Archive for December, 2010

My SMART New Years Resolutions

December 26th, 2010 by under Data Modeling and Decision Making, Reflections. No Comments.

The Eppley Rec Center. Source: University of Maryland

Another year is almost here!  I’ve spent the break with my family and friends and I’ve got another great semester to look forward too!  (Although, let’s see how enthused I am when I have a bunch of assignments due in two months time…) 

I learned so much this past semester.  I even picked up a book on statistics called The Cult of Statistical Significance so that I wouldn’t forget everything that I learned in Data Modeling and Decision Making with Prof. Lele.  Despite the text’s self-rightous style, I learned a little bit about things we did not touch on with Prof. Lele such as loss functions.  I want to pick his brain on this when I get back, although I hardly think I will have enough time to learn it properly. 

Yet we always need to improve ourselves, which I think is fine, otherwise we would stop moving forward and would stand still.  To paraphrase one of my favorite serializations: Imperfection, in other words, is what makes the perfect human. …….At least that’s my excuse anyways…… 

Remember to be SMART about your New Years Resolutions: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

I am planning to: 

1) Go to the gym to do a 1.5 hour cardio-weight circuit at least once a week (…I said attainable, alright…) and 

2) Write handwritten notes/postcards to send to distant friends (one person a week at minimum). 

But first, I will go to India!!!    For the next three weeks, this will also be my Travel Blog.  Enjoy and have a Happy New Year!

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Lele Quotes: Celebrate the end of the Semester!

December 15th, 2010 by under Data Modeling and Decision Making. 7 Comments.

Shreevardhan Lele, Ralph J. Tyser Distinguished Teaching Fellow of Decision Sciences. Source: Unknown

The Semester is OVER!!!

In honor of all of our hardwork, I am proud to publish these quotes that I recorded during our Data Modeling and Decision Making class with Prof. Lele, who is a vertible institution and rite of passage for all Smith students.

Also, his notes and lecture are the BEST I have ever seen…very well organized and structured.  I have talked with three students who, each unaided and independent of each other, said they would “treasure” those notes forever (okay, okay, one of those students was me…)…I’m not sure if this was due to the delirium of the final exams…  Second years I’ve spoken with have also said that the notes were very useful for their internships.

We will miss your dry humor and deadpan delivery, Prof. Lele…we will not miss your exams that we could not finish in the time period…..unless we’re bold enough to take Game Theory with you….

Until then, without further ado:

  • “I thought it was red, but it looks more like a pink…” (Regarding the conditional formatting of a SolverTable in Excel; Aug. 31, 2010)
  • “…It is neither Solver nor Table – It is SolverTable” (Regarding SolverTable; Aug. 31, 2010)
  • “You should try this in your spare time” (Regarding the creation of linear regression using qualitative predictors (i.e. dummy variables); Sep. 21, 2010)
  • “How do you hold season constant when you’re moving forward in time?…..Well, you can’t in actuality, but you can as a thought experiment!” (Regarding time series forecasting; Sep. 30, 2010)
  • “You live by partial credit, you die by partial credit” (Regarding the grading of exams and how points will be subtracted for incorrect partial answers; Oct. 7, 2010)
  • “There was a fairly…..terrifying bit of algebra….” (Regarding the calculation of willingness to pay for insurance using utility functions; Oct. 12, 2010)
  • “I feel an assignment coming on….” (Regarding mechanism design (i.e. screening/self-selection structures) and the partial transfer of risk; Oct. 14, 2010)
  • “The stock is a very jumpy creature on its own” (Regarding variance, risk pooling/diversification, and the efficient frontier; Oct. 19, 2010)
  • “Every point on the x-axis has a little buddy on the z-axis” (Regarding the normalization of non-normal data sets; Oct. 21, 2010)
  • “And that, it turns out, is good enough” (Regarding hypothesis testing and level of significance; Oct. 28, 2010)
  • “We call that a Type I Error…which indicates that there is another type of error, at least…” (Regarding Type I and Type II Errors in hypothesis testing; Oct. 28, 2010)
  • “1.96 is a very refined way of saying 2” (Regarding the z-value of a two-tailed test with a 95% confidence interval; Nov. 2, 2010)
  • “Let’s say you have salt and you have water.  You mix them together and you have salt water” (Regarding proportions (and hypothesis testing for proportions); Nov. 2, 2010)
  • “I’ll calculate that if, and when, we reach the end of this page” (Regarding the incremental explanatory power of a linear regression variable…~5 minutes before class ends; Nov. 11, 2010)
  • “Clearly the number 5.02 is greater than 2, so there’s not much more story there” (Regarding hypothesis tests for predictors; Nov. 11, 2010)
  • “Modeling is like three blind men trying to describe an elephant.   One is holding the trunk, one has his hand on the side, and the other is holding the tail.  They will each come to different conclusions but can piece together a description. […] Yet, if one holds the hairy end of the tail, and you throw out the tail entirely, then the hairy end becomes useless” (Regarding backward regression and multicollinearity; Nov. 18, 2010)

