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Showing posts from September, 2017

A Master Without a Masters

A couple of years ago, I was interning with a startup called Cookifi. Three mornings a week, I'd board a bus bound for HSR Layout to go to the office. One day, the bus simply failed to turn up, and I ended up sharing a cab with one of my stranded co-passengers. His name was Ravitej, and he worked in a software company. He didn't have a Ph.D. in anything, but he taught me more during a one-hour cab ride than some of my computer science teachers have taught me during entire semesters.

A few years before that, I played video games online with a guy named Luke. Luke was 20 years old at the time, and he worked in a hardware store. He didn't have an MIT education or even, come to that, a masters degree. What he did have, however, was an incredible understanding of vector calculus - incredible enough that his explanations even made sense to me at the age of 14. My "highly qualified" 10th-grade math teacher, on the other hand, couldn't suitably teach me basic trigono…