Tag Archives: meta

Back at work!

Wow, it has been way too long since I updated this site. I will try to do better in the future and provide more frequent updates about what I am doing.

As stated in the last post, I took some time off in 2017. Specifically, I went to the US and hiked about 2,500 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. I kept a blog which you can check out if you’re interested.

I got back to work after I got back and have been fairly productive since then. It took me a while to get my head back into “the game” after living in a tent for a couple of months but I was able to ease back into it. Since I’ve been back, Hedderik and I have been working hard on finishing up manuscripts for projects that were mostly completed before I left: we submitted a paper about our explorations of a serial reaction time task in a virtual reality environment. We also submitted a shared first authorship manuscript that was long overdue. Together with Sarah and our collaborators at the AFRL, we submitted a conference paper about our CPR related work to CogSci, which will be held in Madison, WI in the end of July. Last week, Hedderik and I also submitted an abstract to ICCM, which will be held together with MathPsych just before CogSci. We’re hoping that both submissions get accepted, of course, and I am looking forward to a trip to Madison in July.

I am currently working on preparing two more manuscripts of projects that are completed but not written up, yet. I hope to have those off my desk by the end of June so I can focus on setting up new projects then. More detailed updates about those projects will follow as those papers see the light of day, hopefully in the near future!

Away from work for a couple of months

This calendar year has been reasonably productive for me. After finishing my PhD thesis and defending it, I’ve been post-doc’ing to finish up a couple of on-going projects. My contract ends today and I’ll take a couple of months off to be away from the computer and hike a long-distance trail. I should be back in Groningen towards the end of November and will continue a short post-doc appointment in the department here to finalize a number of on-going projects.

Acknowledgements from my PhD thesis

The Acknowledgements are in the printed version of the thesis and the in electronic version (link to PDF) but I felt like they should also be publicly available:

When I designed the cover for this thesis, I felt a bit strange putting only my name on it. I’m the one getting all the credit but there’s no way I could have finished my PhD without the help of a large number of people. This section is meant to acknowledge some of them. I am immensely grateful to all of you. My life in the last four years was amazing because I always had something interesting to do and was always surrounded by loving, supportive, and incredibly fun people. Thank you all.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my family. You have always supported me and encouraged me to pursue my interests. You contributed nothing to the content of this thesis. Yet, your contribution was the most important because you did all the difficult groundwork that made me the kind of person that’d tackle a project like this. There was never a doubt in my mind that you’d have my back no matter what. I couldn’t have done it without that peace of mind.

Most directly responsible for the completion of this thesis are my supervisors. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of both work and my life shortly after I started my PhD. I am grateful to Richard and Candice for your patience and guidance. I couldn’t have hoped for better role models and mentors and was sad to see you leave Groningen. Rob was the perfect promotor, always having an open ear, giving me advice, and keeping me on track. Hedderik saw me most and had the biggest influence on me; thank you for always making time, counsel me through the endless obstacle course that is academia, and guiding me towards becoming a more independent researcher. A PhD project is a team effort and I can’t thank you all enough for playing on my team.

The psychology faculty has always been a pleasant place to work. Thanks to my various office mates – Tanja, Tam, Mariska, Rasa, Edyta, Sabine, and the two Michaels – and colleagues – both at Psychometrics and Statistics and at Experimental Psychology –, spending time at work was only as stressful as I made it for myself. I appreciate that doors, ears, and minds were open and the flat hierarchy that made everyone easy to approach.

I also want to thank all the students. Lecturing, being an academic mentor, and grading reports always made me feel a bit awkward because I still see myself as a student. These interactions taught me a lot about myself. The best part was to see students turn into colleagues. Friederike, Sarah, and Charlotte: This thesis would have been at least a chapter shorter if it weren’t for you. You set a very high bar for any future collaborators, thank you.

A big thank you should also go to the “Minnaars en Minnaressen”. Aafke, Ana, Anne Marthe, Aytaç, Berry, Catia, Daniel, Darya, Elliot, Felicity, Jolien, Julia, Kim, Lowie, Luzia, Maja, Marloes, Nadine, Nico, Rob, Russell, Susie, Tassos, Tineke, Tomas, and Wisnu. Thanks for the drinks after work and the countless other social events over the last couple of years. A special thanks to the inner circle – Aafke, Darya, Kim, and Rob – and a very special thanks to Nico and Berry: living with you was amazing. Also on this list should be George and Garrett, who I didn’t see nearly enough. Having you in my life made me a better person. Thanks for calling me out on my shit and the never-ending support. I love you guys.

There were also some people outside of academia that I want to thank. Adam, Arun, Brenda, and Harmen (and everyone else at Squadraat) for countless hours of squash. I always had a blast and knew I’d get a good workout in if you guys were on court. Thanks for letting me win occasionally. I’d also like to thank my friends in Germany for making the effort to stay in touch and all the good times and trips that were a necessary break from my normal PhD life: Franze, Max, Tobi, Katchi, Lutz, Tobi, Caro, Lena, Catharina, and Basti and everyone else that was around occasionally.

The last four years were the best years of my life. I am sad to see them come to an end and incredibly excited for the future. A future in which I hope to cross paths with all of you again.

Starting a blog

I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog. This website is more or less up to date regarding my CV and conference and workshop attendance but it’s very “static”. That is, it doesn’t give the impression that I am doing a lot. But I am! (At least that’s what it feels like…)

Therefore, I thought it would be good to start a blog here in which I periodically write down what has been going on and what I am up to. I also feel there often is a lot of additional stuff that I do that never ends up anywhere. For example, I might make 10 different plots to get an idea of what’s going on in a given data set and then tweak one of them to actually include in a presentation or paper. It seems like a waste to just never show the other ones and I thought it would be good to have a platform to post them in case someone is interested in more in-depth analysis etc.

Anyways, I am not entirely sure where I will be going with this so we will see to which extent I am actually going to use this space. I think – and hope – that posting about milestones and plans will motivate me to stick to self-imposed deadlines. Worth trying in any case. :)