Career Advice from the Nobel Prize Winners

March 10, 2009

S. WeinbergScientist: Four golden lessons

R.P. FeynmanA Letter to a Former Student

(more advice from R.P.F. can be found in the book Feynman’s Rainbow by Leonard Mlodinow)  

J.D. WatsonSucceeding in Science: Some Rules of Thumb

(see also his book Avoid Boring People)

A. CiechanoverNuggets of Career Advice

The above materials make for an interesting comparison with the advice from the Fields medal winner Terence Tao.



How to Do Great Science: You and Your Research by Richard Hamming

March 10, 2009

Richard Hamming in his famous talk You and Your Research offers superb advice on how to do great science.

Update (via Stephen Kinsella):  This talk was also recently published here, so now one has an official reference to cite.

Update 2 (via the Unruled Notebook): the videos of a more recent version of this talk given by Hamming himself in the 90s are available here.

Further advice can be found in the other posts on this blog, e.g. here and here. Also, there are two recent  followup papers (On the Process of Becoming a Great Scientist and Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming) that could be of  some interest.


Career advice from the Fields medalists and some other mathematicians

March 10, 2009

The career advice from Sir Michael Atiyah (see also his lecture containing some bits of career advice (hat tip: N.E.W.)), Béla Bollobás, Alain Connes, Dusa McDuff, and Peter Sarnak is here:

Advice to a Young Mathematician

This is an excerpt from The Princeton Companion to Mathematics. By the way, the most recent errata for PCM are here.

See  also great advice from E.W. Dijkstra and J.H. Conway, excellent  career advice and writing tips from the blog of Terence Tao, and Six Rules for Rewriting at the Michael Nielsen’s blog.

Finally, here go the interviews containing some nice bits of career advice:  Alain Connes, Maxim Kontsevich, Sergey Novikov, Terence Tao (see also his Google buzz page and this blog post).

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Gian-Carlo Rota: career advice and more

March 10, 2009

Gian-Carlo Rota:

1) Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught

2) 10 Lessons of an MIT Education

3) Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Before I Started

Teaching Differential Equations

For more information about Gian-Carlo Rota see e.g.

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How to Write Grant Proposals

March 10, 2009

Here are several helpful links I found:

Update: I just found a nice post on the subject by Daniel Lemire.

Update 2: a post by the Professor-Like Substance on the broader impact part of grant applications, and the post (actually, a series of posts) by PhysioProf about the NIH R01 grants.

Update 3: see this post at the Survival Blog for Scientists, this post at the Blue Lab Coats and this post at the Expbook.


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