Monday, March 19, 2007

Karl Iagnemma: Roboticist and Novelist

In an earlier life, and still now to a large extent, I have been guilty of compartmentalizing people based on their field of study or work. If someone is in the liberal arts, they must only be good at writing. If someone is in the sciences, they must only be good at memorization and analytical thinking. If someone is in drama, they aren't good at anything. Ouch! I'm just playing around.

While I've been learning that more and more people, maybe all people, are rich wells of varied abilities, I am still amazed at those people who can perform superbly in areas that greatly differ. My professor of the philosophy of medicine is not just an expert on this subject, but is also a hematologist.

In another clip from PBS's program, NOVA, MIT roboticist and acclaimed fiction novelist Karl Iagnemma (yanYEMma) is profiled. (The clip is about 10 minutes long and is viewable in a variety of formats.)

One of the amazing things to me is that he is not just a mediocre roboticist and novelist. He is outstanding in both fields. I won't ruin it all for you, but his book is quite popular and he is working in collaboration with NASA on a robot to go on Mars.

This profile is particularly encouraging because many people - myself included - have a desire to excel in more than just their field of study. Karl Iagnemma shows us that such a goal is definately attainable. We do not always have to be boxed in by our studies.

On a level closer to home, although our school work can be time-consuming, we should try to delve into our other interests. This isn't just to expand one's area of expertise, which is awesome too, but also to keep us sane and happy. In becoming engrossed in tasks that we enjoy doing, we get in touch with that pure present-moment happiness that we easily pass over.

It is a very zen idea, but I'm saving that for the next post. ;)

For now, go watch the video of the profile of Karl Iagnemma. It's quite inspiring.

If you enjoyed these learning tips and motivational strategies, maybe you'll enjoy the other posts. Please bookmark this page (Ctrl-D) or check out the archive/categories to the right. Better yet, tell a friend! (Click the envelope below this.)

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