jerryking + mathematics   82

The biggest gender divide is in mathematics
September 5, 2019 | | Financial Times| by Carola Hoyos.

Numeracy is vital for everyone. But according to Alain Dehaze, chief executive of Adecco, the world’s biggest recruiting company, the most valuable mathematical skills in a more automated future, especially for those people who can also communicate them to generalists, are the ability to spot patterns; to problem solve logically; and to work with statistics, probability and large data sets to see into the future.
biases  culture  gender_gap  girls  high_schools  mathematics  numeracy  parenting  women 
8 days ago by jerryking
The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter
May 6, 2019 | Financial Times | Review by Alan Smith.

The Art of Statistics, by Sir David Spiegelhalter, former president of the UK’s Royal Statistical Society and current Winton professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge.

The comparison with Rosling is easy to make, not least because Spiegelhalter is humorously critical of his own field which, by his reckoning, has spent too much time arguing with itself over “the mechanical application of a bag of statistical tools, many named after eccentric and argumentative statisticians”.

His latest book, its title,
books  book_reviews  charts  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  data_journalism  data_scientists  Hans_Rosling  listening  massive_data_sets  mathematics  statistics  visualization 
may 2019 by jerryking
‘Math men’ not mad men rule advertising’s data age, says Lévy
May 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Anna Nicolaou.

Maurice Levy: 'The future [of advertising] is based on data. It is not based on any mass media.' We know that mass media is [declining] every day,” “And if an advertising agency wants to have a future, data is absolutely indispensable.”

the advertising industry was undergoing a “metamorphosis” that required big bets.......As consumers shift attention away from pricey television commercials and towards the internet, where Facebook and Google dominate, the industry is more “math men” than mad men......In light of digital disruption Publicis, the world’s third-largest advertising agency by revenues, has made a big bet on data. In April the company made its largest acquisition with the purchase of Epsilon, a digital marketing company owned by Alliance Data Systems......Like its rivals WPP and Omnicom, Publicis is under pressure as Facebook and Google have disintermediated the traditional agency model. The two tech groups account for two-thirds of digital advertising sales in the US.....The industry has been consolidating as traditional agencies look to position themselves as data analytics gurus who can help brands target shoppers online. Last year Interpublic bought data business Acxiom for $2bn, while just last month buzzy agency Droga5 sold itself to Accenture......Despite lingering fears that an economic slowdown is looming, “the situation is much better now,”.... making the Epsilon decision easier. “The fastest-growing segment in our industry is data, technology, internet. Period. All the rest is suffering.”
advertising  advertising_agencies  analytics  big_bets  data  decline  disruption  disintermediation  Epsilon  Facebook  Google  Interpublic  Mad_Men  marketing  mass_media  mathematics  Maurice_Lévy  Omnicom  Publicis  WPP 
may 2019 by jerryking
A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp
by Edward Thorp, a mathematician who applied his skills, from Las Vegas to Wall Street, from the blackjack tables to the world of hedge funds.
books  hedge_funds  Las_Vegas  mathematics  quantitative  Wall_Street 
march 2019 by jerryking
The quant factories producing the fund managers of tomorrow
Jennifer Thompson in London JUNE 2, 2018

The wealth of nations and individuals is ever more likely to be influenced by computer algorithms as investors look to computer-powered quantitative trading strategies to generate returns. But underpinning those machines and algorithms are real people, namely the world’s sharpest mathematicians and data scientists.

Though not hard to identify, virtually every industry — and especially Big Tech — is competing with the financial world for their skills....Competition for talent means the campuses of elite universities have become a favoured hunting ground for many groups, and that the very best students and early career academics can command staggering starting salaries should they join the investment world......The links asset managers foster with universities vary. In the UK, Oxford and Cambridge are home to dedicated institutes established and funded by investment managers. Although these were set up with a genuine desire to foster research in the field, with a nod to philanthropy, they are also proving to be an effective way to spotting future talent.

Connections between hedge funds and investment managers are less formalised on US campuses but are treated with no less importance.

Personal relationships are important,
mathematics  data_scientists  quants  quantitative  hedge_funds  algorithms  war_for_talent  asset_management  PhDs  WorldQuant  Big_Tech 
june 2018 by jerryking
Lost Einsteins: The Innovations We’re Missing -
DEC. 3, 2017 | The New York Times | David Leonhardt.

societies have a big interest in making sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to become scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. It’s not only a matter of fairness. Denying opportunities to talented people can end up hurting everyone.

