I decided to go there and get back in contact with my old teachers, longing to drive me?
I do not know it.
However a lot of my previous teachers were very proud of me, my achievements and my next adventure. One of them (that I've always considered to be a good and thorough teacher) enjoyed my choice.
He also wants to keep in touch and immediately involved me in a scholar competition as judge...
It is something that went beyond my expectation, they were really welcoming and nice.
Now that the "channel is open" as my teacher and me say :) we want to do more for the future. If I have time I want to submit them some ideas and to become the man in the middle between them and the university... many ideas in my mind... I love this :)
Now again, have you met your old teachers ? if so what was your feeling ? I'm prying to know ...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

First week after leaving Rome

This is my first week in Naples since I definitely left Rome.
I still do not know exactly what I'm supposed to do during my PhD, I'm going to meet m y advisor tomorrow and then I'll be able to tell you more.
I want to speak about some things that came into my mind during this week.

1) My friend M. I met her for the first time in Rome, we stroke up our friendship on that semi-virtual world called Facebook. She was one of the most kind people with whom I spent my time in Rome. Together we went visiting museums, doing shopping and so on. She literally introduced me to the "glamor of Rome". Like me she is exploring new options for her future, I wish her all the best.

2)Sinelli girls. These three girls (among them there is M.) were very kind and nice to me.
With them I got used to spending our English Sunday afternoon. We generally met at Pompi (the best pastry store in Rome, renowned for their yummy tiramisù) on Sunday at 6 pm.
It was just an excuse to get together and talk about how was our last week and plan something for the next one. I hope to meet all them soon. I'm going to miss you :(

3)My previous work. I've been on good terms with my boss. He was more than a chief.
He was always available to give you a sound and heartfelt advice, you could ask him suggestions about everything from "how to behave with clients" to "where to find a car battery seller". Someone you can trust.. really hard to find in this lousy world especially in the job market.

3)My colleagues: S., L., R. They were good guys with whom I shared the pains of our job, the crazy laugh (when we were under pressure) and some nights.
L. is an extraordinary girls, she adds a bit of joy and freshness that are necessary in a typical male office.
S. a good colleague. I reengineered with him entire piece of codes, compared solutions and had good dinners. He is a really good cook. It might be a viable solution to become a cook if you need a new job :)
R. I dedicated an entire post to you... there is no other word to say :)

4)Rome. It's a buzzing, lively city that can offer you a lot of things to do and see.
It's an international city that gradually is getting multinational. Some examples, when I took the subway I could hear people talking in English (American mostly), French, German and so on.... in Naples I can't have all that :(
Moreover I missed the snow! if you don't know yet, two days ago it was snowing in Rome, you must see the wonderful pictures of a white Rome. Awesome!

5)The other guys. Again thanks to M. I came across with many people, some Italians with whom I had nice night-party and have been in fashion places.
Some foreigners coming from France, Ireland, Turkey... fantastic I had a great time with all of them by talking about our countries, traditions.. who knows if I ever meet them again.

Stop listing. There is no time to regret.. the show must go on

Monday, 8 February 2010

Back with news

Hi readers and lurkers
How are you ? I haven' t posted a blog for a long time...
Well, maybe you were wondering what happened to me. In January I made an important decision, I wanted to go back to university and keep on studying, definitely.
Maybe you remember that after my studies, my mentor asked to me if I wanted to study at university as a PhD student. At that time I turned down his offer.
In this year, many things have changed in my life: new friends, new habits, the first salary
and so on. But I didn't feel satisfied with that way of life, I started to miss the university, the time dedicated to study books (and not manuals!), to cooperate and challenge myself in an international environment..
Then, I dedicated the entire Christmas holiday to study and prepare myself for the PhD competition in my native city (yes, now I'm back in Naples).
On Jan 18th I sat the first exam, one day after, the second exam.
The final result was that.... I have passed the exams and the university will support my studies
for three years with a student grant! (not so much, actually, but better than nothing!)
I will be living in Naples by next week. There are other news linked to this new challenge,
I'll tell you later
 

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