Side projects (indie game development and art academy) were an attempt to bring some creativity back into my life, but I needed a serious change where I spent most of my time: the day job. I owe where I am today to a lot of amazing people: for the opportunities, the support, the patience, and the listening. In 2013, I somehow convinced him I would be the right guy for the job.The Ph D was an unexpected opportunity that presented itself in my mailbox. When times got tough, he would keep convincing me I was.
But she always had my back, endured the after-work rants, and supported me in every way possible. Hazel joined us (in the womb) at the start of the Ph D. My parents, Marinette and Guy: they have always been there for me, supported me, and believed in me (and also provided me with all the nerdy hardware a kid needs to keep his technology interest going).
And my grandparents, Meke, Vake, Peter Wieke, and Bobonne.
Completing a Ph D is truly a marathon event, and I would not have been able to complete this journey without the aid and support of countless people over the past seven years.
I must first express my gratitude towards my advisor, Professor Gail E. Her leadership, support, attention to detail, hard work, and scholarship have set an example I hope to match some day.
We were not expecting the Ph D to be such a roller-coaster.
I experienced moments of joy and despair, feelings that would affect her as much as it did me. During dark periods of the Ph D, she was always there to put a smile on my face (or add to the misery with sleepless nights. Hazel, if you read this when you are older, we love you and we will make sure you get to follow your dreams just as we could.
Two weeks it sat there until I finally decided to reply. Research meant I could explore the unknown, build things no one had before, and join the user in their experience with our new creations. “I wasn’t that smart either and look where I am now”, a pep talk I will never forget.
I got paid to create visualisations, play with new technology, and spend time thinking of all the crazy things we could accomplish with it. From all the “bosses” I’ve had, he was one of the few who genuinely cared about his people, at a personal, family, and career level.
So even if the main contribution doesn’t reach a large audience, I hope the acknowledgements in my book do. I loved all things space and dinosaur related, and had an awesome Physics teacher.
Without these people, I would not be where I am today, nor would this small advancement in Learning Analytics research. However, that same teacher told me studying Physics would most likely land me in Finance. But after completing my degree and spending years in the private sector, I wondered if I had made the right decision.