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Scott “marsroverdriver” Maxwell
Works at Google
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lives in Pasadena, CA
45,780 followers|4,880,475 views


It's a mistake to associate brilliance with complexity, as we so often do. True brilliance lies in reducing complexity to simplicity, as Apollo's alignment optical telescope demonstrates.
Tom Nathe's profile photo
Good lord, I watched nearly all his videos. Nice succinct information, great for curious minds. 
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Here's a little video about how timekeeping works on Mars (not to mention on Earth).
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I graduated from a top-five engineering university in the US. I've worked at a world-class space R&D facility and at what might well be the smartest tech company in the world.

This man, Gentry Lee, is almost certainly the single smartest person I have ever personally met.
Gentry Lee likes to stay busy.
Sven G's profile photoRugger Ducky's profile photo
I grew up all around aerospace. Most of my family growing up worked in the Seattle area for Boeing, and my uncle is long retired from working at Aerojet. He was part of that Cal program in the 60s that turned out some of the finest minds in rocket surgery. ;-)

I've personally worked with at least a half dozen Nobel Prize winners in medicine and chemistry, but the smartest person I've ever met is Yonatan Zunger. If you've not met him in person, do as soon as you can. I'm..of relatively high intelligence, but I could just listen to Yonatan explain the world and I'd be just as happy. 
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Going to Mars is hard. But going to Miami is easy, and it sounds like this practically takes you to Mars from there.
Via The Creators Project Imagine suiting up like an astronaut, your arms and legs enclosed in soft warmth and your head in a helmet. You’re suddenly in a ship headed for Mars, blasting through spac…
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Don't hold your breath waiting for me to "learn to love" the Senate Space Launch System. But this article's conclusions -- in particular, its assertion that in practice SLS/Orion is a "stupidity tax" that allows money to be spent on commercial space vehicles -- are really intriguing.

It's lengthy, but IMHO well worth the read.
OK, maybe we don't love the massive SLS. But we're learning to live with it.
priya s's profile photo
priya s
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The ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have launched a Web site to call on President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden before he leaves office. Needless to say, I'm an enthusiastic supporter. You can read more and donate below.
Time is running out to urge President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. Snowden is a young American who, at great personal risk, blew the whistle on mass surveillance programs.
Jake Weisz's profile photoChris Schnefke's profile photoScott “marsroverdriver” Maxwell's profile photoSven G's profile photo
Sven G
The problem is that those of us who are idealists believe that ANY wish of the people/tax-payers is of any relevance whatsoever to the ruling class.

If you do not realize there is a new royal/nobility/ruling class under current US legal interpretation of the United States Constitution,  you are just too stupid to be argued with.

You are a peasant.  Get used to it, or change it.
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RIP Jack Garman, whose quick thinking ensured Apollo 11's landing, and who helped bring Apollo 13 home.
Tom Nathe's profile photoGeorge Garcia's profile photo
We need people with this kind of spirit. Hardly see them around any more.
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This kind of story -- government agency requires pro-citizen actions from squealing companies -- would be common rather than remarkable if more of your government worked for you.
Charter pricing doesn’t let customers save money by buying different modems.
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I lent Scott Lewis money, emotional support, and a place to live for several months. I've helped him move. I don't regret my actions: I never lent more money than I could afford to lose, telling him only to "pay it forward," and I believed I was just helping a person in need, which I think is the right thing to do.

But I am infuriated by his treatment of a number of women -- many of them science communicators, no less -- several of whom lost more than money. That is, and I use this word advisedly, unforgivable.

I've been looking into the claims made in the linked article for the last day and a half, and I am now personally persuaded. It fits with what I've personally experienced. It fits with what I've heard from many others, who've shared their experiences publicly and privately. It fits with court records I've looked up.

And it makes me sad, as a betrayal of trust must.

I will not be less generous the next time a friend needs help. But I will be wiser. Sadder. But wiser.
Me too

My head is reeling from the information overload over the past 24 hours. By now many of you would have seen the linked article, calling out an abuser in our community. I'm writing this to say, I believe the authors, I believe the other victims who have come forward, because he did this to me too. I blocked him about 3 years ago and I thought it was just me he did this to but I am heartbroken to see that there are others he similarly abused. It's terrifying to read that article and see the same thing he did to me done to others. I can't even begin to explain what that it feels like.

Scott and I worked a lot on Google Hangouts back in 2012/2013. He was a really good friend at first, and as we got close he talked a lot about his problems. I felt really sorry for him. Now I realise how I was manipulated, I feel sick. I even invited this guy to my wedding - ugh.

Towards the end of 2013, as I was unemployed and living off savings while waiting for immigration paperwork to join my husband in the UK, Scott told me how he can't pay rent and how he doesn't have any money for food. I offered to lend him some money but he refused, but kept talking about how worried he is. Eventually he said yes and I lent him $1500 from my savings. A few weeks later he needed more money for something else (textbooks I think) so I again lent him another $1500. He said he would pay me back in a month or so when his student loans came in.

