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:

Madras Clerk Srinivasa Ramanujan

After failing his school examinations, Ramanujan obtained a position as a clerk in the city of Madras. Before his death at age 32, made fundamental advances in mathematics including Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hypergeometric series and functional equations of the zeta function.

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Judean Carpenter Jesus of Nazareth

Told young women he was God and they believed him.

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Spice Merchant Dhirubhai Ambani

Amassed family fortune of more than $60 billion, sufficient for his son, Mukesh, to build a 27-story private home in Mumbai.

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Unemployed Californian Larry Ellison

After being divorced by his first wife because she said that he would never amount to anything or make any money, started Oracle Corporation, world's leading supplier of relational database management software (Note to academic computer scientists: don't worry if you aren't sure what an RDBMS is; it isn't necessary for running Microsoft Word).

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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