Famous Computer Geniuses with Asperger’s

Famous Computer Geniuses with Asperger’s

 

 

In a recent TED.com talk by Misha Glenny, titled Hire the Hackers,Glenny noted at the end of his talk that many famous computer hackers have characteristics that are consistent with Asperger’s Syndrome.  He mentioned he discussed this with Professor of Development Psychopathology at Cambridge, Simon Baron-Cohen, who “confirmed Gary McKinnon who is wanted by the United States for hacking into the Pentagon suffers from Asperger’s.  Cohen explained that certain disabilities can manifest themselves in the hacking computer world as tremendous skills.”

 

This is not the first time that there has been mention of famous hackers having this disorder.  Adrian Lamo, once hunted by the FBI, was institutionalized and diagnosed with Asperger’s.  Cnet News recently reported, “Ryan Cleary, the 19-year-old charged in the U.K. on five counts of computer hacking activity, has Asperger’s syndrome.”

According to Wired.com, “There are no reliable figures on how many people have Asperger’s, but anecdotally a lot of them are drawn into the computer field, particularly the logic-heavy world of coding. BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has diagnosed himself with the disorder, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is frequently speculated to have it.” According to Businessweek, Bram Cohen’s disorder is, “a condition that keeps him rooted in the world of objects and patterns, puzzles and computers, but leaves him floating, disoriented, in the everyday swirl of human interactions.” In the movie The Social Network, some of the mannerisms that the Mark Zuckerberg character displayed may have implied he had Asperger’s as well.

Some other famous minds that have been noted as having Asperger’s include Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.  The article, The Potential Genius of Asperger’s contains a long list of famous people who have been thought to have this disorder.

Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen developed an AQ test that measures the Autism Spectrum Quotient.  “In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.” To take the Asperger’s test, click here.

The following is Misha Glenny’s talk from TED:

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Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings

 

The movie The Social Network showcased Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to create an enormous business from seemingly nothing.  Not all entrepreneurs have been accepted to Harvard like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to hit it big. However, having the intelligence to get there doesn’t hurt.

I grew up next door to a very smart man who worked his way through a state college and started a little company with $5000.  That man was Leonard (Sam) Shoen who created U-Haul by asking gas station owners to let him rent trucks from their lots.  Amerco is now the parent of U-Haul and is a far cry from the corner gas station beginnings.

There are plenty of Leonard Shoen and Sam Walton stories out there.  Accountingdegree.com recently published a list of 10 big businesses that got started in a garage including: 

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Mattel
  4. HP
  5. Amazon
  6. Disney
  7. Microsoft
  8. MagLite
  9. Yankee Candle Company
  10. Harley Davidson

For more detail regarding how each of these companies got started, you can click on each individual company or read the article by clicking here.

To see Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford explaining how he started Apple watch the following video:

 

Do Introverts Make Good Speakers?

This is a very interesting topic that was recently brought up in one of my foresight in technology courses I teach.  Many of my  technology students are introverts. The Myers Briggs MBTI classifies people as introverts and extroverts.  The introvert tends to think before they speak. The extrovert tends to think as they speak.  Because of this, many may assume, the time lag preferred by an introvert may not make them the most likely candidates to be a good speaker.

However, really good speakers have spent long hours in preparation of their presentations.  This is an ideal way for the introvert to deliver information.  They have time to think and arrange their thoughts in a way that comes across in the way they intended. 

Classic introverts, like Bill Gates, can deliver wonderful speeches.  The problem introverts may experience in the speaking circuit would probably have more to do with the question and answer session at the end of the presentation.  At that point, once questions are asked, the introvert speaker could answer things very quickly if it is something they are familiar with and have answered previously.  However, should a heckler get into the crowd and ask something way off topic, in that case, it might not be the ideal situation for the classic introvert. 

An example of an introverted leader/speaker feeling as if they are under pressure during a Q&A session would be the Mark Zuckerberg video where he had flop sweat.

Employers Embracing Online Education

How do employers view online degrees?

Online degrees are often in the news.  When I first began teaching online, there were far fewer schools offering an online education.  This led to some negative interpretations when employers were considering applicants with an online education.  

Thankfully it is 2011 and people are waking up! In today’s AOLjobs.com article, the author noted, “While online degrees were once largely seen as being second-rate, recent studies have reported that employers are not only more open to, but are even showing a favorable sentiment toward candidates with online degrees these days. Besides the increase in reputation these programs are experiencing, online degrees have also become so popular, that if employers were to disregard candidates with such degrees, they’d also be disqualifying a significant portion of the work force.”

How popular is online learning? According to Campustechhnology.com, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.”  

