Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

December 6, 2019

From: Interview by Jeff D’Alessio, The News-Gazette

What is the worst job you ever had?

I haven’t really had standard kinds of job-with-a-boss types of jobs. I’ve been a CEO for more than half my life, and before that I was a professor for a while.

As it happens, the last class I taught as a professor, back in 1988, was the only undergraduate course I ever taught. I enjoyed the material, but I was disappointed that most of the students didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm.

At the end of the semester, I had a little party for the students. They didn’t say much. But someone I worked with brought in copies of an article that just appeared about me with the title “Physics Wiz Goes Into Biz”. The students dutifully read the article, then one young chap says “With all this going on, why the heck are you teaching college?” I explained that this would probably be my last time doing that.

To be fair, many years later, I heard from some of the students in that class, who didn’t seem to think it was as much of a disaster as I did.

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