.....Raj a Stanford professor who helps lead the Equality of Opportunity Project.... considered among the most important research efforts in economics today.....The project’s latest paper, out Sunday, looks at who becomes an inventor — and who doesn’t. The results are disturbing....The key phrase in the research paper is “lost Einsteins.” It’s a reference to people who could “have had highly impactful innovations” if they had been able to pursue the opportunities they deserved.....children who excelled in math were far more likely to become inventors. But being a math standout wasn’t enough. Only the top students who also came from high-income families had a decent chance to become an inventor.

This fact may be the starkest: Low-income students who are among the very best math students — those who score in the top 5 percent of all third graders — are no more likely to become inventors than below-average math students from affluent families:

....“There are great differences in innovation rates,” Chetty said. “Those differences don’t seem to be due to innate ability to innovate.” Or as Steve Case — the entrepreneur who’s now investing in regions that venture capital tends to ignore — told me when I called him to discuss the findings: “Creativity is broadly distributed. Opportunity is not.” [or life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.]
innovation  equality_of_opportunity  Steve_Case  Albert_Einstein  achievement_gaps  affluence  high-income  low-income  mathematics  capitalization  human_potential  inventions  inventiveness  inventors  creativity  quotes  unevenly_distributed 
december 2017 by jerryking
A Tale of Two Metrics
August 7, 2017 | | RetailNext | Ray Hartjen, Director, Content Marketing & Public Relations.

Traffic can’t alone measure the effectiveness of demand creation efforts, but some well-placed math can show retailers strong correlations over a myriad of relevant variables. More over, as my colleague Shelley E. Kohan pointed out in her post earlier this summer, “Expanding the Scope of Metrics,” Traffic is foundational for meaningful metrics like Conversion and Sales Yield (Sales per Shopper), key measurements that help managers make daily decisions on the floor from tailoring merchandising displays to allocating staffing and refining associate training.
With metrics, it’s important to remember there’re different strokes for different folks, with different measurements critical for different functions, much like financial accounting and managerial accounting serve different masters. Today’s “big data” age allows retailers to inexpensively collect, synthesize, analyze and report almost unbelievable amounts of data from an equally almost unbelievable number of data streams. Paramount is to get the right information in front of the right people at the right time.
Sometimes, the right data is Sales per Square Foot, and it certainly makes for a nice headline. But, not to be outshined, other instances call for Traffic. As Chitra Balasubramanian, RetailNext’s Head of Business Analytics, points out in the same Sourcing Journal Online article, “Traffic equals opportunity. Retailers should take advantage of store visits with loyalty programs, heightened customer service, and a great in-store experience to create a long-lasting relationship with that customer to ensure repeat visits.”
metrics  sales  foot_traffic  retailers  inexpensive  massive_data_sets  data  creating_demand  correlations  experiential_marketing  in-store  mathematics  loyalty_management  the_right_people  sales_per_square_foot 
august 2017 by jerryking
Business Book of the Year 2017 — the longlist
AUGUST 13, 2017 by: Andrew Hill.

One question for the judges is how durable they think the authors’ analyses of 2017’s shifting technological landscape will prove to be. The jury is expected to give preference to those books “whose insights and influence are most likely to stand the test of time”.

