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A lack of heroes, a lack of open culture

One of the things that I've thought about often in relation to mechanics is:

 1)  There's a paucity of heroes. Growing up, my heroes were not mechanicians. Certainly not any of the mechanicians in the last 100-150 years. Physics has it's heroes: Feynman, Hawking, Einstein, Wheeler, Bardeen, Oppenheimer etc. etc. Mathematics has many geniuses one can idolize: Ramanujan, the various fields medallists, Galois, etc etc. Computer Science has many people in the spotlight: Stallman, Gates, Jobs, the Googles, and behind the scenes Kleinrock, Ken Thompson, Kernighan (sp?) and Ritchie, Stallman, Alan Turing, von Neuman (for his computational achievements).  Mechanics has hardly any. Heck, I didn't know whom (who?) to idolize until the end of my second year of my Ph.D. (two years after my masters degree, four years after my bachelors). At this point it was too late.  

 2) The culture in the mechanics community is quite stifling. There's a lack of openness and a lack of give and take when it comes to interaction with industry. In graduate school internships were frowned upon. And industrial careers too. And in industry, there's a tremendous frustration about academia. There just seems to be a lot of give and take, between academia and industry in computer science and the tech world. 

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