Achieving Success: Lessons from Hamming's "You and Your Research

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This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Hamming, "You and Your Research" (June 6, 1995)" by securitylectures
TLDR Take action and work hard to achieve success and make your life worthwhile.

Key insights

  • ๐Ÿ’ช
    Hard work is the key to success in research, as even the most able people work constantly on their problems.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    Hamming emphasizes the importance of working on important ideas with important people, even if they may not be recognized as such by their own department or community.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    If you don't work on important problems, you are not going to do important things except by the dumbest of dumb luck.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    Hamming's idea of making a machine do the programming was a revolutionary concept that put him at the forefront of programming.
  • ๐Ÿ’ช
    Success is not just about working hard, but also about working on the right problem at the right time in the right way.
  • ๐Ÿคฏ
    Great scientists believe in the theory enough to notice what's wrong and make the big change to the new theory, rather than just elaborating and extending the old theory, which won't make them a great scientist.
  • ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
    Getting your ideas clear and communicating them effectively is crucial for success in research and innovation.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    Progress requires change, but most people and institutions resist change, so in order to make progress, you have to embrace it.


  • What will the video discuss?

    โ€” The video will discuss broad principles of success and the speaker's career journey.

  • How can one remain famous?

    โ€” It is easier to remain famous due to the Matthew effect, which states that those who have will be given more.

  • What is the key to success?

    โ€” Constant hard work is the key to success, regardless of IQ or other measures of ability.

  • How can one achieve great things?

    โ€” To achieve great things, one must focus on the small details and take risks on problems that may become important.

  • How can one ensure a meaningful life?

    โ€” To ensure a meaningful life, examine your life and make sure you are someone worth being.

Timestamped Summary

  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    Prepare yourself and take action to make your life worthwhile and memorable - luck favors the prepared mind!
  • ๐Ÿ’ช
    Constant hard work and attacking problems instead of defending them are the keys to success, as demonstrated by Shannon and Chemin.
  • ๐Ÿค”
    Pursue excellence and take risks on important problems to achieve a vision without evasion.
  • ๐Ÿค”
    By turning a problem around, I found a better method to prove that a digital machine could beat an analog machine in solving differential equations.
  • ๐Ÿค”
    Study successes to form your own style and learn how to succeed.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก
    Do your best and create your own style of speaking to effectively communicate your ideas and win arguments.
  • ๐Ÿค”
    Embrace change and think critically to demonstrate your ability and unlock potential.
  • ๐Ÿ’ช
    Repent your idle ways and get down and be somebody worth being!
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This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Hamming, "You and Your Research" (June 6, 1995)" by securitylectures
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