Blog: Musings

  • About wise people and their footsteps

    by: in: Musings, Researchon November 16, 2016

    In my last blog, I have been writing about my first steps as an engineer in a biolab. Well, quite some time has passed since then and things have changed. In the meantime, I feel rather comfortable handling «my» cells and was able to establish a number of collaborations that keep information and inspiration (and blood) running.  

  • Whether to stay in academia or leave it, that is the question.

    by: in: Education, Musingson October 28, 2016

    The challenging question arises right after or few months before PhD graduation: whether to stay in academia or leave it for an industrial career. The answer obviously depends on the personal attitude and the opportunities available at the time. However, as a PhD student you have to foresee certain points in order to make an appropriate career decision.

  • The spirit of self-efficacy: origins, roles and real life performances!

    by: in: Musings, Philosophyon October 26, 2016

    You might remember the famous children’s story The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper.

    “As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, “I–think–I–can, I–think–I–can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

  • Computational science applied to medicine and biology – Varied perspectives

    by: in: Humor, Musingson September 14, 2016

    As a computational scientist, I use and develop numerical models, implement them as computer programs and execute them on supercomputers to simulate physiological flows, with the intention of answering mysterious clinical questions. The interdisciplinary nature of this research leads to varied perspectives by scientific people from different communities. I note some of my (funny and informative) experiences here, mostly gained from conversations during conferences.*

  • Lab management, time management and the joy of getting things done

    by: in: Musingson April 29, 2016

    Being a Lab Manager at the Interface Group or any other Research Lab is definitely an interesting and rewarding experience. It can also be infinitely frustrating when one realizes that the rate of task inflow has risen above the rate of task outflow. At this point it will be painfully obvious that the only way forward is to increase their productivity, and a good way to do that is through discipline and organization. I would like to write a few words on how I manage to get my head above water and keep it there, in the hopes that you, the reader, might be inspired to pick up a tip or two.

  • What children bring to science

    by: in: Education, Musingson April 25, 2016

    A 6-year old looking at the sea, following the trajectories of a jet ski and ocean liner:

    “Why, in case of a collision, can it not be the jet ski that wins??”

    Bright and clear: Momentum, energy. You enthusiastically translate the scene into a series of equations, 15 minutes of monologue, excitation, gestures, before concluding with a pinch of emotion in your voice, your arm pointed towards the horizon “Quod erat demonstrandum!”.

  • Science and art: how diverse and unique

    by: in: Musingson April 20, 2016

    Science and art are classically branded with opposing characteristics: science is objective, supports understanding the nature and answers long-standing questions, while art is subjective, elicits new thoughts instead of responding to established inquiries, and in fact, is used as a self-expression tool. The question is whether this classical branding represents science and art truthfully.

  • Pigeons know better

    1 comment
    by: in: Musings, Researchon April 4, 2016

    When your experiments went wrong again, when you just spent another weekend trying to guess what the experimental protocol should be, and, especially if you feel like you’re losing control, talk to a pigeon!

  • Failure – the great teacher

    1 comment
    by: in: Musingson April 4, 2016

    “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure,” Bill Gates said.

    We are all always at risk of encountering failure at one point or another. What truly matters is how one reacts to and learns from that failure instead of personalizing it, or trying to justify or ignore it. When I struggle with failure, I realize that I need to find a way to handle it and take it as an opportunity in a way that can lead me, ultimately, to success.