You and your research

I’ve read Richard Hamming’s essay You and Your Research a couple times and took it to heart. But I didn’t know until this morning that there is a video of Hamming giving his talk. Hat tip to Nuit Blanche.

As Hamming says in his introduction, the talk applies to careers in general, not just jobs in research.

5 thoughts on “You and your research

  1. Pingback: Finding meaning in your work | jrj
  2. “You and Your Research” is the last chapter in Hamming’s book, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (out of print, but Kindle is available). It’s one of the greatest and most inspiring books I’ve ever read. Each chapter is nominally about some technical topic (eg, “Digital Filters”), but the topic is just a scaffolding for Hamming to ramble about achingly-insightful personal anecdotes.

    The book is derived from Hamming’s lecture series of the same name, also available on YouTube.

  3. Really great stuff here. Gotta be careful about all that stuff about “restructure your life to work work work on nothing but career-related topics” though. As humans and citizens we need to have time to enrich our home life and our minds and pay attention to the world and humans and ideas around us. Repurposing yourself for huge amounts of “work” is pretty much just what the business engineers want you to do ( ). Of course it’s a different story if you’re someone like Paul Erdos and your work is both your passion and contributes permanently to humankind’s legacy.

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