Daniel Lemire's blog

, 2 min read

How to solve hard problems

2 thoughts on “How to solve hard problems”

  1. giures says:

    How do you balance studying giants’ ideas and applying your own ideas? When do you stop getting the state of the art and start your own work? I find it very difficult to balance these two things, and I usually get stuck reading papers / books for a long time.

  2. Nirman says:

    Nice post! I think one of the most important prerequisites to solve a hard problem is having some sort of intense desire or interest in that problem. Without having a personal stake in the problem, without having the curiosity that would act as a fuel, it is harder. It should be used as a criteria to filter out problems. Those people who seem to start out with hard problems certainly have some intense interest in the problem!

    For someone like me, trying to start in research, it is very easy to try those problems that are easy to understand but hard and famous. I wonder if that is a good approach, even if the advice you give is taken to heart and followed religiously. When, exactly in ones research career should one try a really hard problem?