* Tom Friedman, whose bestseller on globalisation was the first Business Book of the Year in 2005. Thank You For Being Late, his latest, extends the thesis, linking personal stories to an analysis of the state of business, innovation, economics and world politics.
* Satya Nadella’s Hit Refresh (written with Greg Shaw and Jill Tracie Nichols) is an upbeat, first-hand account of his effort to devise a successful second act for Microsoft — almost unprecedented in the world of big technology — after the software company missed the mobile revolution.
* Brian Merchant’s The One Device dives deep into the making of Apple’s iPhone, on its 10th anniversary.
* Brad Stone’s The Upstarts, about Airbnb and Uber, narrowly missed this year’s longlist.
* Wild Ride, Adam Lashinsky’s lively analysis of Uber’s rise.
* Self-driving cars — one of the technologies being explored by Uber — feature in Vivek Wadhwa’s The Driver in the Driverless Car (written with Alex Salkever).
* Ellen Pao’s Reset (out next month) tackles the red-hot topic of diversity in Silicon Valley — or lack of it — recounting her experience as venture capitalist and chief executive of Reddit, the social platform.
* Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things, which examines the “monopoly platforms” built by Facebook, Google, Amazon and others and how they have “cornered culture”.
* Near-misses for the longlist included: Franklin Foer’s soon to be published critique of the tech sector World Without Mind; Machine, Platform, Crowd (the latest from 2014 shortlisted authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee); and The Fuzzy and the Techie by Scott Hartley. Mr Hartley’s book on the relevance of the liberal arts in a tech-led world was born from a proposal that made the final of last year’s Bracken Bower Prize for budding younger authors.
* The Wisdom of Finance by Mihir Desai, which uses literature, history, movies and philosophy to shed light on dry financial theories.
* A Man for All Markets, by Edward Thorp, a mathematician who applied his skills, from Las Vegas to Wall Street, from the blackjack tables to the world of hedge funds.
* Andrew Lo’s Adaptive Markets, a critique of the “efficient markets hypothesis”
* Sheelah Kolhatkar’s Black Edgedescribes how Steven Cohen’s former hedge fund, SAC Capital, built its Wall Street dominance before facing insider trading charges.
* David Enrich’s The Spider Network offers a comprehensive account of the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
* Janesville, by journalist Amy Goldstein, which explores the deeper social — and political — impact of business decisions on ordinary working people. She digs into what happened to people in a small Wisconsin city when General Motors stopped producing cars, overturning the residents’ lives.
* With the exception of Nadella’s Hit Refresh, books about management and leadership fared poorly this year, though Fast/Forward by Julian Birkinshaw and Jonas Ridderstrale, and Freek Vermeulen’s forthcoming Breaking Bad Habits, about what happens when best practice goes bad, came close.
* Economics for the Common Good, by French winner of the Nobel economics prize Jean Tirole, due out in October in English. It makes the case for economics as a positive force on the everyday existence of people and businesses.
* Stephen King’s Grave New World underlines that globalisation is under unprecedented threat.
* Kate Raworth, in Doughnut Economics, makes the case for a new economic model that pays more attention to human and environmental pressures.
* Walter Scheidel’s The Great Leveler, is a sobering history of inequality. Scheidel emphasizes the unavoidable importance of violent events — from plague to revolution — in redressing the economic balance. “All of us who prize greater economic equality would do well to remember that with the rarest of exceptions, it was only ever brought forth in sorrow,” he warns in his conclusion. “Be careful what you wish for.”
best_of  books  booklists  Edward_Thorp  FT  gambling  Las_Vegas  mathematics  Mihir_Desai  Satya_Nadella  Sheelah_Kolhatkar  Tom_Friedman 
august 2017 by jerryking
Measuring value of university contingency - Western Alumni
Spring 2013
Measuring value of university contingency

by Paul Wells, BA'89

Tutoring my favourite nine-year-old, I was surprised at how much trouble he was having with fractions. This is a smart kid with a good number sense, but he was flummoxed as he tried to grasp the applications of halves, quarters and eighths.

I went through the stages of tutor grief — denial, anger, bargaining — before I began to realize what the problem was. Fractions represent a huge advance over everything a child has learned up to then, because they represent a relation, not an absolute. No wonder it’s a big moment...... the notion of fraction's adaptability is what makes it so powerful. Fractions lead you by a short road to algebra and to a Pandora’s box of tools for finding the value of unknown quantities....A few years ago I spent a month at Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, trying to understand the work of the physicists there. Most of it went right over my head, but once in a while I’d see some genius write symbols above and below a division line, cross it with symbols in a neighbouring fraction, simplify and solve, and I would realize that I was watching another application of tools that became available to that genius,.....At some point in almost every field you move, not without struggle, from the absolute to the contingent. In the first books you read — I’m talking little kids here — a bird is just a bird. Eventually you graduate to metaphor, and now a bird can be a stand-in for hope or freedom or death. In law you move past different readings of a statute to competing notions of the good or just. In music, harmonies become richer, relations among notes more open to interpretation, until the very notion of harmony becomes something a composer can retain or reject according to taste and need. And then you listen to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and you wonder whether any of this change can be said to represent progress.

