PhD Defence Invitation

November 30, 2011

Get the PhD Defence invitation (PDF)

My PhD thesis has been approved for defense by the PhD Committee, and I will defend it on Friday, 16 December. I’m quite happy I will have the opportunity to do it, while somewhat nervous.

If you want a copy of the PhD Thesis send me an email to carlos (at)

PhD Pre-Defence

July 4, 2011

There are different types of Pre-Defences. In Aalborg is a voluntary event that some people do after delivering the thesis as a rehearsal of the presentation, others do it 1 or 2 months before delivering the thesis. I have done the latter. It was very good and 15 people from different fields participated. I asked them to read different sections of my first draft. I was very pleased.

The presentation here, it was done with the purpose to spur comment.

One of the interesting things is that many criticized the subtitle that I had. I was not sure about it, and at the end I asked for a vote to drop it or not (even though it is not a democratic process). No one voted in favor to have it. So I dropped it from this version.

Now I have a little more than a month to finish it.

Now that I’m in the last stages of my PhD I’m looking back at who made this possible. Obviously there are many people and institutions, to many of them I can tell them personally, as individuals or representatives of the organizations. However, there is an institution that is hard to thank, however you maybe part of this. That is the European Union. Without the structural funds of the European Union, the project I’m part of would have not be created. Therefore I want to say thank you European Union! Most of the readers here come from outside the EU, I hope they don’t mind to read this.  I will let the future judge if my PhD project (including research, publishing, collaborating and teaching) has been a good investment or not.

Ok, and also thank you to Denmark! Even if sometimes don’t get along with the EU :)

The last post of Ed Glaeser on The Daily Show, was the post #100 of this blog. My first post was shortly after I started my Phd on April 2008, and I was not really sure if it was going to be worth it. To don’t consume too much time, I intended to write a couple of paragraphs once a week or every two weeks. More or less I have achieved it. That was almost 3 years ago, and now I’m wrapping up the PhD project. On this post I would like to reflect how this blog and its 100 posts has helped me on my PhD studies.

First, it helped me to train the skills of organizing ideas and write about them. In the beginning of my PhD I was complaining with one of my Phd fellows, Christian Byrge, of how overwhelmed I was about all the readings I had to go over. He then told me, that I should focus on writing. He told me something like: “We already have a bachelor and masters, and have some ideas on our heads. If we read everything that we are supposed to read, we will never finish.” The ideal situation for a Phd candidate is to be writing academic papers, but any scholar knows that this requires a lot to publish a first paper. Why not practicing “publishing” in a blog? You can keep a popular language that appeals not academic readers and the truth is that it’s fun, and yes, as a non English speaking native, I can make mistakes without worrying too much.

There are also two more areas that have have been benefited with this blog. These are the two goals I had when I started it. One was to have a network of people who are interested in the subjects of my Phd studies. I have done that indeed. With academics, researchers, practitioners, authors and last but not least, people from other grounds that have helped my work. I have also enjoyed to find other PhD students from whom I can have common feelings. This has been enhanced by microblogging with Twitter (@carlos9900).

The other goal I had was to create something that people may find interesting. With humility I think I have done so too. Since I started the website it has received nearly 10,000 visits. Knowing that people find it interesting enough to read it makes me really happy. Also people had left 140 comments and many of them have helped me to see things from other point of view.

In all, writing this 101 posts has been a nice experience. I suppose I will finish it when I get my degree, I will finish this project. Thank you for reading.

2010 in review

January 6, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 32 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 95 posts. There were 15 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 5th with 66 views.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were:,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for economic crisis, denmark economic crisis, how the crash will reshape america summary, economic crisis in denmark, and crisis in denmark.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The bio of Carlos December 2010


“Economic crisis” in Denmark, USA and the consumer confidence December 2008


Infinite economic growth: “Keep interest rates low” (Krugman, 1998, 2010) June 2010


The economic crisis: When will it finish and how it started. January 2009


Becoming Danish, only in a few basic steps November 2010

Wikipedia, thank you.

November 30, 2010

These days before Christmas when you visit Wikipedia, there is the appeal of the founder Jimmy Wales. He explains how “nearly 400 million people use Wikipedia and its sister sites every month” and that “It is the 5th most popular website in the world”. I have to admit that I love the website, and I don’t care about the caveats. It has helped me so much! For example, this morning a Brazilian friend and I were trying to pronounce the word “counterintuitive, while we were not 100% sure of the meaning. It has not been until now that I can find a full article in the wiki, and then I will use the word in a paper. 

I have been editing the website for more than 6 years, and it is always exciting. I’m not a perfect contributor, and probably sometimes I cause more trouble than help. But I honestly want to give my best sand grain to the mountain.

This is a sample of the things I have edited in Wikipedia, since I started my Phd. One of the requirements of a Phd student here in Denmark, is to disseminate knowledge. I hope this counts :)

I think I will contribute a little amount of money. I hope you also do.


Thanks Theric for reminding me.

PhD course on GIS

November 18, 2010

I’m co-organizing a PhD course on Geographic Information Systems. Most of the people here reading this come out of Denmark, and they’re not phd students, but anyways, if you’re a phd student and you think that you could use or collaborate with some GIS software-people, then ask me about this course which will be taught on Spring 2011 at Aalborg University.

Here is the email I just sent to my buddies.

Dear colleagues,
I would like to know if there is anyone interested in using some GIS for your projects or papers. Traditionally GIS has been the domain of planners and geographers, but there are increasing possibilities for other projects including the more social ones, like economics. If you need to create maps, or analyze data with a spatial dimension, then you could be interested in learn more about GIS, or collaborate with specialist researchers.

I have been talking with Bernd Möller our GIS specialist in the Geography group, and we have though it would be a good idea to create a PhD course, that could explore possibilities for each phd project. Please email me at your earliest convenience if you’re interested