It’s this time of the year again when you can hear a sigh of relief from every graduating student. I have attended several (a lot actually) university graduations, 3 of which are my own and in every instance you could feel how happy every graduate is. Who wouldn’t be? A sense of fulfillment on one hand, and a promise of a better future on the other. How could anybody go wrong after graduation?
However in reality our choices after graduation are those that define our future. Sometimes I still wonder what might be my now if I went to Med School after my Bachelor’s or if I started working in Industry after my Master’s or PhD’s.
But the bigger problem I guess is that most of these graduates will not land a job in which they’re trained at, if at all they do land a job.
The government though says there are a lot of open positions in the Philippine National Police (yup, the PNP).
So let me ask a hypothetical question – what if I decide to be a Policeman (right after every degree I got)? I wonder what skill sets could I have had that maybe useful to the Police force. Let me enumerate.
Fourier theorems in image processing, holography and data encryption. Data storage in bulk crystals.
I guess if I am going to be a policeman, this is the best time to join the force.
Imagine that it is very easy to do the picture on the right with the skills that I just acquired. The picture is a Kernel Density Estimate of crime in my favorite campus. (The overlay and the analysis though are not mine. It is from a Master’s thesis that at first was not approved. I believe it is the first in that ‘school’ where actual quantitative analysis in this level, was used.)
In the picture, points which are the locations of the crime are convolved to a Gaussian distribution. The result which is an incoherent sum of the distribution of crimes, gives the places in which crime likely happened/ or will happen. These are Hotspots in the language of the police.
The (Philippine) police is actually not this sophisticated. But if I had joined the police force, I could have made a lot of papers about this in 199x. The analysis of KD distribution for hotspot determination boomed in the early 2000’s and is now currently in use by forward looking police forces around the world.
Microhologram storage. Singular optics.
While my BS degree might be the best time, this would be the worst time to join the force. I had NO concrete skills that will overlap with what they need/ want. I was characterizing phase and amplitude gratings. ’nuff said.
Wave propagation. Optical singularity tracing. Novel beam generation.
This is maybe a crazy idea but I think that criminals can be modeled as optical vortices while the environment is mapped to a combination of phase and intensity gradients. The movement of an optical vortex depends on these gradients. So by looking at the probability of the path of the optical vortex as it propagate, one can do something in the built environment. Crazy…
In conclusion, I will in NO way be able to contribute anything to the PNP force.
But to all my students who have graduated and will be graduating, enjoy you short pause. Think hard about what future you want for yourselves and be crazy!
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This blog post is a product of a long pause while updating my resúme. I ask for forgiveness.
 Morta, A., and Castro, J..THE IMPACT OF LAND USE FEATURES AND TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY IN THE OCCURRENCE OF CRIME IN A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS. 12th World Conference on Transport Research, July 11-15, 2010 – Lisbon, Portugal.