Aid to Evaluating Your Accomplishments

part of Career Guide for Engineers and Scientists
Compare yourself to these four ordinary people who were selected at random:

Frail Lincolnshire Lad I. Newton

During an 18-month school vacation, developed calculus, inverse square law of gravitation, and laws of motion.

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University Dropout Carl Friedrich Gauss

By the age of 21, he had constructed a regular 17-gon by ruler and compasses, the most major advance in this field since the time of the Greeks. Subsequently developed method of least squares, normal probability distribution, Fast Fourier Transform, and a non-Euclidean geometry.

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Corsican Lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte

Conquered most of Europe and Egypt. Emancipated the Jews throughout Europe.

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Former Community College Student Craig Venter

Developed shotgun gene sequencing technique and founded Celera Genomics, a private company that raced ahead of the government-funded Human Genome Project.

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Programmed by Eve Astrid Andersson and Philip Greenspun back in the mid-1990s. If you're a nerd, you might find the source code useful.

Original Inspiration: How to Make Yourself Miserable, by Dan Greenburg


philg@mit.edu