Meanwhile because I was so bored waiting in Sri Lanka for my immigration paperwork, I started writing more and more science posts. Scott invited me to partner on his website Know the Cosmos and I happily agreed, expecting us to be equal partners. But it turns out I ended up doing the bulk of the writing for free while he didn't really contribute much. It stopped feeling like a partnership and we fought a lot. Eventually I successfully pitched my Hallmarks of Cancer series to Scientific American and he was livid. That's when the emotional abuse really started. Constant arguments and put downs. He would say things like how naive and stupid I was for giving away my writing for free to Scientific American, how this is not the way to do it etc. It's partly why I wrote this post ( to address him and anyone else who questioned my decision to write it for free.

Things just reached a point where we could no longer work together. I remember the last Google Hangout we did together where just before we were supposed to go on air, he yelled at me about something I had done wrong. I was on the verge of tears that whole time, it was awful. But by that time I had moved back to the UK and thanks to a stronger support network around me, I was able to remove him from my life. Before that I sent him several emails asking for my loan back, but he never replied. I gave him a week and then I blocked him on all social media, considering the $3,000 as the price I had to pay to have him out of my life.

I am horrified that there are so many other victims. +Chad Haney  has a post here ( listing some of the others who have come forward. Please share this out, and please warn others. I had no idea he kept doing this after me, and I wish I had said something sooner rather than waiting until now.

I'm going to leave comments open while I am around but lock comments when I am away because I don't want derails from Scott-apologists.

H/T to +Pamela L. Gay and +Rugger Ducky for bringing this to my attention.
Update as of 16:03 Eastern Time on 19th September 2016:
161 comments on original post
Ciro Villa's profile photoSven G's profile photoJake Weisz's profile photoBill Carter's profile photo
I had an up-close view of your generosity +Scott Maxwell. You and your better half are great people, and this should only reflect well on you. I did the same - only gave what I thought I could without any regrets. I feel like we were also collateral against building other relationships where his unforgivable behavior came out. 
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Wow, the House Intelligence Committee's report on Snowden (or anyway, the declassified summary of it we're allowed to read) is little more than a pack of lies. Shocker.
Late yesterday afternoon the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a three-page executive summary (four, if we count the splendid cover
Paresh Desai's profile photoReidoth “Din” Magdalaran's profile photo
If you chain smoke packs of lies, then you can start to see the patterns between them. The connections are truer than the stories themselves.
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I love driving east.[1] As the sun sinks behind us, we get lovely images like these. That shadow makes our plucky little rover so much more real.

[1] Technically, what I love is taking east-facing post-drive images -- or really, east-facing late-afternoon images -- not driving east per se. But saying it that way just sounds so clinical. :-)
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NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden declares himself "not a big fan" of non-NASA-developed rockets. That's a shame: NASA's SLS program is expensive and behind schedule, and it'll only get worse on both fronts. NASA stands to save an enormous amount of money by purchasing commercial launch services; it should really be in the business of encouraging them as enthusiastically as possible.
The NASA administrator seems to have little faith in Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
Michael Interbartolo's profile photo
Only six more months and this nightmare ends. Such high hopes for him and such poor performance
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Collections Scott is following
Site Reliability Engineer
  • Google
    Site Reliability Engineer, 2013 - present
  • JPL
    Mars Rover Driver Team Lead, 2013
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Pasadena, CA
Rocky Mount, NC - Seminole, FL - Greenville, NC - Champaign, IL
I'm a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory.
On a small red light in the night sky lives four hundred pounds of thinking metal sent from Earth.  Once upon a time, I told that metal what to do.

(Disclaimer: my opinions are mine, not my employer's.  Duh. :-)
Bragging rights
I fought cancer and won. I had a robot on another planet, and I drove it around and made it do stuff. I was a trending topic on Twitter. I wrote a book. I took a privacy case all the way to the Supreme Court. Now I keep Google up and running. But I'm just this guy, you know?
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Computer Science
Basic Information
Other names
@marsroverdriver on Twitter
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
15 reviews
Fast (roughly 10Mbps symmetric), free wi-fi. Unfailingly upbeat, pleasant, helpful staff. I slept great in the super-comfy bed; I was a little worried about their proximity to the freeway, but I couldn't hear it at all. I parked myself in the spacious lobby for a few hours the next day, well past checkout time, to work on my laptop, with zero complaints (and even the occasional helpful suggestion) from the staff. Breakfast was fine (and free), parking was good, and the price was (relatively speaking) low. My single complaint about the place was the shower. This can't possibly be the typical experience, but the amount of cold water coming from my shower varied with time, so that it went from boiling to comfortable to freezing and back, over and over. Only by carefully, continuously managing it was I able to finish up. Other than that one complaint, though, I was completely happy with my stay, and I would definitely stay here again.
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Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
The atmosphere is the main reason to go here: the standard evening entertainment is two gentlemen playing excellent authentic Greek music along with covers of Beatles songs and the like. It's impossibly joyous. The staff brought us a vase with our home country's flag stuck in it, as they do for everyone -- and when they found out we were there on our honeymoon, they really went into overdrive. They brought us a guest book to sign and took our picture to paste into it, and the singers serenaded us with a cover of the Beatles hit "When I'm 64." We loved it. But don't let my focus on the atmosphere and entertainment make you think I didn't notice the yummy food -- it was very good as well. But honestly, I'd enthusiastically return for the music and the company even if the food had been awful. What a terrific place; even the memory of it makes me happy. Plus, cats! What's not to like?!
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Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Gorgeous, swanky place with great views and excellent customer service.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago