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Where's my future in Science?

  1. Aug 30, 2014 #1
    I like to think about stuff in new ways and solving problems, and most especially inventing things.

    I have been inventing gadgets and contraptions since a very young age and it is something that I do to this day, I just love tinkering with stuff.

    Perhaps that is why I love programming so much, lately I have become very interested in physics due to its direct correlation in my day to day life.

    What kind of occupations, fields, jobs, would allow me to expand my mind and use my full potential?

    I know that if I can get into a field, I am quite confident if giving the right circumstances I could flourish and contribute information to the field.

    But most importantly I want an occupation where I can do what I love everyday, that is thinking outside the box and doing what I am really interested in.

    As a kid, that hasn't even applied to a college yet I am seeking information from readers such as yourself who have more life, and scientific experience.

    Thanks for your help
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2014 #2
    See how these guys did it:


    I'm just reading about Babbage, in "The Code Book" by Simon Singh, a great read! Computer security would be an interesting area to get into. Expand your mind and pretend you're James Bond :)
  4. Aug 30, 2014 #3
    It does sound as if your interest lies more with engineering than science. While there are obvious and large areas of overlap between the two disciplines, they have distinct methodologies. That said a solid underpinning in scientific theory will never go amiss in an engineering environment.

    Be aware, however, that in pursuing an engineering career it will be difficult to avoid a period of 'learning the ropes', where you are expected to do the leg work, following specified (and eventually boring) processes, implementing the ideas of others. Selecting the right company to work for will therefore be critical.
  5. Aug 30, 2014 #4
    I think you hit the nail right on the head.

    I want to be in a career that suites me, perhaps that is more engineering then science even though the two correlate, and hopefully you can guide me a in a field that I am best suited.

    Also you stated what I don't like doing exactly, I absolutely HATE doing monotonous tasks, I like doing new stuff and working with new concepts. For example I never read the instructions to electronics I just poke around till I figure it out. I built my computer without reading the manuals, it just makes more sense to do it myself until I get it.

    That's the big one, new concepts I love it. There is this feeling I get when I start thinking about new stuff and when I finally get an idea that works that is possibly the best feeling in the world.

    That's why I feel that if I was a researcher ( is that even a job? ) I could just mess around with electronics and stuff and try to contribute my scientific findings.
  6. Aug 30, 2014 #5
    Yeah I was into computer security for a while, after getting into it I had a really good idea and coded the largest API creation tool in the world for server stress testing.

    Over 4 million tests world wide have been made possible through this software.

    Although with quantum computing coming up soon, I don't think security will be much of an issue.
  7. Aug 30, 2014 #6
    How do you know it hasn't already come up? Babbage cracked the most difficult code in his time, then didn't tell anyone - or, more likely, the government told him not to tell anyone!

    That said, why don't *you* make it come up. With your background in security, why not explore the far flung frontier?
  8. Aug 30, 2014 #7
    I like your mindset, and perhaps quantum computing will open a whole new realm of security that electronics only brushed the surface of.

    Surely the "wars" of the future are going to be more technology based, so this may be an interesting field of study.

    Is quantum computing a subject you learn about during computer classes? Or is a specific field that you go into and that is your sole job.

    What kind of companies hire these positions? I mean research is CRUCIAL, but it doesn't seem like it brings in any money.

    How can these organizations support potentially upcoming researchers such as myself?
  9. Aug 31, 2014 #8
    To do it properly, I think you'd need a degree in physics, and Quantum Computing would be an advanced course at MSc level, like:


    If you were taking this course as an extremely patriotic Brit., up for "first wrangler", you might get a tap on the shoulder from a spy master. This might lead to a job with limitless funding. But like Babbage, you couldn't tell anyone about your work, so don't expect public fame. And, please Mr Spy Master, if you are reading, I'm just guessing... blame Simon Singh... :)
  10. Sep 1, 2014 #9


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    Every job has monotonous tasks, some jobs are all monotonous, some are also exciting. I think integrated circuit engineering is incredibly exciting, but I have to do monotonous tasks all the time. I need to write documents to explain how to use my circuits, I need to make powerpoints for design reviews, I need to write proposals to get money for my research, I need to deal with my students' problems, I need to supervise people, etc etc. That said, I love my job. The monotonous tasks are critical to being effective. Even if I were a genius, if I couldn't communicate my findings, what value would I add to an organization?

