*sigh* PhD Dissertation Submitted *sigh*

Posted: April 28th, 2009 | 7 Comments »

It is entitled “Aspects of implicit and explicit human interactions with ubiquitous geographic information“. In this dissertation, I cover some implications of the presence of ubiquitous technologies that afford people new flexibility in conducting their daily activities and simultaneously provide the means to study human activities in time and space. I employ seven of my first-authored papers to describe the following aspects of people interactions with these technologies to access and generate ubiquitous geoinformation:

  • Sources and perception of spatial uncertainty (CatchBob!)
  • Appropriation of ubiquitous geoinformation (Taxi drivers in Barcelona)
  • Implicit human interaction with wireless infrastructure as source of travel detection (Travel survey, no public content yet)
  • User-generated ubiquitous geoinformatin as evidence of tourist dynamics (Tracing the visitor’s eye in Florence and Rome)
  • Digital footprints as evidences of urban attractiveness (New York City Waterfalls)

At the start of this journey to a PhD, 3.5 years ago, I remember my wish to learn to fit to the mold of academia. Instead, I quite naturally emancipated from that thought, with inspirations from Nicolas or Julian. While keeping true to the purpose of science, I certainly intended to explore beyond the bounding box of one domain and its methods. Reading J√§rvinen Pertti’s book gave me that necessary holistic view on research methods. The exposure to new approaches and different research cultures and the consideration of real-life issues certainly contributed to the unusual aspect of my thesis. In fact, this thesis is the fruit of this exploration. I am convinced that the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills developed in this journey will enable me to adapt to a constantly changing world. Indeed, my work does not claim in-depth findings acquired through the application of one methodology. Rather, It stresses that varied approaches applied to varied problems strengthen both the methodological approach and the support for the more factual knowledge evidenced. To reach this contribution, I explored the creation of footbridges between domains that do not have the tradition to cross-communicate. I take pride to have developed both factual and designl knowledge from field works in collaboration with cognitive scientists, social scientists, software engineers, network engineers, computer scientists, industrial designers, and architects. The warm response of the members of my thesis jury constituted by experts from the domains of geography, anthropology, data mining, computer science, spatial information science and transportation research is certainly a proof of the attractiveness of my work in a wide context. It also confirms my wish, shared with my PhD advisor, to produce a scientifically honest piece of work that is accessible to people on the edges of academia.

In my next journey, I will further nurture my research qualities, on that edges, at the friction area between the technical, the human and the urban. But this time, I will practice freed from the overheads of academia (more on that later).

Relation to my thesis
: Almost the end of the process… let’s prepare the defense! A collateral outcome of this journey, I now master a fourth language, Spanish.

Related to *sigh* DEA Thesis Submitted *sig* and Framing my PhD Dissertation

7 Comments on “*sigh* PhD Dissertation Submitted *sigh*”

  1. 1 Mark Jensen said at 9:20 pm on April 28th, 2009:

    Congratulations! I hope you’ll continue to blog extensively on the subject – there’s literally not one single blogpost that I can’t use in the thesis I’m writing at the moment (read more at http://dedomena.marks.dk – and find a bunch of references at http//wiki.marks.dk)

    Looking forward to hearing how the defense works out for you.

  2. 2 Nicolas Nova said at 10:44 pm on April 28th, 2009:


    and readers should expect a blogpost about “who you are” in the near future

  3. 3 Kurt said at 1:45 am on April 29th, 2009:

    Congrats Fabien!! A big relief I am sure…

    Thanks for being so generous in sharing your discoveries and thoughts in the blog along the way.

  4. 4 Dan Hill said at 6:51 am on April 29th, 2009:

    Congratulations! Well done …

  5. 5 vlad said at 10:05 am on April 29th, 2009:

    Congrats Fabien!!!

    I’d gladly help you review a chapter if you think that makes sense, else I’m looking forward to read the whole thing :)

    [dammit, i wish I could post something similar in the near future]

  6. 6 Julian Bleecker said at 3:18 am on April 30th, 2009:

    Hazaa old salt! Congratulations…I look forward to the final final constitution and collateral conclusions. Very compelling argumentation towards creating those footbridges and doing a job we are all proud of. See you in the nearful futured!

  7. 7 Dean Eckles said at 8:29 am on May 6th, 2009:

    Great — congratulations!

    I look forward to checking it out.