If there’s a place in modern society where the notions of relation, proportion and contingency are most frequently encountered and applied, it’s the university.....

Few places are easier to mock for their pretentiousness. (Why are campus politics so vicious? Because, Henry Kissinger said, the stakes are so low.) But at universities people are at least a little likelier, on average, to question their assumptions, to be prepared to defend or discard them, than in the rest of the world. That’s the hope, anyway.

So it’s disappointing, while unsurprising, that these bastions of relativism..have spent so much time marketing themselves as purveyors of sure value.
Colleges_&_Universities  mathematics  Paul_Wells  relationships  Perimeter_Institute  tools  messiness  proportionality  contingency 
april 2017 by jerryking
Winton Capital’s David Harding on making millions through maths
NOVEMBER 25, 2016 | Financial Times | by Clive Cookson.

Harding’s career is founded on the relentless pursuit of mathematical and scientific methods to predict movements in markets. This is a never-ending process because predictive tools lose their power as markets change; new ones are always needed. “We have 450 people in the company, of whom 250 are involved in research, data collection or technology,” he says. That is equivalent to a medium-sized university physics department....Harding's approach to making money is to exploit failures in the efficient market theory...the problem with the EMT is that “It treats economics like a physical science when, in fact, it is a human or social science. Humans are prone to unpredictable behaviour, to overreaction or slumbering inaction, to mania and panic.”...The Winton investment system is based instead on “the belief that scientific methods provide a good means of extracting meaning from noisy market data. We don’t make assumptions about how markets should work, rather we use advanced statistical techniques to seek patterns in huge data sets and base all our investment strategies on the analysis of empirical evidence...Harding emphasises the breadth and volume of investments involved, covering bonds, currencies, commodities, market indices and individual equities. The aim is to exploit a large number of weak predictive signals, he says: “We don’t expect to find any strong relationships between data and the price of the market. That may sound counter-intuitive but if there are strong relationships, someone else is going to be exploiting those. Weak relationships are where we have a competitive advantage.” Weather strategies are one feature of Winton research, including analysis of cloud cover and soil moisture levels to predict the prices of agricultural commodities. Other important indicators, for which maths can uncover value not fully reflected in market prices, include seasonal factors and inventory levels across supply chains....When I ask Harding about the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to guide investment decisions, he bristles slightly. “There is a sudden upsurge of excitement about AI,” he says, “but we have used techniques that would be described as machine learning for at least 30 years.”

Essentially, he says, quantitative investing, self-driving cars and speech recognition are all applications of “information engineering”....he heads off to a lecture by German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer, who runs the Harding Centre for Risk Literacy in Berlin
communicating_risks  mathematics  hedge_funds  investment_research  financiers  Winton_Capital  physics  Renaissance_Technologies  James_Simons  moguls  quantitative  panics  overreaction  massive_data_sets  philanthropy  machine_learning  signals  human_factor  weak_links  JumpMath 
november 2016 by jerryking
Algorithms Aren’t Biased, But the People Who Write Them May Be - WSJ
Oct. 14, 2016

A provocative new book called “Weapons of Math Destruction” has inspired some charged headlines. “Math Is Racist,” one asserts. “ Math Is Biased Against Women and the Poor,” declares another.

But author Cathy O’Neil’s message is more subtle: Math isn’t biased. People are biased.

Dr. O’Neil, who received her Ph.D in mathematics from Harvard, is a former Wall Street quant who quit after the housing crash, joined the Occupy Wall Street movement and now publishes the mathbabe blog.
algorithms  mathematics  biases  books  Cathy_O’Neil  Wall_Street  PhDs  quants  Occupy_Wall_Street  Harvard  value_judgements 
october 2016 by jerryking
Feeling uncertain, CEO? Better go on the attack - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May. 05 2015

Taking control of uncertainty is the fundamental leadership challenge of our time … ” he writes in The Attacker’s Advantage. “The advantage now goes to those who create change, not just learn to live with it. Instead of waiting and reacting, such leaders immerse themselves in the ambiguities of the external environment, sort through them before things are settled and known, set a path, and steer the organization decisively onto it.”
Harvey_Schachter  Ram_Charan  uncertainty  algorithms  mathematics  data  management_consulting  anomalies  change  Jack_Welch  books  gurus  offense  data_driven  leadership  ambiguities  offensive_tactics 
may 2015 by jerryking
Meet the SEC’s Brainy New Crime Fighters - WSJ
Updated Dec. 14, 2014

The SEC is mustering its mathematical firepower in its Center for Risk and Quantitative Analytics, which was created last year soon after Mary Jo White took charge of the agency to help it get better at catching Wall Street misconduct. The enforcement unit, led by 14-year SEC veteran Lori Walsh, is housed deep within the warrens of the SEC’s Washington headquarters, and staffed by about 10 employees trained in fields such as mathematical finance, economics, accounting and computer programming.

