Top 37 Mildred Dresselhaus Quotes

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“We’re all concerned about sustainable energy. If we could recycle waste heat to generate energy, we could use it for something useful.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Diversity and inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in science should not affect the way education is handled or research is carried out. So diversity should not be a problem but rather an opportunity to involve a large talent pool.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Mentoring is about listening to people, helping them go over what the issues are and how to clarify ways to deal with any problems that may arise.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Energy is one topic on which different countries can work together collaboratively. If we can all produce energy from an element that’s available in abundance on our planet, that would be a good thing, but we have to learn how to produce energy in large quantities, cheaply, efficiently and without detriment to the environment.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“People who have it too easy in early life have a disadvantage for later on, because they get to thinking that everything is going to be easy.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“My older brother was a musical prodigy, and he got a scholarship to the Bronx House Music School. We moved to the Bronx when I was 4 to be close to his music school. Then I got a music scholarship myself, at the age of 6, but that was for a school down in Greenwich Village. I had to take the elevated train and then the subway to get there.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Hunter High School was a real turning point for me. I found out about its existence through the music school. Nobody I knew had gone to one of these special high schools, and my teachers didn’t think it was possible to get in. But Hunter sent me a practice exam, and I studied what I needed to know to pass the exam.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Superconductivity helped broaden my professional phase space. When I started my work, it was already known that magnetic fields could quench superconductivity. I found that the transition was not continuous, that superconductivity was initially enhanced in the presence of magnetic fields, then it would suddenly fall off.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“When I came to M.I.T. in 1960, only 4 percent of the students were female. Today, it’s about 40 percent of undergraduates. At Lincoln Lab, they had 1,000 men and two women. But we had a very good boss, and he treated us just like everybody else.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“At my first job as an independent researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, they told me I could work on most anything, but not what I knew something about. That is actually very good advice to a young person starting a career because you bring new ideas to the field.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“The concept of graphene came along in 1947, but nobody paid much attention to it. I was fascinated because it had a linear E versus K while everything else that people were working on at that time had a quadratic dispersion relationship. I wondered why this was and what was so special about it. That was my fascination.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“A carbon nanotube is just a graphene sheet that’s rolled up seamlessly, and this happens in nature; carbon nanotubes are found in mineral deposits around the planet.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“My entry into the field of hydrogen came as a great surprise. President Bush of the United States was interested in hydrogen for energy applications, and I was asked to chair a committee on hydrogen for the Department of Energy.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“One of the over-riding things for many who grow up in poverty is the simple desire to escape. I think it was sort of obvious to me that escape had to be through education.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“All the leadership positions that I have had have one common denominator: none has required that I give up my science work.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I think having four children made me a good mentor. As a parent, you get to know young people as they mature and grow up and to also learn about some of the difficulties they face.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I was very much taken with carbon fibers because they seemed like the perfect medium to explore transport studies in carbon-based systems.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“The Bronx, I remember, was a very poor neighborhood, but that was all that immigrants could afford at that time. Life was tough. I grew up – my father didn’t have a job, but there weren’t too many people who did have jobs.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I’ve been lucky. I’ve been at a place that’s a meritocracy. It doesn’t really matter that much what your gender is if you do the work well.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I think women benefit from being in places and having positions where the quality of work is the criteria, not what you look like. Not every place is like that.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“In the process of making nanomaterials, we learned that with the electronic density of states, the phonon electronic properties and everything change at the nano-level. So the thermoelectric properties would also be changed.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I would say the first three or four papers on nano-thermoelectricity in bismuth went almost unnoticed, but all of a sudden when Dirac cones came along – pop! – there was huge interest in bismuth-related materials.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Commercial thermoelectrics are a reality. The automobile industry is now working with conventional thermoelectric materials. They are interested a little bit in nanostructuring because under some conditions, the nanostructures work.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Electrons are the carriers for electricity, but they are also carriers for thermal energy. This means thermal conductivity is increased when the carrier density is increased.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“If you don’t have material, you don’t have an experiment.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“The holy grail would be to turn a knob, and out comes the nanotube of the right diameter and chirality.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“If we had improved materials that could be produced cheaply and in large quantities, certainly the thermoelectrics industry could move forward more quickly.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I behaved the way I was taught to behave: like a woman in the company of men. If you behaved aggressively in the company of men, they wouldn’t accept you.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Institutions are increasingly persuaded that political maneuvering is more important than scientific justification in securing federal funds.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“The main thread of my work is structure property relations and materials. If you have certain atoms, why do they attract each other? Why do they make compounds? Why do they do what they do?”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“If I were not able anymore to come to the lab, that’s retirement. Or if I had no more ideas of things. Every year, there’s something new that comes along that’s too exciting to quit.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I learned to read music before I learned to read script.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“I want to try to do something for women in physics worldwide.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“The best thing about having a lady professor on campus is that it tells women students that they can do it, too.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“People in academia and industry are not accustomed to people who have long lapses in their careers.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“Being a woman has helped my career more than it’s hindered it.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus

“It’s hard for people who come from traditional homes to take women seriously. I do it myself. We’re just not used to seeing women professionals. Women have to go out of their way to prove themselves.”

― Mildred Dresselhaus
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