Scott H Young

One Week Left in the MIT Challenge

It’s the final week of the MIT Challenge. As of right now I have one more exam to write (I’ve already finished the preparation) and one more programming project, the last of six for computer graphics.

Practically, I feel the knowledge I’ve gained will serve me well as an entrepreneur. While programming knowledge certainly isn’t a prerequisite for building companies, I personally like to quickly experiment with prototypes, which becomes much easier when you can build them yourself. Deepening my programming knowledge is something I’d like to continue for the years ahead.

Intellectually the challenge has also opened me to many areas of science and mathematics. Artificial intelligence was my favorite topic throughout the program, and an area that relies on the extensive mathematical and theoretical foundations MIT teaches. I’m hoping to continue taking free classes on this subject and hopefully that knowledge will filter down to the projects I choose to pursue.

An even bigger motivation for the challenge, however, was to share it here. Getting your emails, from people motivated to pursue their own self-education projects has made the entire effort worthwhile. So, as I enter the last seven days of this yearlong adventure, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been encouraging me from along the way.

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10 Responses to “One Week Left in the MIT Challenge”

  1. FailureisGood says:

    Well done.
    Your passion for learning is rather interesting. The good thing is that you have found you life long goal. Learn everything. When you have gained even more knowledge I can already see the headline of the book.

    “The Impossible Goal: How one man set out on a quest to learn everything in the world.”

    Stay awesome!

  2. Natalie says:

    Congrats on finishing, Scott. I’ve been following your journey with interest. Now that you are almost finished, do you feel that the knowledge you learned is essential to learning to program, or can a person become a good programmer without this curriculum?

  3. Bryan says:

    Congratulations on getting so far, I have been following the challenge for a while and it has motivated me to do something similar myself, at the moment by studying – Mathematical Thinking on Coursera – good luck at your final exam.

  4. James Holder says:

    Thanks for setting such a positive example, Scott! As someone with a programming background but far less blogging and business experience, I look forward to taking a parallel route of learning. Keep up the good work.


  5. Tanoso says:

    I’ve been a reader of your blog since its beginnings. Your articles have been an inspiration for me many times. I think you are a coherent blogger, and that’s a lot to be said taking into consideration that you started really young. With this challenge you have taught by example. Congratulations for your success.

  6. Mohammad says:

    Can you give me a in depth schedule to how you handled the calculus and physics courses? What techniques did you use?

    And is the MIT physics and calculus courses are harder than normal calculus courses?

    Thank You

  7. Dudley says:

    Your story has inspired me. I am going to learn Economics by myself with your tips.

  8. Scott Young says:


    I have two articles actually–on learning calculus and physics:

    I’d guess MIT is harder than most schools, if only because the pace is faster.


    Certainly not necessary, but it helps. Most of programming isn’t computer science, but understanding specific technologies and being organized. A good programmer isn’t necessarily someone who solves really difficult problems, but who can organize solutions to really big problems.


  9. RPB says:

    This is incredibly inspiring to me, as a college student. I’ve been studying on my own over the break, just for the pure enjoyment of the subject, and I find I work soooooo much more efficiently and productively than during school terms. You’re experience is a true testament to the power of self-education.

  10. david says:

    HI Scott

    i just want to ask one question how you exactly get your certification and from what websites

    thank you

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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