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:

English Youth John Stuart Mill

Was able to read Greek and Latin at age 3.

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Heart Patient Ernest Shackleton

After his ship Endurance was crushed in the Antarctic pack ice, took his crew 600 miles to Elephant Island. Sailed with a small team in an open boat 700 miles to South Georgia Island through waters listed as unnavigable by the United States Navy. Retrieved crew on Elephant Island. One man lost a toe to frostbite. Compare with Scott.

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Frail Lincolnshire Lad I. Newton

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

(more)

Tuberculosis Sufferer Niels Henrik Abel

Developed group theory, proved the binomial theorem, and did important work in quintic equations and elliptic functions prior to his death at age 26.

(more)

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