BookNotes Series: The Art of Doing Science and Engineering by Richard Hamming | Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Orientation

  1. Get in the habit of quick modeling to check quantitative remarks .

    • You will more likely retain the results having done the calculation yourself.
    • Practice making calculations and quick modeling prepare you to do the same on more important applications.
  2. A problem in knowledge acquisition is the rate at which new knowledge makes the old knowledge obsolete . The solution is to learn fundamentals . One can recognize fundamentals by asking:

    • Have they lasted for a long time?
    • Can we derive other knowledge in the field from these using standard methods in the field?
  3. You should try to predict the future, as much as the future is unpredictable. Because with the lifetime of many independent choices, small and large, one with a vision will get to a distance proportional to n, one without will only get to a distance √n .

  4. An opinion based on observations and anecdotes of people’s lives: those who aim to make significant contribution to humanity rather than just get along through life comfortably achieve the greatest total happiness in life . Struggle on your part to achieve excellence.