Ms. Walsh says access to new sources of data and new ways of processing the data have been key to finding evidence of wrongdoing. “When you look at data in different ways, you see new things,” she said in an interview
alternative_data  analysis  analytics  arms_race  data  data_driven  enforcement  fresh_eyes  hiring  information_sources  mathematics  misconduct  models  modelling  patterns  perspectives  quantitative  quants  SEC  stockmarkets  Wall_Street 
december 2014 by jerryking
Add it up: Two new books reveal the way math is woven through our lives - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 27 2014

The Grapes of Math
By Alex Bellos
Doubleday, 337 pages, $32.95

How Not to be Wrong
By Jordan Ellenberg
Penguin Press, 468 pages, $32.95
mathematics  books  book_reviews 
july 2014 by jerryking
If you ever wondered how math class could help you later in life, here’s your answer - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 18 2014 | The Globe and Mail | ERIN ANDERSSEN

Jordan Ellenberg’s new book, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.

In a world brimming with information, math is an important tool to help spot statistical glitches and everyday fallacies, but it’s being lost. “Math is the science of not being wrong about things,” he writes. “Knowing math is like wearing a pair of X-ray specs that reveal hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of the world.”....Mathematical amateurs have all kinds of reasons to use math. It helps them learn the difference between correlation and causation, to see the flaw in statistics, to spot a sneaky sell.

“Math is the science of not being wrong.” Ellenberg writes. In the real world, it doesn’t just find the right answers – it teaches us to ask the right question in the first place.
mathematics  books  messiness  correlations  anomalies  numeracy  mistakes  sleaze  questions  tools  ratios  asking_the_right_questions  causality  statistics  in_the_real_world 
june 2014 by jerryking
What Shanghai can teach us about teaching math - The Globe and Mail

SHANGHAI — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 04 2014
Shanghai  China  mathematics  teaching 
april 2014 by jerryking
Math wrath: Parents and teachers demanding a return to basic skills - The Globe and Mail

TORONTO and CALGARY — The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jan. 07 2014,

To battle poor math scores, parents in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia started petitions over the Christmas holidays asking governments to revamp curriculums so that a greater emphasis is put on basic math skills and less on discovery or creative strategies.
mathematics  students  parenting  PISA  standardized_testing  test-score_data 
january 2014 by jerryking
The damaging legacy of discovery learning - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 05 2013

The 2012 math rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, in which Canada slipped to 13th place, are based on average test scores..... it’s important to distinguish between what Canada’s notable drop in international student rankings can and can’t tell us about how our kids our doing.

First, some context: The two most damaging developments to hit public education have been the power of teaching fads and the proliferation of standardized testing. Fads are dangerous because they are often based on shaky hypotheses about how children learn, and are blindly embraced by impressionable teachers keen to make a difference but lacking in the experience and training needed to transmit knowledge or the talent to light the spark in their students.

Standardized testing is not bad in itself. But education policy has become hostage to testing data. The result is a disproportionate focus on raising the average scores of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and less emphasis on producing top students, regardless of income....As education historian and influential U.S. testing critic Diane Ravitch blogged after the latest PISA results were released, “what we cannot measure matters more. The scores tell us nothing about students’ imagination, their drive, their ability to ask good questions, their insight, their inventiveness, their creativity.”....[ Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.]. The decade-long drop in math scores among students outside Quebec corresponds with the spread of “discovery learning” in the classroom. The idea that students must be free to solve problems based on their unique learning styles popped up in the education literature in late 1960s and went mainstream in the 1990s. But there was a huge revolt when U.S. parents discovered Johnny couldn’t multiply; the pendulum has since swung back to teaching the basics.

