Words of wisdom from Chad Orzel ’93:

Science is Hard, to paraphrase Barbie, and failure is an unavoidable part of the business. Most of what you try won’t work, but the only way to learn what does work is to try stuff and see.

A colleague at Williams once said something about introducing undergraduates to research that I have since stolen, and shamelessly repeat all the time: the hardest part about bringing a new student into a research setting is getting them to realize that it isn’t a three-hour lab class. New research students will generally keep at something for about the same length of time it would take an in-class activity to work, and then come say “This isn’t working.” At which point, you have to explain that not only do you not know if it should’ve worked by now, you don’t know if it will ever work, and they need to keep plugging away for several days at least.

Indeed. Which Williams professor deserves credit for this insight?

Print  •  Email