News Archive

Welcome Message from the Research Dean

The Research Dean greets Coalesce readers and prospective NiTiM winter school participants. 
Welcome to a brand new issue of Coalesce. I look forward to see you all in Barcelona. The organizing team is fully active to create an exciting event. Thanks! On the side, I hope to find out the progress in the building of Gaudi’s cathedral.  

The first time that I visited Barcelona was during the last stage of writing my PhD. I hardly remember anything of this most beautiful city. My head was full, overloaded, with PhD details, worries and plans. My girlfriend at that time, Joyce, joining me to Barcelona, was referred to as the PhD-widow by my friends. How painfully true was this joke. During the last day of our visit we walked over the Ramblas, crossed the road and ended up looking at the waterfront of the harbor. We promised each other to go to Barcelona again after my PhD.
Several years later, Joyce, then my wife, our one-year old kid Marijn and I visited Barcelona again. This time we were in the harbor at the end of the Ramblas. We sailed with our own boat from the Netherlands to Spain. I do remember a lot of that visit: it was nice warm, we were fascinated by Gaudi’s architecture and visited almost all buildings designed by him. After sailing for more than three months we were so relaxed that we could enjoy the city much more.
In November, I will go to Barcelona for the third time. This time most of you will be finalizing a PhD. It feels as if history is a kind of life cycle. Allow me and the other faculty to help you a bit with your PhD. If you have no time to enjoy Barcelona, promise yourself to visit it again. Finally, be careful with the ones that you love. They shouldn’t feel like widows or widowers.
I wish you a most wonderful day.
See you in Barcelona!
Your research dean,
Roland Ortt