Yet most English-Canadian school boards embraced some version of discovery learning even after it was being questioned south of the border. It fit with the “equity” mantra that permeated the jargon of education bureaucrats and ministers. “Reaching every student” became the theme of education policies aimed at bringing up the bottom with “student-centred learning.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  education  high_schools  rankings  PISA  STEM  mathematics  test-score_data  standardized_testing  metrics  students  imagination  drive  questions  insights  inventiveness  creativity  discoveries 
december 2013 by jerryking
Why some countries are winning and others are losing in school rankings - The Globe and Mail
Why some countries are winning and others are losing in school rankings Add to ...
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Published Tuesday, Dec. 03 2013,
rankings  high_schools  mathematics  Doug_Saunders  PISA  test-score_data 
december 2013 by jerryking
How CSEC became an electronic spying giant - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 30 2013 | The Globe and Mail | COLIN FREEZE.

Next year, the analysts, hackers and linguists who form the heart of Communications Security Establishment Canada are expected to move from their crumbling old campus in Ottawa to a gleaming new, $1-billion headquarters....Today, CSEC (pronounced like “seasick” ever since “Canada” was appended to the CSE brand) has evolved into a different machine: a deeply complex, deep-pocketed spying juggernaut that has seen its budget balloon to almost half a billion dollars and its ranks rise to more than 2,100 staff....You don’t have to understand the technology of modern spying to grasp the motivations behind it.

“When our Prime Minister goes abroad, no matter where he goes, what would be a boon for him to know?” said John Adams, chief of CSEC from 2005 through early 2012. “Do you think that they aren’t doing this to us?”...Electronic spying is expensive. Keeping hackers out of Canadian government computer systems, running some of the world’s fastest supercomputers and storing data in bulk costs money. Mr. Adams even made a point of hiring top mathematicians, with salaries exceeding his own, so CSEC could better crack encryption....CSEC also has a hungry clientele strewn across the federal bureaucracy. An internal document obtained by The Globe names a few of the customers: “CSEC provides intelligence reporting to over 1,000 clients across government, including the Privy Council Office, DND, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Treasury Board Secretariat, CSIS and the RCMP.”
PCO  DND  CSIS  RCMP  Treasury_Board  Colin_Freeze  CSE  sigint  security_&_intelligence  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  Five_Eyes  Edward_Snowden  oversight  encryption  mathematics  GoC  intelligence_analysts 
december 2013 by jerryking
Seven characteristics of great education systems
Sep. 02 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Editorials.
"Smartest Kids in the World"
* Mathematics is vital. Math is even more important than we knew. Math skills correlate highly with future income, and with academic success, research shows.
* Teachers should be highly prized. It should be difficult to become a teacher, and the job should be socially prestigious. Students, parents and bureaucrats respect teachers, because they know how hard it is to become one.
* Classroom technology is a waste of money. There’s no indication that fancy pedagogical doodads such as electronic whiteboards and tablets have a tangible effect on student performance.
* School should be about school. Rigour is key, and standards must be high.
* Extra help is widely available.
* Critical thinking is emphasized.
* No system is perfect. There are union squabbles, dissatisfied parents, policy shortcomings and rampant inefficiencies in even the highest-performing education systems.
books  education  howto  editorials  high_schools  ksfs  Finland  rigour  teachers  inefficiencies  mathematics  prestige 
september 2013 by jerryking
SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge National Finals -
April 1, 2013 | Stabroek News |Dr. Maya Trotz is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. She is currently on sabbatical with the Caribbean Science Foundation in Barbados.

Competitions feature teams of secondary school students who have come up with sustainable and innovative solutions to a challenge facing their school and/or community, solutions that use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

By Maya Trotz
Caribbean  high_schools  contests  talent  science_&_technology  mathematics  STEM 
april 2013 by jerryking
Working With Big Data: The New Math -
March 8, 2013| WSJ | By DEBORAH GAGE.

Researchers turn to esoteric mathematics to help make sense of it all.

New views [of old data are arriving] came courtesy of software that uses topology, a branch of math that compresses relationships in complex data into shapes researchers can manipulate and probe....

Better Tools
Seeking better tools than traditional statistical methods to analyze the vast amounts of data newly available to companies and organizations, researchers increasingly are scouring scientific papers and esoteric branches of mathematics like topology to make sense of complex data sets. The developer of the software used by Dr. Lum, Ayasdi, is just one of a small but growing number of companies working in this field.

