Passion & Curiosity:
Aesthetic sensibility in the cultivation of
science
Rajat Mani Thomas
Netherlands Institute for Neuro...
From Electronics to Neuroscience
via Cosmology
Jitter
Thursday, June 13, 2013
From Electronics to Neuroscience
via Cosmology
• My personal story :
Jitter
Thursday, June 13, 2013
From Electronics to Neuroscience
via Cosmology
• My personal story :
• Ingredients : Passion + Chance ( passion,
curiosity...
Our responsibility
We are at the very beginning of time for the
human race. It is not unreasonable that we
grapple with pr...
Have fun
• A cafeteria plate that led to QED and
Nobel Prize
• Catching the wave becomes the soliton
Thursday, June 13, 20...
Have fun
• A cafeteria plate that led to QED and
Nobel Prize
• Catching the wave becomes the soliton
When can this
happen?...
... Not when you over
optimize
Thursday, June 13, 2013
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
Thursday, June 13, 2013
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
... Not when you over
optimize
• Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea
• First great draft for your scientific pa...
Popular advice: Find your niche
• Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn)
time
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Popular advice: Find your niche
• Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn)
time
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Popular advice: Find your niche
• Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn)
time
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Popular advice: Find your niche
• Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn)
time
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Develop “translational”
skills along the way
• Pattern driven concurrent softwares
• Commoditization (Transferable but
com...
Connections: literally
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Connections: literally
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Connections: literally
• Decision theoryVs Galaxy formation ?
• What Neuroscientists could learn from
Astrophysicists?
Thu...
The joy of finding things out
Rutherford
A single observation revolutionizes Physics!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
The joy of finding things out
Rutherford
A single observation revolutionizes Physics!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Science for a scientist
• Scientific values consist in the continual and
increasing recognition of the uniformity of
nature...
Data driven methods
• Step 1 : Discover them patterns.
• Step II : Check for its robustness, i.e.,
statistics
Thursday, Ju...
Data driven methods
• Step 1 : Discover them patterns.
• Step II : Check for its robustness, i.e.,
statistics
Why ?
Thursd...
Data data data ...
• The hottest (demand-wise) job of the
future: data analyst (highly transferable)
Thursday, June 13, 20...
Data data data ...
• The hottest (demand-wise) job of the
future: data analyst (highly transferable)
Why ?
Thursday, June ...
Provocations
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Provocations
• Stability :Anti-adventure
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Provocations
• Stability :Anti-adventure
One life, live it!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Provocations
• Stability :Anti-adventure
One life, live it!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Provocations
• Stability :Anti-adventure
One life, live it!
Stay hungry, stay foolish ...
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Keyser’s example
Comfort zone
Adventure
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Let’s make life an adventure
that is Scientific Thinking
Thursday, June 13, 2013
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  1. 1. Passion & Curiosity: Aesthetic sensibility in the cultivation of science Rajat Mani Thomas Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience Thursday, June 13, 2013
  2. 2. From Electronics to Neuroscience via Cosmology Jitter Thursday, June 13, 2013
  3. 3. From Electronics to Neuroscience via Cosmology • My personal story : Jitter Thursday, June 13, 2013
  4. 4. From Electronics to Neuroscience via Cosmology • My personal story : • Ingredients : Passion + Chance ( passion, curiosity ) Jitter Thursday, June 13, 2013
  5. 5. Our responsibility We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. Richard P. Feynman Thursday, June 13, 2013
  6. 6. Have fun • A cafeteria plate that led to QED and Nobel Prize • Catching the wave becomes the soliton Thursday, June 13, 2013
  7. 7. Have fun • A cafeteria plate that led to QED and Nobel Prize • Catching the wave becomes the soliton When can this happen? Thursday, June 13, 2013
  8. 8. ... Not when you over optimize Thursday, June 13, 2013
  9. 9. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea Thursday, June 13, 2013
  10. 10. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea Thursday, June 13, 2013
  11. 11. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea • Achieve perfection Artificial Intelligence - bad idea Thursday, June 13, 2013
  12. 12. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea • Achieve perfection Artificial Intelligence - bad idea Thursday, June 13, 2013
  13. 13. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea • Achieve perfection Artificial Intelligence - bad idea • Get a broad stroke out Thursday, June 13, 2013
  14. 14. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea • Achieve perfection Artificial Intelligence - bad idea • Get a broad stroke out Thursday, June 13, 2013
  15. 15. ... Not when you over optimize • Optimizing your code on first attempt - bad idea • First great draft for your scientific paper - bad idea • Achieve perfection Artificial Intelligence - bad idea • Get a broad stroke out Fodder for discussion Thursday, June 13, 2013
  16. 16. Popular advice: Find your niche • Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn) time Thursday, June 13, 2013
  17. 17. Popular advice: Find your niche • Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn) time Thursday, June 13, 2013
  18. 18. Popular advice: Find your niche • Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn) time Thursday, June 13, 2013
  19. 19. Popular advice: Find your niche • Do not ignore: Generation gap (tn) time Thursday, June 13, 2013
  20. 20. Develop “translational” skills along the way • Pattern driven concurrent softwares • Commoditization (Transferable but competitive) Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. Richard P. Feynman Thursday, June 13, 2013
  21. 21. Connections: literally Thursday, June 13, 2013
  22. 22. Connections: literally Thursday, June 13, 2013
  23. 23. Connections: literally • Decision theoryVs Galaxy formation ? • What Neuroscientists could learn from Astrophysicists? Thursday, June 13, 2013
  24. 24. The joy of finding things out Rutherford A single observation revolutionizes Physics! Thursday, June 13, 2013
  25. 25. The joy of finding things out Rutherford A single observation revolutionizes Physics! Thursday, June 13, 2013
  26. 26. Science for a scientist • Scientific values consist in the continual and increasing recognition of the uniformity of nature. S. Chandreshekar (1946) Thursday, June 13, 2013
  27. 27. Data driven methods • Step 1 : Discover them patterns. • Step II : Check for its robustness, i.e., statistics Thursday, June 13, 2013
  28. 28. Data driven methods • Step 1 : Discover them patterns. • Step II : Check for its robustness, i.e., statistics Why ? Thursday, June 13, 2013
  29. 29. Data data data ... • The hottest (demand-wise) job of the future: data analyst (highly transferable) Thursday, June 13, 2013
  30. 30. Data data data ... • The hottest (demand-wise) job of the future: data analyst (highly transferable) Why ? Thursday, June 13, 2013
  31. 31. Provocations Thursday, June 13, 2013
  32. 32. Provocations • Stability :Anti-adventure Thursday, June 13, 2013
  33. 33. Provocations • Stability :Anti-adventure One life, live it! Thursday, June 13, 2013
  34. 34. Provocations • Stability :Anti-adventure One life, live it! Thursday, June 13, 2013
  35. 35. Provocations • Stability :Anti-adventure One life, live it! Stay hungry, stay foolish ... Thursday, June 13, 2013
  36. 36. Keyser’s example Comfort zone Adventure Thursday, June 13, 2013
  37. 37. Let’s make life an adventure that is Scientific Thinking Thursday, June 13, 2013
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