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Wed, 20 Jan 2016

About this blog

When I had to choose a topic for my Honours year thesis (like a Masters year) the problem was that as a young person whose curiosity had survived the education system, I was interested in everything. Which is just what I responded to Dayal Wickramasinghe, one of the lecturers in the Maths Department who knew me well and who I could hope would give me wise advice, when he asked me what I found interesting. "Boud," he said, "I think you're a cosmologist".

It was a self-fulfilling prediction. My research career started with my Honours year with Dayal learning the basics of the standard late '80s version of the hot big bang model and trying to save that standard model during my doctorate at the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, using observations of faint galaxy populations and introducing N-body simulation merger history trees of dark matter galaxy haloes. I had an itinerant postdoctoral life doing cosmology research in Paris, Sussex, Tokyo, Warsaw, Pune and Meudon, focussing especially on developing and applying observational methods for measuring the topology of the Universe, which wasn't astropolitically correct in 1995, but was exciting: it's a fundamental geometrical property (in Euler's sense) of the Universe that we live in. And I accepted a faculty position at the Radioastronomy Department of the ToruĊ„ Centre for Astronomy in the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, where I now do cosmology research and teaching.

I have always believed in open, rational, structured communication, and it seems to me that blogs occupy a useful niche in the cybersphere linking scientists' work and thinking with the wider community and, in turn, with itself.

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