    Unless you are independently wealthy I find it hard to believe that you'll find someone willing to pay you to mess around with stuff. Sounds fun, though.
  11. Sep 1, 2014 #10
    Thanks yeah, I am thinking the war of the future will be cyber based as we can already see the changes today. So cyber security will need to be greatly enhanced.

    Drones, Hacking, and the Internet; tanks aren't the weapon of war anymore.
  12. Sep 1, 2014 #11
    I see, perhaps I should look into running my own company then
  13. Sep 2, 2014 #12
    I have been running my own company since a long time, and I have worked in different technical jobs as an employee.

    I prefer the former, but "being paid for messing around" is not one of the reasons - emphasis on "being paid". It is true that you might have more time for research and tinkering as you don't have to ask permission of a manager if it is OK to put time into a project whose outcome cannot be put into financial numbers yet (depending on company structure you might need to ask a board though... but I am assuming we talk about proprietary ownership...).

    But this hinges on the fact that you are selling a "cash cow" sort of already developed product or do contract work for existing long-term customers etc.- so that you have a steady stream of revenue from existing sources while developing a new product. And working for clients or the manufacturing of a product is more like what analogdesign describes - you are paid for a final result the client has some expectations about, you need to find those clients, develop the relationship with them, and there are lots of administrative duties like controlling, filing your taxes etc. Even if you delegate or outsource these tasks you have to supervise your employees or external contractors - as you are finally accountable as a company owner.

    What might be solution is to start a company with a friend / colleague who is born to be a manager / CEO - so you could focus more on technical things.
  14. Sep 2, 2014 #13
    I already operate and have been operating many companies since I was 12 years old...

    What I do know is create code and build custom stuff such as cooling systems for CPUs, but I was thinking of companies that have bigger budgets so the stuff I build is up scaled.
  15. Sep 2, 2014 #14
    Yes, you could be another Steve Wozniak - but where can you find a Steve Jobs?!


    To make *some* money (maybe a lot!): set up a tinkerers website, use Google Adsense advertising, sell technical gear.

    That could, after a while, be, largely, self running leaving you lots of time for tinkering, and then when you get together something great you have your website ready made to sell it! This is a very flexible approach, so you could do other stuff at the same time (college!)

    Once you get to the stage of having a great product, making a bit of profit, and glimpse potential for much more profit, but aren't sure how to scale things up, then it's time to seek out management, i.e., "a dragon".

    Have you seen a TV programme called "Dragon's Den"? It's on in the UK at the moment and involves inventors pitching their products to multi-millionaire entrepreneurs who decide to invest in them (or not!) More important than the piddling amounts the dragons invest is the experience they can bring to bear on helping the product get to market.

    Do you have a novel cooling system for CPU's? Does it bring something new to the marketplace - compared to what's out there is it at least one of: cheaper, smaller, more efficient, ... If so, the first thing I'd do is patent it! Such a product could be a big earner. Then start selling it, then after some success (maybe just a few hundred sales), seek out a dragon...

    If you are just using known technology to cool your mate's CPUs in one off jobs then that isn't good enough - that's not inventing it's plumbing. You need to invent a new tap, not just install taps.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  16. Sep 2, 2014 #15
    Yup, I have built a prototype cooler that uses liquid and air cooling on the same block.

    Even on a forum I posted on with thousands of veteran over clockers it got amazing feedback and requests for updates on it. I am building a 2nd prototype soon.

  17. Sep 3, 2014 #16
    All good fun, but I'm afraid the first thing that springs to mind is:


    Are you aiming for "largest cooling effect" at a "reasonable" cost? If so I can't see it appealing to more than a few enthusiastic overclockers - a very small niche. It might be a fun hobby, but forget about it forming a basis for a multi-million dollar business.

    If I was you I'd think about designing a cheaper/quieter/more-efficient fan, or passive cooling system, for standard desktops.
  18. Sep 3, 2014 #17
    This isn't some niche idea of course lol if it was you can bet I wouldn't be posting it publicly on this forum...

    I would be making millions and thinking about how I could expand that business instead.

    It is just an example of the work I do at an early age (now) to better illustrate my interests and allow you guys to help me with career guidance better.
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