All posts by Lucas Polo

My first stay

Today is a very important day in my PhD journey. This evening I have moved to Cardiff to do a stay at the School of Physics and Astronomy of Cardiff University.

I arrived in the late evening and after unpacking all my stuff I went to have dinner to a fish and chips restaurant. I had never had fish and chips before and I really enjoyed it.

Now let’s go to bed to get some rest. Tomorrow I’ll visit the city and try to buy a second hand bike to have a means of transportation.

Solar eclipse 2017

You probably are already tired of hearing about this in the news and social media, but just in case you missed or forgot it remember… Today is the solar eclipse!Anited gif of the eclipse trajectory. Provided by NASA.

If you are lucky enough to be in the United States today you have the opportunity to watch a full solar eclipse if you are in one of the fourteen states that the eclipse path is crossing. If you are in a different part of the United States you will still see a partial eclipse, which is still pretty cool. Notice that several countries at Central America and the northern part of South America will also experience a partial solar eclipse.

Please remember that looking to the sun is dangerous and can cause serious damage to your eyes. You mustn’t look at the eclipse directly. Here is a post by NASA explaining how to safely watch the eclipse.

Visibility of the solar eclipse in europe. Source: Wolfgang StricklingWolfgang Strickling, Wikimedia.

Visibility of the solar eclipse in Europe.

Those of us living in Europe will only be able to see the eclipse if we are in one of the north-western regions of the continent. As it can be seen in the picture, those to the right of the blue line will experience the sunset before the eclipse and therefore will be unable to see it.

Source of the images: NASA and Wikimedia.

The time that we are given

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

Isaac Asimov


I find this quote very inspirational. Instead of worrying about the things that escape to our control we should just try to give the best of ourselves everyday, every moment. To make the world a better place for the ones that will come after we have left.

Awesome quote from an awesome man that left us an awesome legacy.

My first paper in IEEEXplore!

This summer I attended the International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory (ETMS 2016), that was held in Espoo at the Aalto University. There I presented my paper Analysis of waveguide discontinuities with lateral and transverse perfect magnetic wall boundary conditions, which includes very interesting results obtained during the research for my master thesis.

From Wikimedia Commons

Library of the Aalto University Otaniemi campus

The proceedings of the symposium are now available at IEEEXplore, so my paper is available at the repository. I am very happy since this is my first paper to be published at IEEEXplore.

If you want to read it, click here!

CMNE 2015 Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of lectures.
We woke up and walked straight to the congress Venter to attend the first keynote session.

After the lecture we had the first coffee break. We made the most of the coffee break since we didn’t have had breakfast that morning.

The rest of the day was dedicated to the thematic sessions. We attended the ones about Derivative—Free methods since Ana was presenting later at the same room.

The first block lasted an hour and half, and after it we had lunch. In the following picture you can see a dish of «bacalhau a dourada»


Bacalhau a dourada

After lunch we returned to the same lecture room since Ana was presenting his paper about microwave filter design. That evening we had a second coffee break and we also attended some talks about inverse problems.

Then we went back to the hotel to take a short nap before heading to the congress reception at the Palácio Pimienta. The gardens of the palace were really nice, there was a porcelain zoo and there also were a lot of (alive) peacocks.


Porcelain seafood


White peacock stealing a snack from a congressman

At the diner time we went to the port area and we had some awesome fish (dourada grelhada) at a small restaurant.


Dourada grelhada

CMNE2015 Day 0

Hello everybody! This is a great week!

These days I’m attending the Congress on Numerical Methods of Engineering and I plan to write a chronicle about it in this blog.

Today we departed from Madrid and had a long ride until we arrived to Lisbon. When we finally arrived to the city we had to wait a lot before crossing the bridge over the Tajo river since there was a lot of traffic jam.

We then went to the Instituto Tecnico Superior to complete our registration in the congress and after that we finally arrived to our hotel rooms where we are resting before having dinner.

I’ll keep you updated!

Alessandro Volta, mammoths and lemons

Alessandro Volta is homaged today (day of his 270th anniversary) by Google with an animated doodle representing one of his best known works, the electric battery. This invention was the grand-grand-gran-father of modern batteries in some kind of way.
Google's homage to Alessandro Volta

This doodle reminded me about a computer game that I used to play when I was a child. It was based upon the book. “The way things work” by David Macaulay and basically was a digital and interactive edition of the book.

One of the things that I enjoyed most were the animation videos were a lot of inventions and scientific principles were explained with funny tales about mammoths. My favourite of these tales was about Volta’s electric cell so when I saw Google’s doodle this morning I rushed to YouTube to find the video and watch it one more. You can watch the clip below, at minute 5:33.

Indeed all the clips are pretty amusing so, if you haven’t already seen them, I suggest that you watch the full video 😉

Isaac Asimov predicting today’s Internet in 1988

This morning I found a fascinating video that I wanted to share. It’s a fragment of a TV interview with Isaac Asimov at the 1988. In this video the writer talks about the implications that the computer networks would have in the future.

Asimov enthroned with symbols of his life's work.  From Wikimedia Commons.

Of course, at the time of the Interview the Internet had existed for several years, but it wasn’t as popular and easy to access that it’s nowadays.

Asimov forecasts that the network will be a resource as common as clean water (in some countries it will be easy and cheap to access while in others it will be expensive and hardly found). He also states that the network will provide the people with a way to study and learn about a wide range of topics. This big offer would change they way we think about education, because people could study any theme they choose and that would motivate them, making them more willing to learn.

Apparently Asimov’s predictions weren’t far from what indeed has happened. In the last years a lot of initiatives like Khan Academy, edX or Coursera (just to cite some) have seen the light. These sites offer tons of courses to choose from (lots of them with university level) making it easier for the people to learn about any topic they find interesting.

Indeed, I remember using Khan Academy videos as a complementary source of information when dealing with linear algebra and calculus at my first university year.