*MUST READ*- "One does not simply email the father of chaos theory"

Posted by M ws On Sunday, June 2, 2013 0 comments
Today, I must have read over one hundred articles, watched two movies and ate very little to pay penance for over-eating the past week. Just when I told myself I would wrap it up, log out, I decided to take a chance and visited Wired, one my my favourite websites. Lo and behold, I came across this fantastic article which is definitely a MUST READ so here goes....

What happens when you email the 'father' of chaos theory? by DJ Patil

DJ Patil is a data scientist in residence at Greylock Partners. Previously he was the chief product officer at Color as well as the chief scientist, and led the analytics and data teams at the LinkedIn Corporation. This post is an excerpt from a speech that he made at University of California, Berkeley 

I want you to remember back to high school and the different kinds of kids in your class: the smart one, the cool one, the athletic one, and the one that was always in trouble. The one that trouble just seemed to seek out. Remember them? Well that was me. Proof? During the first 90 days of my freshman year of high school I had been suspended, kicked out of my maths class, and been read my rights. None of which were related incidents. You know things are bad when you start to know the names of your high school administrators. Mr. Knapp. To this day I can remember his office and what if felt like sitting in the chair next to his desk while he rendered the next sentence.

When you are constantly in trouble, you quickly learn to make sure you are the first one to the mailbox. Thankfully, email was not a popular thing at that time. During a summer day between my sophomore and junior years, I did my usual interception plan, and it paid off. There in the mailbox was a plain white envelope with my name on it. It was thin and light, with our school logo in the upper left. The kind of envelope that elicits panic because only two things come in it -- trouble or rejection. And there in traditional, bureaucratic font, was the latest recommendation by the school administrators. It said, as a top student, I had been selected to join a brand new, elite group of future leaders.

I asked my friends and none of them had been picked for the group. I began to think this was an epic practical joke. So, I agreed out of curiosity. And when I arrived at training a month later, it was one of those made for TV moments. The coolest and smartest kids were all there, and when I walked, in it was pretty clear that everyone thought I was the person they were supposed to mentor. To top it off, the person who was leading the training: Mr. Knapp. With that mix, let me assure you, you can't make up that kind of awkward moment.

Still, I figured what the heck, I would take advantage of the school's mistake, and here is the crazy and lucky thing -- I was actually really good at the work. I enjoyed the programme so much that it became a turning point that sparked a set of positive chain reactions. After a year I had become a transformed student. My grades still were not very good, but to my parent's relief, I wasn't getting suspended. I got to thinking how great it was that someone's mistake turned into such a life changing experience for me. So I decided to look into it and found, I, in fact, I had been hand picked by Mr Knapp. Mr Knapp?! The very same person who had suspended me earlier. Why pick me? Here's a brand new programme, which he created, and he personally took a risk on me.

CLICK HERE for the rest of this fantastic article.

If you are free, please read this article from FORBES which describes Jeff Hammerbacher, Chief Scientist, Cloudera and DJ Patil, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Greylock Ventures as the world's second most powerful data scientist.

P.S. After putting up this blog post, I did my usual "Nichoooolaaaaas, come downstairs" yell and thereafter, made my son read this post. Initially, he was adamant that I should not 'force' him to read what I regarded as mandatory reading for that act of reading should be spontaneous (*eyes rolling*). Soon enough, by the time he reached the halfway mark, he was completely engrossed and even before I finished reading the last sentence of the Wired article, he said, "I know, I know....my mom." :-)

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