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On Thursday, April 30th I successfully defended my thesis on “Agents that Play by the Rules” and was awarded the title of PhD.1 It was 4,5 years of work,2 and the last week was definitely the most stressful and exhausting one I had in my entire life, but now I’m done. There’s no more school to go to, no more exams and no more courses to take.3

The overwhelming feeling of completion is a very pleasant one. For the first time since March 2010 there is nothing hanging over my head. There are no papers to be finished, and no talks to be given. No students to teach. Hell, I might even comment out LaTeX-Box from my .vimrc.4 It feels good.

Completing the PhD was my dream, but at the same time it’s the end of my adventure with academia. I reached my goals, and I don’t intend to pursue further academic appointments. At the same time I stand by everything I wrote back in 2011, and I don’t feel there’s any conflict between that and my current situation. Having to choose once more whether to embark on the PhD journey I wouldn’t hesitate a second. I was given the opportunity to work on very interesting topics within theoretical computer science, formal logic and game theory, and most importantly I had the pleasure of meeting and working with fantastic people, many of which are now my good friends. If the price to pay for all that is a ~5-year setback to my non-academic career, it’s a price I am very glad to pay.

Last Monday I started a new job, joining a British cloud computing consultancy called Cloudreach as a systems engineer. It’s all very, very different than academia, but in a good, fast-paced5 and exciting way.

The future looks bright, as they say.

(thanks for the photograph, Hege)

  1. Technically I was “recommended for the title”, as in Norway PhD defenses do not include any graduation ceremony, and the official letter stating that I am indeed a doctor will be mailed to me soon. Still, there is nothing now that could happen to prevent the degree from being awarded. ↩︎

  2. I was about to write “hard work,” but let’s face it, writing a PhD thesis, while not an easy task, ain’t exactly coal mining. ↩︎

  3. Except for a driver’s license course. ↩︎

  4. I hate LaTeX. And “research” shows you should hate it, too. ↩︎

  5. Yes, industry works at a faster pace than academia, or at least the European academia (never been to a US campus, but I heard stories of what pre-tenure jobs in American universities are like), and everyone in my office seems to be working a lot, but as a newbie I’m not exactly flooded with obligations or deadlines. I guess this will change soon. ↩︎