Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Living up to Expectations

I used to be promising. I used to have potential. And I used to travel in higher powered circles than I do now, meeting other promising people with potential.

I come across mentions of some of these people from time to time. Sometimes I can't help it, it just sort of happens. Ten years ago I was in a summer program with 20 students; one of the other students was Manjul Bhargava. It's hard not to hear about him sometimes. (Someone else I know from that summer program has also been featured in the media but on a much smaller scale.) And today as I was poking around the web looking for things relating to my job application, I ran across someone else I know from a different summer program. His specific area of research is fairly close to mine (I wasn't totally lost when I saw him give a talk), and I'd known that he's brilliant. But today I just by happenstance came across a project that he's involved in and read his bio: he's even smarter and from a stronger background than I realized. And he is working for a start-up company -- not a university. I'm really hoping that it's because this is something that he really wanted to do and that he loves his work. Because the other options are just disheartening.