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    richard hamming Quotes

    It may be said "In research, if you know what you are doing, then you shouldn't be doing it." In a sense, if the answer turns out to be exactly what you expected, then you have learned nothing new, although you may have had your confidence increased somewhat.
    — Richard Hamming
    Perhaps the central problem we face in all of computer science is how we are to get to the situation where we build on top of the work of others rather than redoing so much of it in a trivially different way.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: work  problem  computer 
     
    He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: work  world 
     
    Good teachers deserve apples; great teachers deserve chocolate. A favorite quotation, written in calligraphy on his office door.
    — Richard Hamming
    If the prior distribution, at which I am frankly guessing, has little or no effect on the result, then why bother; and if it has a large effect, then since I do not know what I am doing how would I dare act on the conclusions drawn?
    — Richard Hamming
    What are the important problems of your field?
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: problem 
     
    Science is concerned with what is possible while engineering is concerned with choosing, from among the many possible ways, one that meets a number of often poorly stated economic and practical objectives.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: economics 
     
    Mathematics is not merely an idle art form, it is an essential part of our society.
    — Richard Hamming
    Typing is no substitute for thinking.
    — Richard Hamming
    Put glibly:In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it.In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it.Of course, you seldom, if ever, see either pure state.
    — Richard Hamming
    The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you're doing.
    — Richard Hamming
    There are wavelengths that people cannot see, there are sounds that people cannot hear, and maybe computers have thoughts that people cannot think.
    — Richard Hamming
    What you learn from others you can use to follow.What you learn for yourself you can use to lead.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: learn 
     
    Newton said, "If I have seen further than others, it is because I've stood on the shoulders of giants." These days we stand on each other's feet!
    — Richard Hamming
    Often the great scientists, by turning the problem around a bit, changed a defect to an asset. For example, many scientists when they found they couldn't do a problem finally began to study why not. They then turned it around the other way and said, "But of course, this is what it is" and got an important result.
    — Richard Hamming
    Once in a while a person does only one thing in his whole life, and we'll talk about that later, but a lot of times there is repetition. I claim that luck will not cover everything. And I will cite Pasteur who said, "Luck favors the prepared mind." And I think that says it the way I believe it.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: time  people  believe  luck 
     
    True greatness is when your name is like ampere, watt, and fourier-when it's spelled with a lower case letter.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: greatness  true 
     
    If you have the door to your office closed, you get more work done today and tomorrow, and you are more productive than most. But ten years later somehow, you dont quite know what problems are worth working on.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: work  problem  year  tomorrow  worth 
     
    If you don't work on important problems, it's not likely that you'll do important work.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: work  problem 
     
    Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well. They believe the theory enough to go ahead; they doubt it enough to notice the errors and faults so they can step forward and create the new replacement theory. If you believe too much you'll never notice the flaws; if you doubt too much you won't get started. It requires a lovely balance.
    — Richard Hamming
    The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: insight 
     
    It is better to do the right problem the wrong way than the wrong problem the right way.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: problem  right  wrong 
     
    In mathematics we do not appeal to authority, but rather you are responsible for what you believe.
    — Richard Hamming
    The real problem is what can man and machine do together and not in competition.
    — Richard Hamming
    Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity. I don`t want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime.
    — Richard Hamming
    Mathematicians stand on each others' shoulders and computer scientists stand on each others' toes.
    — Richard Hamming
    You can tell other people all the alibis you want. I don't mind. But to yourself try to be honest.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: people  mind 
     
    One of the characteristics of successful scientists is having courage. Once you get your courage up and believe that you can do important problems, then you can. If you think you can't, almost surely you are not going to.
    — Richard Hamming
    Science is composed of laws which were originally based on a small, carefully selected set of observations, often not very accurately measured originally; but the laws have later been found to apply over much wider ranges of observations and much more accurately than the original data justified.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: law 
     
    Does anyone believe that the difference between the Lebesgue and Riemann integrals can have physical significance, and that whether say, an airplane would or would not fly could depend on this difference? If such were claimed, I should not care to fly in that plane.
    — Richard Hamming
    tags: believe  care 
     
    Computer scientists stand on each other's feet.
    — Richard Hamming
    Beware of finding what you're looking for.A favorite aphorism he often used.
    — Richard Hamming
    Mathematics is an interesting intellectual sport but it should not be allowed to stand in the way of obtaining sensible information about physical processes.
    — Richard Hamming
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