Matt's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Being You

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Cambridge, MA

MATT H. SCHNEPS

Astrophysicist / Director
Harvard Laboratory for Visual Learning

“You have to figure out what your bliss is, and then you have to go after it very intensely.”

INTERESTS:

Education Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Acceptance Struggle Goals Determination Societal Pressures Education Success

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

ADHD, anxiety, autism, community, confidence, different, disappointment, dyslexia, embarrassement, family, following your bliss, Harvard, learning disability, publishing, realization, self expression, shame, stereotype, willing, writing

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Although he struggled all throughout school, his teachers and parents weren’t sure what the issue was, so he was left to navigate it on his own.
  • He loved astronomy from a young age; when he was in high school, he planned on becoming an astronomy researcher and professor at a prestigious school.
  • From there his railroad track got “twisty”: when he was applying to colleges, he was rejected from most of his dream schools because of his test scores.
  • The only school that accepted him was MIT because they didn’t require standardized test scores.
  • Even then, he still didn’t know the root cause of his struggles; he knew he was bright, but he could barely navigate the Dewey Decimal System in the library.
  • It wasn’t until much later, when his daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, that he started researching the condition and realized he had it as well.
  • Although he pursued astrophysics for some time, his research now focuses on using technology to solve or remedy learning issues.
  • He struggles with remembering names and incidents, but he’s used even this to his advantage—since he doesn’t remember his setbacks, he easily moves on from them.

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