Lots of Insipid Stupid Parentheses
In 1966 the competition for obtaining a scholarship of CNR (the Italian National Research Council) was not as tight as it is now. Five scholarships were announced by INAC and only three candidates submitted their curriculum and their thesis. Encouraged by Corrado Böhm, I was one of them. My choice to try a scientific career was already clear to me since at least two years before. In 1964 I had attended a summer school organized by IBM at Rivoltella del Garda. From that school I still have good memories of the introductory lectures regarding computers, programming languages and operations research and, above all, I have wonderful memories of Sirmione and of Lake Garda! What I did not like was the fact that for the IBM engineers who were lecturing at the school the main interest was only in computer applications. What I did not like for sure was their stiff look and the motto ‘Riflettete!’ (the Italian translation of the well-known IBM motto ‘Think!’) written everywhere, even in the bedrooms. So at the end of the school my choice was clear. I would never take a job in industry. When I talked with IBM officials at the end of the school, about being hired by IBM after graduation, I suggested instead my interest in working in a research institution (university or CNR).
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