``You And Your Research,'' talk by Richard W. Hamming, given at Bellcore (March 7, 1986)

R. W. Hamming spent 30 years at Bell Laboratories and is known by his work in mathematics, information theory, coding, and computer science.

The talks centered on Hamming's observations and research on the question:

``Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?''

About what he has learned in terms of the properties of the individual scientist, their abilities, traits, working habits, attitudes, and philosophy

``If you chose to assert your ego in any number of ways, `I am going to do it my way,' you pay a small steady price throughout the whole of your professional career. And this, over a whole lifetime, adds up to an enormous amount of needless trouble.''

``In summary, ... some of the reasons why so many people who have greatness within their grasp don't succeed are: they do not work on important problems, they don't become emotionally involved, they don't try and change what is difficult to some other situation which is easily done but is still important, and they keep giving themselves alibis what they don't.

``Luck favors a prepared mind. Luck changes the odds, but there is some definite control on the part of the individual.''

One prescription: work hard!