Pick the Right Problem | Jitendra Malik and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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July 23, 2020
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Lex Clips
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Pick the Right Problem | Jitendra Malik and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

This interview highlights the significance of being a good mentor and the value of choosing the right problems to solve in computer science.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the speaker become a successful mentor in computer science?

The speaker credits their success as a mentor to Berkeley's pool of smart and capable students and their ability to teach students how to pick the right problems to work on.

Q: What defines a good problem in scientific research?

According to the speaker, a good problem is one that is not yet solved but has a "soft underbelly," making it approachable. Having the intuition to identify these problems is crucial for progress.

Q: What role does mentorship play in long-term research success?

Effective mentorship goes beyond conducting great research during a student's time with the mentor. It instills a sense of problem-solving intuition, empowering students to continue tackling important research even after their mentorship ends.

Q: How does the speaker's intellectual breadth benefit their students?

The speaker's broad knowledge in various fields, including psychology and neuroscience, allows them to help students make connections and see perspectives that they might have otherwise missed. This breadth complements the students' deep thinking in specific areas.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker has mentored successful individuals in computer vision, computer science, and AI, attributing some credit to the caliber of students at top universities.

  • The speaker believes that, in addition to technical competence, long-term scientific progress is achieved by asking the right questions and focusing on the right problems.

  • They emphasize the importance of having a sense of taste for identifying good problems, which are approachable but not yet solved.

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