### 5 Types of Human Grad Student

Martin Joos, Head of the Dept. of Germanic L & L, UW, Madison, WI, freaked out his entering graduate students by administering little tests upon meeting them for the first time; he was not so much interested in their smarts as their problem-solving personality type (in his typology). Example: he would write down the first few odd numbers, "1  3  5  7  9  ..." Then he would reckon out loud, "1 plus 3 is 4, plus 5 is 9, plus 7 is 16... What is the sum of the first 60 odd numbers?" His typology, based on the response:

Type I. Defense, anger, refusal.

Type II. Collapse.

Type III. "Oh, yeah, we had a formula for this in school..." (Needless to say, he didn't care if they could remember a formula or come up with an answer.)

Type IV ("Engineers"). They'd think a few seconds and then answer, "3600."

Type V ("Mathematicians"). They'd answer instantly, "360."

1. Anonymous1:33 AM

I'm probably in either the Type II or Type III category, though with a little time and effort (but not under duress), I can be Type IV.

2. Anonymous1:41 AM

Just a word on the Type I: While I know that I am not the smartest man, I am also not one to give up. If I am posed a challenge, I will do whatever I can to find the answer. If I don't know the answer or am simply incapable of providing an answer, then I will eventually admit defeat. So I must revise my answer, I would fall either under Type II or Type IV, but not Type III.

I did fall under Type III in your last experiment, but only temporarily. I eventually realized that I am a Type II in that experiment (I was clearly out of my element).

3. You're an order of magnitude off.

1. John, to whom are you replying? I hope it isn't to the "Mathematicians", because that was the whole point.

4. That description is too kind to Engineers.

1. I'm an engineer, and you're right. It took me nearly thirty seconds.

2. It took me a lot longer.