Nicola Greco

I am working to re-decentralize the webRead more about my work here. PhD student at MIT advised by Tim Berners-Lee and friend at Berkman Center. Once an entrepreneur, a UCL student, a Mozillian.

On leaving University College London

September 7, 2015

TL;DR: I applied to MIT a year before finishing and I dropped out from the 4 year course at UCL In the last few days, I had this recurring conversation on how I left University College London.

I was coming from an intense experience at Mozilla, where I strengthen my interest in decentralizing the web. I felt that the time spent in London was not going in that direction. Although the time spent at University College London was really exciting, I felt that was not the place I wanted to be. I wanted to work on my ideas, like Bubbles11 Interoperable decentralized data storage, crowd and I could not find professors interested in web protocols, standards and decentralized systems; more than that, very few undergraduate students carry on research with professors at UCL. I really believe I can make a change, but I felt I didn’t have the tools. It has been extremely complicated and psychologically stressful time.

I remember when, a two years ago, discussing with Esben and Vera, I said “if I will ever work for a company, I would work for Mozilla, if I will ever do a PhD, I want to go at MIT working with Tim Berners Lee. That was pure daydreaming, but is all this wondering just words that we say, or reality we wish it could happen?

So, I decided to apply to MIT - even though I needed one more year to graduate. I had found out that one could drop out from the degree and leave with a BSc in Computing, instead of Computer Science. So, I decided, that if that was the case, I would have gone that route22 I found out that BSc in Computing is basically equivalent to Computer Science, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London for example, only award this title.

Because I feared that not having a final year dissertation could have been a minus, I worked hard with Ellery to get A Strong Lexical Matching Method for the Machine Comprehension Test published at EMNLP 2015. Also, a couple of weeks ago, I got informed that I have been awarded the Dean’s List Award for Outstanding academic performance.

At the end I got in and it all played well.

Family and friends were very close in this period of stress and internal crisis (especially September to December), I would not have had this strength otherwise.

- Nicola Greco,
Keep on rocking the decentralized web

Thanks for reading

  • Your browser saw what you did not Apr 16, 2016
  • Mass-murderer space rock and hash collisions Nov 03, 2015
  • A Center for Decentralization Oct 01, 2015
  • On leaving University College London - September 7, 2015 - Nicola Greco