So much data is now available, in such vast scope and minute detail, it is no longer useful to look at numbers neatly laid out in two-dimensional columns and rows,.....The research that inspired Ayasdi was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, and the National Science Foundation.......Data is so complex that using the same old methods, asking the same old questions, doesn't make sense....What is useful, he says, is to look at data arranged in shapes, using topology.

Topology is a form of geometry that relies on the way humans perceive shapes. We can see that an A is an A even when the letters are squashed or written in different fonts. Topology helps researchers look at a set of data and think about its similarities, even when some of the underlying details may be different....But topology is just one of the new methods being explored. Chris Kemp, former chief technology officer for IT at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and now the chief executive of cloud computing company Nebula Inc., says he expects to see a renaissance in advanced mathematics and algorithms as companies increasingly realize how valuable data is and how cheaply they can store it.......Using graph theory, a tool similar to topology, IBM is mapping interactions of people on social networks, including its own. In diagrams based on the communications traffic, each person is a node, and communications between people are links. Graph-theory algorithms help discover the shortest path between the nodes, and thus reveal social cliques—or subcommunities—which show up because the cliques are more tightly interconnected than the community around them.......Tellagence's algorithms, for example, predicts how information will travel as it moves through social networks, but assumes that the network will change constantly, like the weather, and that what's most important about the data is the context in which it appears.

These techniques helped Tellagence do a bit of detective work for a Silicon Valley company that wanted to track down the source of some influential ideas being discussed online about the kind of integrated circuits it makes, known as field programmable gate arrays. Tellagence identified a group of more than 100 Japanese engineers involved in online discussions about the circuits. It then pinpointed two or three people whom traffic patterns showed were at the center of the conversation.

Tellagence's customer then devised a strategy to approach the engineers and potentially benefit from their ideas.

Says Tellagence CEO Matt Hixson, "We love to talk about people who have followers or friends, but these engineers were none of that—they had the right set of relationships because the right people listened to them."
algorithms  Ayasdi  DARPA  esoteric  IBM  infographics  massive_data_sets  mapping  mathematics  Nebula  networks  patterns  sense-making  Tellagence  the_right_people  tools  topology  visualization 
march 2013 by jerryking
Cool Maths?
September 10, 2012 | Kaieteur News | Filed Under Editorial
mathematics  Guyana  editorials 
september 2012 by jerryking
Is Algebra Necessary? -
July 28, 2012 | | By ANDREW HACKER.

Peter Braunfeld of the University of Illinois tells his students, “Our civilization would collapse without mathematics.” He’s absolutely right.

Algebraic algorithms underpin animated movies, investment strategies and airline ticket prices. And we need people to understand how those things work and to advance our frontiers.

Quantitative literacy clearly is useful in weighing all manner of public policies, from the Affordable Care Act, to the costs and benefits of environmental regulation, to the impact of climate change. Being able to detect and identify ideology at work behind the numbers is of obvious use. Ours is fast becoming a statistical age, which raises the bar for informed citizenship. What is needed is not textbook formulas but greater understanding of where various numbers come from, and what they actually convey....mathematics teachers at every level could create exciting courses in what I call “citizen statistics.” This would not be a backdoor version of algebra, as in the Advanced Placement syllabus. Nor would it focus on equations used by scholars when they write for one another. Instead, it would familiarize students with the kinds of numbers that describe and delineate our personal and public lives.

It could, for example, teach students how the Consumer Price Index is computed, what is included and how each item in the index is weighted — and include discussion about which items should be included and what weights they should be given.

This need not involve dumbing down. Researching the reliability of numbers can be as demanding as geometry. More and more colleges are requiring courses in “quantitative reasoning.” In fact, we should be starting that in kindergarten.