If you have your own quotes of Lele (or any other professor, for that matter) please comment and share!!!

  • From Jamal: I just like how he asks questions so he can say “no, that’s actually incorrect”
  • From Jayant: One of his instructions before the 1st midterm: “Make sure you calculate just one answer and not make a multiple choice question for me to select which of your answer is correct!”
  • From Hannah: “Don’t even think about asking for a makeup [exam]”
  • From Mohit: “Most of you are like most other people.”
  • From Mohit: “It’s just 10% of your grade not much to worry about not less not to worry about” (right before a midterm exam)
  • From Mollie: After listening to a student go on and on about the topic at hand: “Well, you could think of it that way. …but you’d be wrong.”
  • From Mollie: Oh, and, after receiving our first midterms back: “You can ask me about your grade, but just know that if I had wanted to give you more points… I would have.”
  • From Rafael: Before tests: “If you want to ask questions, don’t “
  • From Santosh Y.: Regarding final exam’s duration: “The final exam is of 2 hour duration and not 3 hours because I think everybody’s brain starts frying after 2 hours”
  • From Tony R.: “….so I’m told…”

Here are some Game Theory Quotes from Second Years:

  • From Kelley: “Not difficult in terms of algebra, but difficult in terms of making the brain hurt”
  • From Kelley: “Free riding… like barnacles on a whale”
  • From Kelley: “Intensity of desire cannot be a substitute for a well thought out plan”
  • From Kelley: “Well, it’s illegal.. that’s a fairly big stumbling block. In the case of pizza, the Feds probably won’t bother you, but it’s important to consider.”
  • From Kelley: “Uncertainty can be good… you are creating this fog of war….”

Fall 2011 Update:

  • From Ani: “a standard is a standard; there is nothing good or bad about it. If you are in the US, you drive to the right; if you are in the UK, you drive to the left; if you are in Italy, you drive in the middle!”… Regarding the switching of standards game on August 30th, 2011 (Games of Strategy)
  • From Graham: “So, as Monty Python would say, lets move on to something else.” (Sep. 1st, 2011, DMD)
  • From Santosh C: “There is no accounting for taste…which is different from me saying that I have no taste for accounting!” (Sep. 7, 2011 Games of Strategy)
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Almost there….Countdown…….

December 6th, 2010 by under Reflections. No Comments.

That ladder on the right side is referred to as "the corporate ladder." Source: Smith School

It’s the last week of classes – this is a countdown to the end and it’s a whirlwind of activity.

Every class (Finance, Data Modeling, Leadership, and Marketing) has team assignments and projects filling up the final two weeks before finals….and then there’s finals….

I’m looking forward to the end….this first semester at Smith has gone by sooooo slowly.  But I’m grateful.  I’ve meet so many smart and wonderful people here and I’ve been learning so much.

Thinking back through the semester, I recalled the ropes course we did during orientation and I think that it was a good way to open.  It was tough, but we made up there….and when we did, it felt good.

I should really be studying instead of writing this…..

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Dental Hygiene is Important for MBAs!….

December 1st, 2010 by under Marketing. No Comments.

Take my survey - PLEEZZZZ!..... Source: Unknown.

……so please take my team’s marketing survey about dental hygiene products!

It would really help me out.  It takes less than 5 min to improve your survey karma!

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