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:

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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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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Frail Lincolnshire Lad I. Newton

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

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Child of Japanese and Korean immigrants Sho Yano

Earned PhD in biology at age 18 while attending medical school, from which he received an MD at age 21.

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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