I stumbled on to this page by Gian Carlo-Rota on the ten lessons from an MIT undergraduate education which is inspiring,

Lesson Five: You don’t have to be a genius to do creative work.

Lesson Six:You must measure up to a very high level of performance.

educational,

Lesson Three: By and large, “knowing how” matters more than “knowing what.”

and, occasionally even surprising:

Students join forces on the problem sets, and some students benefit more than others from these weekly collective efforts. The most brilliant students will invariably work out all the problems and let other students copy, and I pretend to be annoyed when I learn that this has happened. But I know that by making the effort to understand the solution of a truly difficult problem discovered by one of their peers, students learn more than they would by working out some less demanding exercise.

…

I am often asked why there are so few applied mathematicians in the department at MIT. The reason is that all of MIT is one huge applied mathematics department; you can find applied mathematicians in practicially every department at MIT *except* mathematics.

Take a look!

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This entry was posted on May 6, 2009 at 10:47 am and is filed under Academic life, Education, Teaching. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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May 18, 2009 at 2:59 am |

More from Rota can be found here.

May 18, 2009 at 10:02 am |

Dear Successful Researcher,

Thanks a lot! I enjoyed the pieces, esp. the one of elementary differential equations.

Guru

May 18, 2009 at 10:26 am |

[…] shocking career advice By Guru Thanks to a commentor on one of my earlier posts, I found this piece of Gian Carlo-Rota, which is a must-read. I found the third lesson to be very […]