With the growth of the Internet, the ease of accessibility to computers and the flexibility that the online environment affords students, online learning has become more popular than ever. The advantages of not having to buy gas to get to class, not having find a car park or pay for parking, and being able to attend class at any time of the day or night have all contributed to its popularity.

A large percentage of students who are studying online are working on their associates, but there are baccalaureate, master, and doctoral programs available online as well. Much of the growth that has occurred in online learning has happened since 1999. With the recent changes in the economy, online classes have seen a surge in enrollment. “Bad economic times have often been good for education, either because decreased availability of good jobs encourages more people to seek education instead, or because those currently employed seek to improve their chances for advancement by pursuing their education” (Sloan, 2008).

There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.”

If you are thinking about going back to school in 2011, check out some of the following articles for more advice:

Thinking of Taking Online Classes? What to Know Before You Start

My new book is now available . . . to see full press release, click here.
“Here’s something you should know – Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive “soup to nuts” book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.”     Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant  “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

“Here’s something you should know – Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive “soup to nuts” book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.” Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

Quote start“Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years.(Campustechnology.com, 2010)Quote end

Tempe, AZ (PRWEB) August 17, 2010

College and university fall-semester classes will be starting soon. With the popularity of online education, many courses are now being presented in an online format. This has left students looking for answers for how to be successful in the online classroom. Are they getting the help they need? According to Dr. Diane Hamilton, author of The Online Student’s User Manual, many students could use more helpful advice.

There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” With a predicted 22 million students taking some form of online courses, are students getting the help they need to understand this new form of learning? Apparently they are not, if the dropout rate is any indication. Karen Frankola with BNET (2010) reported, “Chronicle of Higher Education found that institutions are seeing dropout rates that range from 20 to 50 percent for distance learners. And administrators of online courses concur that dropout rates are often 10 to 20 percentage points higher than in their face-to-face counterparts.”

As online learning becomes the future of education, more and more students are finding they have plenty of questions about online learning but many are not receiving the answers. There is no shortage of books that explain the value of an online education. However, the typical book about online learning leaves out helpful advice about how to be a successful online student. This has left learners floundering in their first year of college.

“Other books for the online college student have failed to explain some of the most important skills that the new learner will have to possess once they enter the online classroom” explained Dr. Hamilton, who has also written books about understanding personalities in the workforce and how to reinvent your career. “I have taken my many years of experience teaching first time students and compiled what I’ve learned into The Online Student’s User Manual. This book is designed for those who are looking to understand key terminology and want answers to questions that other books about online learning have neglected to answer. For the first-time online college student, this book contains all they need for optimal success. For the experienced online student and online professor, this book is also an excellent resource, with tips on time management, goal planning, test preparation, writing guidelines, and document preparation techniques.”

There are plenty of books that will help you decide on the right school or find the money you need to finance your higher education. But if you want answers to all your other questions as well, The Online Student User’s Manual takes you where no other manual has gone before—deeply into the online learning experience. Not sure if you have enough computer skills or know how to navigate in cyberspace? Intimidated by all the new terminology? The Online Student User’s Manual will allay your fears and frustrations, as it provides you with information that will make you able to successfully traverse the online halls of learning.

About the Author
Diane Hamilton currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. Along with her teaching experience, she has a Doctorate Degree in Business Management and more than twenty-five years of business and management-related experience. To find out more about her writing or to schedule an interview, visit her website at https://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/. Review copies are available.

The Online Student’s User Manual–August, 2010 ($14.95/Amazon). ISBN: 0982742800/9780982742808 Approximately –184 pages

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Free Online Education vs. College

Bill Gates says the best college education could soon be available online and for free. At a tech conference, the Microsoft founder said that in five years the best lectures in the world will be available for free on the web. And he thinks that will make the Internet “better than any single university.” Gates also thinks there needs to be a way to get credit for what you learn, no matter where you learn it.

Looking for Free Education . . .Click on the above link to hear Bill Gates’ opinion on what will soon be available. In my book How to Reinvent Your Career, I list a lot of great free resources that are already available. Check out some of my favorite free educational sources:

1. iTunes U: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ – iTunes have their university courses as well as regular podcasts available. Be sure to check out all of the free things iTunes has to offer.
2. ‘Stuff you should know’ podcast: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm
3. MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm
4. Computer training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
5. How to use APA for writing papers: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
6. Source for a lot of educational videos that help you to be on the cutting edge: http://wimp.com/
7. Grammar guide: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
8. Online tutorials: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/ed4you.html#Online Tutorial
9. Source for many educational training videos: http://websearch.about.com/od/imagesearch/a/education_video.htm
10. Career training resource: http://freecareertraining.org/