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Alexandre Mateus: Doctoral student in the ICTI Engineering and Public Policy program


Alexandre Mateus He holds an undergraduate degree in computer engineering, with a major in artificial intelligence, and a master of science in engineering policy and management of technology, both from the Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon. His professional goals are to work on challenging projects that will contribute to policymaking.
“I am concluding the first phase of my project which was looking at issues related to violations of copyright on the Internet, mainly related to peer-to-peer,” explains Mateus. He selected Illinois University and its 6,500 students to conduct the study.“We designed the process of data collection,” he says, “but we didn’t collect [the data] because in the U.S. there is an organization called Institutional Review Board (a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans with the aim to protect the rights and welfare of the research subjects) that must approve the research.”

Mateus emphasizes that the main findings were that “many people download pirated content, and there are no geographical, social or other relevant differences; downloads are made mainly during the day, when the persons are active; the activity rises around 10 a.m. and then around 10 p.m. begins to fall.” According to Mateus, “one of the problems that took us to the pirated content was the fact that the industry didn’t adapt the technology.”

In light of these findings, Mateus is preparing to study the policy implications of legal business of one or two technologies that are being discussed and that are proposed to facilitate distribution of content online. However, he thinks that those “proposals are designed in terms of engineering, but not in terms of policies: regulation, law, market competition, among many others.”

What is a Ph.D.?
“A Ph.D. is a long-distance race”, says Mateus, “which takes a long time to complete, so we must be prepared to reach the middle and think that this never ends, but we have to continue and think that at the same time we have the opportunity to make very interesting research.

“Carnegie Mellon University has the best Department of Engineering and Public Policy.”