Are You Connected to a Nobel Prize Winner?

Six degrees of separation rule holds true for Nobel scientists too

3 min read

10 December 2004 -- Perhaps you're wondering, as the Nobel Prizes are awarded today, what separates you, toiling away in your particular little garden, from one or another of the celebrated recipients. Well, if you happen to be working in more or less the same field as the awardee, the answer is about four other scientists on average, according to recent, though admittedly frivolous, research.

That's a closer connection than you are commonly thought to have with a random stranger, which is perhaps not so surprising, given the intimacy of scientific communities. Famously if somewhat apocryphally, six other people, or six degrees are thought to separate any two randomly connected individuals, but in fact the relation only holds for members of defined communities or occupations.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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