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For many years, Bell Labs ran an internal speaker series known as the Bell Communications Research Colloquia Series. This particular talk, given by Dr. Richard W Hamming in 1986, was focused on answering one question: “Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?”

Dr. Hamming, of course, gave his name to: the Hamming code, Hamming matrix, Hamming window, Hamming numbers, Hamming bound (sphere-packing), and the Hamming distance. Here’s to hoping his contributions are never forgotten.


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    Wow, that talk was filled with brilliant nuggets.

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      This speech was expanded into a book, “the art of doing science and engineering : learning to learn” The book is even better!

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        Here it is for anyone interested:

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        What are the important problems in IT?

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          One of them is managing the chaos that arises from increasingly complex systems. As software gets more and more complicated it gets harder to maintain, leading to a trade-off between velocity & bugs. Any ways to deal with this effectively would be revolutionary.