The Feynman Method

Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”

2 thoughts on “Genius

  1. That Feynman – he's no. 1 on the list of people I'm most envious/jealous of.

    (Perhaps not at the same highest of echelons, but certainly high up) I always remember the three nostrums in Sundar's first lecture to apply to problems: 1. see if you can break it into smaller pieces 2. see if ordering data helps 3. see if auxiliary storage helps.

    Surprisingly easy to remember and a great checklist to throw at something.

  2. What the old bugger didn't say was how anyone can successfully cram 12 problems in a single brain. Maybe it takes a genius to do that.

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