From the Farm to MIT

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SPEAKER 1: I grew up in Pennsylvania. And I have the distinction of having been born on a farm.

SPEAKER 2: I grew up on a farm.

SPEAKER 3: So I was born on a farm, if you will.

SPEAKER 4: I grew up in Montana. I'm a cowboy at heart.

SPEAKER 5: My father was a farmer.

SPEAKER 6: We were in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, which is a rural community, farming community.

SPEAKER 7: When my parents were about 20 years old they decided to live a simpler life and they basically moved to rural West Virginia as a way of going back to the land.

SPEAKER 8: I rode and trained horses as a child.

SPEAKER 9: Well, I was brought up in farm country of Pennsylvania. And I had my share of work picking tomatoes and doing farm work.

SPEAKER 10: So I grew up in the bush, very much. I come from a fifth generation Australian family and always very much in the bush.

SPEAKER 11: Between the time I was 17 months old and 5 or 6 years old I spent on a farm.

SPEAKER 12: So we went to Idaho when I was 9 years old and we settled in a little farming village.

SPEAKER 13: We lived on a mini farm.

SPEAKER 14: Well, I was born on a cattle ranch, spent my youth on a cattle ranch.

SPEAKER 9: I think it had an influence in the sense that farmers are entrepreneurs and their own boss. And so I think that sort of settled into my psyche.

SPEAKER 2: Hard work. You learn how to focus on a farm.

SPEAKER 10: People in the cities romanticize the bush in the same way that Americans romanticize the west. It's not to be romanticized. Actually, it's a pretty tough and rough place.

SPEAKER 7: It is kind of strange for someone to grew up in a house with not a lot of technology to become a faculty member at MIT, but I became an engineer in part because I was good at math and I liked problem solving. But I think the childhood has influenced me in terms of how I bias technologies. That is I give value to technologies that are maybe simpler or local. And I think that does come out in my research and my work.