My diploma thesis advisor (see this post) once asked me when I had done a certain calculation. I think he was surprised because I had suggested doing it right before he left the physics department building the evening before and we arrived around the same time the next day and he knew I did the calculations (using mathematica) in the office I shared with a Ph.D. student. Maybe it was an entirely different context. I do think I remember not really knowing what to answer, as I did not want to admit doing those calculations until around midnight (which was not even "legal" I think, the caretaker could have thrown me out as I did not have "permission" to stay as long as I wanted to at the time). So I think I said that I had stayed "a little longer" the evening before and he just replied something like "you are a theoretical physicists, they always stay longer". Somehow I really liked the idea and it was indeed the case that at 8 a.m. usually most secretaries and most experimental physicists that worked in the building were already there, with little chance of meeting a theoretical physicist, with things being the other way around at 6 p.m.. At the time it was usually me or a Japanese postdoc who were the last to go. He was a "theoretician" of course, hehe.
The Personal Analytics of My Life
By Stephen Wolfram March 8, 2012 | 6:45 pm
Let’s start off talking about e-mail. I have a complete archive of all my e-mail going back to 1989 — a year after Mathematica was released, and two years after I founded Wolfram Research. Here’s a plot with a dot showing the time of each of the third of a million e-mails I’ve sent since 1989:
The first thing one sees from this plot is that, yes, I’ve been busy. And for more than 20 years, I’ve been sending e-mails throughout my waking day, albeit with a little dip around dinner time. The big gap each day comes from when I was asleep. And for the last decade, the plot shows I’ve been pretty consistent, going to sleep around 3 a.m. ET, and getting up around 11 a.m. (Yes, I’m something of a night owl. The stripe in summer 2009 is a trip to Europe.)
But what about the 1990s? Well, that was when I spent a decade as something of a hermit, working very hard on A New Kind of Science. And the plot makes it very clear why in the late 1990s when one of my children was asked for an example of “being nocturnal” they gave me. The rather dramatic discontinuity in 2002 is the moment when A New Kind of Science was finally finished, and I could start leading a different kind of life.
Wolfram, a Search Engine, Finds Answers Within Itself
Remarks by Stephen Wolfram Ph.D. with intro by Renata Bushko fhti.org
also see this post on WolframAlpha.