Big news everyone – studies – Gefion Gymnasium and home

If you know me really well in real life, none of the news in this blog post will really be news to you.

If you follow my Twitter feed (or Facebook), some of this news will be old news to you, but there is still one big surprise – do read on to the end.

If you only follow my life through this blog… well, stand by for the most content rich post since… ever?


So, at April 7 I finally defended my thesis – and passed! So that marks the conclusion of my many years as a student at the University of Copenhagen and my work towards my Master degree in Mathematics.

To make it official, my diploma arrived on the 21th of July, much to my surprise. There have been many stories of people, who have waited over a year to receive their diploma. It would seem that I have either been lucky, or that some of the problems, that have haunted the administration at the University, have been cured recently.


After a few weeks of looking I also found myself a job. So although the first two and a half week is considered vacation, according to my contract I officially start work at the Gefion Gymnasium on August first. I’m really looking forward to starting my new life, where student is no longer my primary profession, but where I am now a teacher.
Feel free to wish both me and my coming students good luck!
(And if any of my future students read this… don’t you have something more important to do? I’m sure you have some homework you haven’t finished!)

Gefion Gymnasium is a merger between Øster Borgerdyd and Metropolitanskolen. I have been told that the new facilities should be of very high quality, but have unfortunately not seen them yet.

Photo by: Thomas Angermann

When watched from from the outside, the GeoCenter building always gives me associations to Germany in the late 1930’s. However that feeling hasn’t followed me inside, when I have been there. (The building also houses parts of the University, so I have been there in that capacity a few times.)

Photo by: seier+seier


Finally I have been looking for a bigger place to live with two friends for some time now, and we have finally found a big apartment in Østerbro.
So I will be moving quite a lot of my things tomorrow, if all goes as planed, and then when I return from vacation, I will move the rest of my stuff, so I will be all moved in (and out) by late August.

Of course Østerbro is further away from the city center than my current apartment, but the new apartment will give me (and the two other guys) a lot more space, and we will have some opportunities to do something really great with the shared rooms.

All in all I am really looking forward to moving to Østerbro, and making that my new home, although the last couple of days have been quite fast-paced. It took less than a week from we saw the apartment first time until we signed the lease.

Climate Lecture

Yesterday I attended a climate lecture by Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri. The lecture was organised by the University of Copenhagen (where I am a student), and was well visited.


Dr. Pachauri has the chair at the IPCC,a and as such received the Nobel Peace Prize (shared with Al Gore) in 2007.

During the talk Dr. Pachauri presented both the ICPP, the research done by the panel, some of the general changes already observed in the weather here on earth and some specific events from the last couple of years. He was however very careful to emphasize that no single event could be used as a proof of climate changes.

Then the talk continued with a review of the possible future scenarios, depending on how much of a reduction (if any) in green house gasses the world manages. Especially with emphasis on the parts of the world where the largest numbers of people would be affected, and some words about what that would mean to the rest of the world.

Rising sea levels is one of the most often mentioned possible effects, but water stress and famine are also likely effects of global warming. This could again result in millions of climate refugees and failed states.

Finally Dr. Pachauri went on to talk about solutions, and the fact that the cost of reducing green house gasses would not actually be very high, and could result in quite a few new jobs.

After the talk there was a short moderated debate with the audience. There were a few people in the audience, who were very critical of Dr. Pachauri and his message. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I did think it was to bad they weren’t given more microphone time. It is always more fun to hear people debate than agree. (Some other speakers just praised Dr. Pachauri, which may be admirable, but as such wasn’t very interesting.)

Among the critiques were Christopher Monckton, a British lord, with the most fantastic British accent. I would love to be able to talk like that!


Photo by: Matthew McDermott

Although he has no real scientific background, the good lord did raise a valid question about one of the graphs used in Dr. Pachauris presentation. However I hope and think that the graph was included as a means to illustrate the point, not as part of the underlying scientific argument. One would expect that the work of the IPCC is a bit more detailed than what can be presented in an one hour presentation.

So, at the end of the day it was clear to me, (not that it really wasn’t before) that we need action, and quite soon. Will the cop15 be able to deliver a (good enough) agreement? Right now, my guess is no, but the leaders of the world are welcome to prove me wrong…


So Esben, how did you enjoy the FysikRevyTM?

I found it very entertaining. It lasted for more than three hours, and was packed with different skits, ranging from the more political with critique of the leadership of the faculty and the minister of science to the more absurd where a scientist presents his theory that everything consists of bananas.

As is tradition with the student revues at the faculty of science at KU the audience participated in the show to a great extend, with shouts, cheers and lots of Skål.

All in all a fun evening.

Quantum Field Theory

Yesterday I started what is properly going to become my last course at University. It is an introductory course in Quantum Field Theory (QFT).

I tried following the same course two years ago, but skipped it after about two weeks as I didn’t manage to keep up with the reading and problems. Hopefully this time around things will be different. It is supposed to be a though course, with lots of heavy math – especially lots of nasty integrals to be calculated.

To top it all off the course home page reads

The course in quantum field theory has in the new structure degenerated
to a course lasting 7 weeks. This is probably the shortest course in
quantum field theory given at any university.

Our Minister of Research (who’s main academic credentials seem
to be that he has introduced professional football in Denmark) demands
world class education.

Even with a world class lecturer the combination clearly requires world class students. Well, guys…….

Will I be able to perform like a world class student for the next 7 weeks? Let’s hope so!