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Climbing a Fountain

On September 19, I successfully defended my PhD thesis.

Now, a few weeks later, the realization of what this overwhelming day actually means has slowly sunk in. I am looking back at an incredible time in Viola’s group, and I am happy about this subtle reminder to stop every now and then, catch a breath, and appreciate all the good things that came my way.

I feel sentimental to see this chapter coming to an end, and about having to part ways with many people whom I have grown very fond of. I can’t thank you guys enough, for the countless discussions, emotional support, frequent advice, debugging sessions, or the occasional rant, all of which I enjoyed deeply.

What’s next?


Of course, as Göttingen tradition demands, after the defense I climbed the Gänseliesel fountain in the city center. It was a truly unique experience, and I am happy I could share it with so many of you, family, friends and colleagues, the lines between which have become increasingly blurry over the years.

While typing this post and putting up the photo, I got to see the metaphor in this peculiar tradition. Being up there gives you a good look at where you came from — but also a glimpse of where you are going next.

For me, after a few weeks of vacation and christmas with the family, I am planning to leave academia behind for something more applied: I am super excited to work (and code!) in a larger team, and to come up with well-designed solutions that help people in their everyday life.