Usually, when I think I’ve come up with a great idea, I wait until the next day to see if it still seems as good. Most of the time it doesn’t. However, when Arno Solin first told me about the HisKi database, which contains digitized church records (births, deaths, marriages, migration) from Finland spanning from the 1600s to the late 1800s, and the analysis possibilities this data could offer, I immediately felt compelled to start working on it, and the next day I was even more excited.
Eventually, I told my professor about the idea and we decided that I would start my PhD research around the questions arising from the HisKi dataset. Other people also liked the idea and so I was chosen to present my research in a pitching competition called Falling Walls Lab in Berlin a few months ago (Aalto news wrote about my trip here). Here’s a video of my two and a half minutes presentation where I explain what kind of research questions I’m aiming to address.