The Small Things Matter

Mukundh Murthy
2 min readJan 3, 2021

For me (and probably the rest of humanity), 2020 was a year of big things. A global pandemic, college applications which everyone’s telling me will determine a considerable portion of my future potential, racial injustice, wildfires, a presidential election… and the list goes on.

The purpose of this reflection is to list a set of small things. Small memories from 2020 that’ll give me nothing more than a smile when I look at them in the years ahead.

  • A middle-schooler asked me why proteins look like spaghetti when I taught protein structure modeling to students.
  • Going through the holiday lighting with my family
  • Fighting with my sister while finishing a 2000 piece puzzle
  • Jokingly making metaphors that could serve as the basis for new common app essays with a friend as we work on the same puzzle
  • Finishing a 50-mile bike ride. I finished the ride with a bout of runner’s asthma, but the exercise really showed me that I can push my limits. I’m setting 100 miles as a goal for 2021.
  • Seeing an email from Yoshua Bengio in my inbox at 6 AM in the morning
  • Laughing boisterously at Mr. Noeth’s (my math teacher’s) jokes.
  • The moment I truly understood why the earth doesn’t move under me at 36,500 mph when I jump straight up
  • Realizing that there are actually names for the 5th-9th derivatives of position with respect to time
  • The immense happiness I felt when I mentioned to people that I wrote a whole college supplemental essay centered around them
  • Asking questions to Nobel laureate Ray Weiss and Harvard business school professor Linda Hill



Mukundh Murthy

Innovator passionate about the intersection between structural biology, machine learning, and chemiinformatics. Currently @ 99andbeyond.