Research, Write, Type, Submit, Pass, and 30 Years Later …..

… chop the thesis up, scan it, and put it online for all those who should have been reading it this past three decades but couldn’t, wouldn’t, never knew it existed and so on. Or have never read a thesis in a university library where they are stored as most of us haven’t and don’t know where they are.

Growing in my mind and everyone else’s is the idea that we can scan all the old books and papers to make them available online. Google seem to have cornered the market in much of this but the open access movement is putting everything online anyway. A lot has been done but on a personal level, it is still quite painful. Recently we acquired a copier that let’s us scan papers and email them as pdf files to the author and this is so fast that it has opened up all sorts of intriguing possibilities.

So first in line was my PhD thesis from 1984, submitted late in life for a student, but long ago enough for it to be historic. Typed and then bound and submitted, never published but archived away on a shelf in the University of Wales library in central Cardiff  where it has been gathering dust ever since, I decided to give it a go. Two copies remained in my possession, bound in the usual way, so first I had to dissemble one of them and the picture above shows what we did. The printer who still binds our hard copies of Environment and Planning B, the journal I edit, can of course do it in reverse. Last night I scanned the entire dissembled thesis in about 15 minutes and assembled the pdf files into one, reduced them and popped them on to one of our servers.

So here it is for all to enjoy ! Click on the various links to download it. I doubt it will be a best seller but there is plenty in it about linear dynamics and urban models that is still relevant, I think. And maybe, just maybe someone will find something in it that inspires them to extend the state of the art in ways that we should have been doing this last 30 years ! Enjoy.

About Michael Batty

I chair CASA at UCL which I set up in 1995. I am Bartlett Professor In UCL.
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