On Wed, 09 Dec 2015 07:12:06 +0000, Tony wrote:

> If we were to list the mathematical and scientific discoveries of the
> past - like calculus and theory of relativity, etc. - how many would
> have been done by someone at the age of 50 or older? How many milestones
> in computing history were achieved by someone 50 or older? How many were
> done by someone over 40? And I think most of the aging process isn't
> even quality (what would most impact notable discovery) - it's quantity
> (that is, slower clock cycle). And companies probably have more concerns
> about quantity of thought than quality.

Cole 1976 showed that there was scant difference in productivity for 
natural scientists at the age of 30 and at the age of 50 (measured in 
terms of the rate of citations of published papers). It looks like the 
younger ones produced more work and the older ones produced better work.

Specifically for mathematics, Stern 1978 observes that the number of 
papers produced peaks before the age of 40, but citations per paper grow 
significantly, so that a mathematician at the age of 55 is likely to be 
cited as much as one at the age of 40 and significantly more than one 
below 35.

So unless aging suddenly got much scarier in the past four decades -- but 
no, you're talking about people in history, which goes back a lot more 
than four decades.

The availability heuristic is unreliable, but JPass is available for just 
$20 per month. http://www.jstor.org/stable/284859?seq=1

Of course, this does reinforce the decision to hire younger software 
engineers. The metrics are about lines of code per day or time to 
implement something with not a care about software defects, which favors 
younger developers over older ones.

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