My name is Matt Kwan. I’m a PhD Candidate in Geospatial Science at RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia.
The PhD thesis is about mapping population movements using data from mobile phone networks. It’s going well, and may turn into a useful product one day. However, I was a bit concerned that I was putting all my eggs in one basket. After all, three years is a long time to spend on a thesis, and if I’ve picked the wrong subject I’ll come out at the end with skills that are three years obsolete.
Also, it’s the nature of research that a hundred good ideas result in ten working prototypes result in one successful product. Focusing on a single idea is very risky. It’s better to keep exploring ideas and knocking up prototypes, and maybe one day hit the jackpot.
So, inspired by Google, I decided to spend 20 percent of my time on speculative research, unrelated to the thesis. One day per week, usually a Tuesday.
The aim is to keep my skills up-to-date and explore potentially useful technologies and business models. And I’ve set up this blog to write about it.