Christmas in Japan

December 29, 2009

My in-laws live in Japan, and we came to spend the holidays with them. I have been fascinated by Japan. Tokyo is amazing. There are so many things to learn from this country. Now I’m currently in Okinawa, and the weather is very good. I feel my mind has expanded a lot by visiting Asia for the first time.

But it’s not all party I have been working on a paper for the DRUID Winter Conference 2010, the deadline to submit the paper is for January 4th. I’m we’re almost done. I’m collaborating with Kristian Nielsen, from the Business Dept. and it has been a pleasure working with him.

Happy 2010!

A couple of weeks ago I found at the Copenhagen airport the magazine Focus in Denmark, I’ve seen it before but this time I read it while waiting. The article ATTRACTING FOREIGN STUDENTS seemed quite interesting to me. The basic idea you can learn is that if you’re a student around the world you should consider Denmark, if you’re already in Denmark, you should consider stay. If you’re a Dane, this is quite hard to listen (It would be hard for me to read this if a Spanish official would say it)

“We want to be a top-class international university and it is not the passport number that decides, but what our students have between their ears. We must attract the best, and if it is others than Danes, then it is they we want to have. But internationalisation is not a separate point in our strategy – it is incorporated into everything we do,” says Lykke Friis, prorector of the University of Copenhagen.

So, if you’re a Dane, you know that you’re not competing against the other Dane down the street or the other Dane across the bridge, but against all the world.

Of course things are not that clear cut neither the life for newcomers (especially in the beginning) is so rosy, but anyways I’m glad that I’m here among the Danes.

p.s. Yesterday I went and vote in the local and regional elections. As an EU citizen we’re allowed to do that, no matter where you’re in the EU. However, for the national elections we can only vote in our respective countries.

And I have had not time to write. But I will. First, Joe Pine was here at Aalborg University three weeks ago. It was a very good presentation. I’ll tell about it. Also 4 days ago, David Plouffe, the chief campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and other interesting leaders, presented in in a business leader seminar. They told me it was outstanding, I missed so much I did not go.

Anyways I just want to put a video here about a new upcoming event in Frederikshavn. Perhaps it’s not that exciting as the other two, only perhaps. It’s about the yearly Blues Festival of Frederikshavn. They just put it online.

I have not written here as I have been busy teaching, writing and preparing my study abroad for Spring 2010.

Twitter

August 31, 2009

Some days ago I opened a Twitter account. Everyone is talking about it, so I thought I’ll have to give a try. They say that everyone who does not have a Twitter account thinks that is just another way to waste time. I understand this, as this is what I though not long ago. I guess you can waste time, and this is not something I have too much now, with various serious deadlines and a newborn in the family. The reason to open it was to follow some authors I like that are in this software network. So my idea is not to write more than a couple lines a week, I just want it more to help me to get info I like.

There is an application where you can find who of your contacts are using Twitter, and out of 1300 contacts I have in Gmail, only 20 are subscribed and only 3 update it.

1st Year Presentation

June 4, 2009

At Aalborg University PhD students are required to give a 1 Year progress report. A professor (different from the supervisor/s) acts as opponent. A discussion about the project usually follows with other professors and students. In my case there were 15 people and I obtained critical feedback for my project, from professors and students. For these I’m very grateful.

Here it is my presentation, not all slides were presented as I didn’t want to surpass the 25 minutes. I had some technical problems, but of course with presentations, we always have to count on Murphy’s Law.

Anyways, I welcome any other idea.

AAG Conference 2009. This week (22-27 March) has been an excellent learning and networking experience. All imaginable subjects related to geography had their opportunity to show their state-of-the-art. I enjoyed many good presentations and debates in the field of economic geography, and many other interesting areas. There were 6500 geographers, from 60 countries (1500 non-American).
The only thing that I missed was that this year in Las Vegas (2008 Boston, 2010 Washington D.C.) there were not enough entertainment activities in the area. Just kidding.
This was my presentation, I was one of the 15 people who presented on the strand of Entrepreneurship and Geography, part of the Economic Geography section.
I have learnt many things, and I will give you a summary of things that impressed me the most, especially for my research area. But this will be in 2 weeks, right now I’m on vacation. I’m in California visiting good friends.

The last couple of weeks I have been quite busy preparing the classes of “Economic Geography”, and “Localization & Development Theory”. Besides that, I have reading the literature of the phd course I attended at Utrecht University. Therefore I have not had too much time too work in the project. Nevertheless I’m learning a lot, not only from preparing the classes with updated information, but from comparing different literature.