Do You Have to Be a Genius to Do Great Science?

March 27, 2009

Apparently the jury is still out on this issue but the links below provide some encouragement:

Update: I have just found an interesting follow-up on the Cult of Genius post, The Cult of Theory, at Chad Orzel’s blog.

Update 2: an interesting recent discussion at the Backreaction blog.

Update 3: see this post by Peter Turney and this article



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.


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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