Monday, December 1, 2008

Why An Undergraduate Thesis Is So Useful

My Bookshelf Series - 4

My bookshelf series continues. This one is from one of my favorite books on evolutionary biology, John Tyler Bonner's Life Cycles.

Some years ago a friend who happened to be a distinguished mathematician came to Princeton and we arranged to have lunch. He came to my office a bit early, so I asked him to please have a seat and find some reading matter on the shelves and I would return shortly. When I came back, to my horror he was reading my undergraduate senior thesis, the first half of which is an analysis of the problem of development using symbolic logic. I admonished him for picking it out in a room filled with good books. He replied, " Don't be silly, this is wonderful". When I asked him how he could say something so absurd, he said, " You don't understand. What's wonderful is that you got this out of your system so early in life".

Quite correct. I never wrote a senior undergraduate thesis, but my Master's dissertation? I keep that locked up. But why go back so far? I cringe with embarrassment at some early posts in this blog.

See: My Book Shelf Series

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