Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hamming's analysis of Nobel Laureates

FROM An opportunity for greatness Jamaica Observer - Monday, May 22, 2006

Canadian educator Dr Richard Marceau said it was the mentorship of the late famous mathematician Richard Hamming that spurred him to focus and achieve.

Hamming had analysed the approach of Nobel Laureates throughout the years, and had concluded that there were eight lessons we could learn from them:

(1) Plan your future. When you are going on a journey, the first thing you need is a map to ensure that you are going in the right direction.

(2) Do what you love. The combination of intellect, motivation and passion, is powerful.

(3) Give yourself a clear agenda. Have specific goals to work towards. However, do not spend your whole life preparing.

(4) Seek knowledge and know-how. Just as with steady saving, and compounding modest interest, you could double your money in 10 years, think how much you would know if you sought to learn 10 per cent more than the next person each year.

(5) Invest your time wisely. Choose your battles and have a strategy. If you hit the point of diminishing returns, find the courage to put the project aside. Tenacity and stubbornness are two sides of the same coin - the former is good, the latter counter-productive.

(6) Success requires courage, organisation and focus. Emotion, compassion, judgement and intuition are all important factors.

(7) Practise your creativity. Think thoughts no one has thought before. When faced with a problem, before rushing to an adviser or the internet, force yourself to draw on your knowledge and experience to come up with a solution.

(8) To do great things, you have to work on great problems. Don't waste your time on doing just what everybody else is doing. We have conquered many diseases because our scientists looked where no one else had gone before.

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