Lecture: Ingredients for Successful Research

Martin Hellman

Looking back over more than 50 years of doing research, I can discern several key “ingredients” that helped me in my work. First, I was not afraid of doing things that others thought foolish, and this was also important in the work of many of my most successful colleagues. Second, I had what Buddhism calls “beginner’s mind” – I did my best work in cryptography when I knew only a small fraction of the relevant math that I now know. Third, I trusted my intuition, rather than rejecting it as “irrational.” This talk illustrates each of these points from my personal experience.