Consider a person (A) who just graduated with a liberal arts masters degree. Now he discovers his passion for math or any one engineering field. Compared to a graduate student of this field (B) who had a bent for this field since childhood, attending to camps of the subject, undergraduate research etc., what kind of an advantage does B have over A to make a breakthrough contribution in the future (in that field)? Does the learning curve of math and engineering follow the traditional rules (logarithmic, very low diminishing returns after 10 000 hours...)? Do people who come up with milestones and seminal contributions to a math or engineering field get their success mostly from talent or time spent on the subject?