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Three Ways to Dispel Imposter Syndrome

Be open to learning, build a support system, and create a positive narrative to overcome feeling like a fraud

3 min read
Illustration of a man with a mask in front of his face.
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTEMany engineers have written about their experiences in dealing with imposter syndrome. They include Emilee Urbanek, a software engineer at Uber, who said in a post on the Uber Engineering blog that her feelings of being a fraud started when she made the transition from college student to full-time employee.

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when individuals doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent feeling that someone will notice that they’re frauds. Psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes of Georgia State University introduced the term in 1978. They studied high-achieving women who, despite evidence of success and competence, felt like imposters in their respective fields.

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Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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