Richard Hamming worked on the right problems. He helped form the basis for Information Theory at Bell Labs with his groundbreaking research on error-detecting and error-correcting codes (he shared an office with Claude Shannon, the 'Father of Information Theory'). Not only that – he observed many of the great scientists that worked on the right problems. He was with Richard Feynman and Robert Oppenheimer at Los Alamos working on the Manhattan Project.

But one of his most accessible legacies is a seminar he gave in his later years as a professor that sought to answer the question:

Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?

Hamming's talk was titled You and Your Research. He breaks down his observations.