Richard Hamming -- You and Your Research
By mduigou on Jun 23, 2008
I spent most of this evening reading and thinking about a speech by Richard Hamming. The speech, You and Your Research, is Dr. Hamming's advice about how to do "Great Work" to his fellow scientists. Reading the speech this evening, about 22 years after it was delivered, it seems culturally quite dated but it nevertheless resonates strongly. I believe in another 22 years readers will possibly have some difficulty interpreting his experiences. That my teachers and some of my early mentors and bosses were of Doctor Hamming's generation certainly helped me to relate. Dr. Hamming's advice is intended for research scientists but I found a lot in common with my situation as a software engineer. The speech has given me a lot to think about and I'll probably be considering it's implications for my own choices and approach for quite some time. I'd prefer not to get into the details of my personal introspection (they're private, don'tcha know), but since I found the speech compelling and relevant I thought I would share it here.