I hope that mathematics departments can also create courses in the history and philosophy of their discipline, as well as its applications in early cultures. Why not mathematics in art and music — even poetry — along with its role in assorted sciences? The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
mathematics  algorithms  numeracy  infoliteracy  public_policy  CPI  liberal_arts  engaged_citizenry  quantitative  value_judgements  logic_&_reasoning  cross-disciplinary 
july 2012 by jerryking Living in the real world of finance
December 9, 2011 | G&M | by David Parkinson.
Both a scientist and financial guru, Emanuel Derman warns of relying on mathematical models to predict stock movements. As David Parkinson reports, investors should beware the wild card of human nature...Mr. Derman was in Toronto discussing his new book, Models. Behaving. Badly: Why Confusing Illusion With Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life.

boundary_conditions  finance  quantitative  Wall_Street  Colleges_&_Universities  books  physics  models  mathematics  stockmarkets  biases  modelling  dangers  false_confidence  human_factor  stock_picking  illusions  oversimplification  in_the_real_world 
january 2012 by jerryking
Fly Me to the Moon
December 5, 2004 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN...."give me an America that is energy-independent and I will give you sharply reduced oil revenues for the worst governments in the world. I will give you political reform from Moscow to Riyadh to Tehran. Yes, deprive these regimes of the huge oil windfalls on which they depend and you will force them to reform by having to tap their people instead of oil wells. These regimes won't change when we tell them they should. They will change only when they tell themselves they must....If President Bush made energy independence his moon shot, he would dry up revenue for terrorism; force Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to take the path of reform - which they will never do with $45-a-barrel oil - strengthen the dollar; and improve his own standing in Europe, by doing something huge to reduce global warming. He would also create a magnet to inspire young people to contribute to the war on terrorism and America's future by becoming scientists, engineers and mathematicians. "This is not just a win-win," said the Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum. "This is a win-win-win-win-win."
career_paths  deprivations  energy  energy_independence  energy_security  engineering  mathematics  moonshots  NSF  oil_industry  petro-politics  SAIS  STEM  Tom_Friedman  win-win  youth  young_people 
january 2012 by jerryking
A five-step lesson plan for parents
Sep 8, 2004 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.19 | Charles Ungerleider.
ProQuest  parenting  reading  values  mathematics  education  children  schools 
november 2011 by jerryking
Top secret institute comes out of the shadows to recruit top talent
Sep. 05, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | Colin Freeze. While this
“signals-intelligence” agency has its own stable of hundreds of code
makers and code crackers, it often finds itself needing periodic
infusions of cutting-edge academic work to stay current. So, two years
ago, the CSEC hired Hugh Williams, who some describe as a “rock star”
mathematician at the University of Calgary, to lead the effort to put
together the Tutte Institute. Last year, the spy agency built a home for
the institute on its sprawling Ottawa campus.
mathematics  security_&_intelligence  CSE  cryptology  Colleges_&_Universities  espionage  talent  Ottawa  research  sigint 
october 2011 by jerryking
Why do Bill Gates and Google love Salman Khan? - The Globe and Mail
Tim Kiladze
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 7:29PM EST
Last updated Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
billgates  Google  YouTube  web_video  education  mathematics  Salman_Khan  Khan_Academy 
december 2010 by jerryking
Turning Math into Cash
March/April 2010 |Technology Review, 113(2), 58-61 | William Bulkeley.
ProQuest  mathematics  IBM  analytics 
november 2010 by jerryking
American Dream is Changing | Nye - Gateway to Nevada's Rurals
Oct. 31, 2010 | Nye Gateway | by Fareed Zakaria. What can
you do to make yourself thrive in this new global economy? (1) Be
unique. Try to do something that is a specialized craft or art,
something that is as much art as craft, something that feels more like
artisanship than routine work, things that are custom & custom-made
still survive. (2) Go local. Do something that can’t be outsourced,
jobs involving personal face-to-face contact will never go to India. (3)
Be indispensable. Can everyone become indispensable? Well, no, but if
you learn a difficult craft and are good at it, if you can collaborate
well, synthesize well, put things together, work with others and work
well across countries and cultures, you will have a leg-up. (4) Learn a
foreign language (e.g. Spanish or Mandarin or Hindi). (5) Excel at
mathematics, able to manipulate data, algorithms, symbols, graphs,
balance sheets and all of these skills are the essential skills for a
knowledge-based economy.
Fareed_Zakaria  21st._century  ksfs  indispensable  specialization  local  languages  mathematics  organizing_data  advice  new_graduates  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  bespoke  quantitative  global_economy  digital_economy  knowledge_economy  the_American_dream  in-person  face2face  uniqueness 
october 2010 by jerryking
Knowledge of math = personal success + better citizenship - The Globe and Mail
September 2, 2010 | Globe & Mail editorial.

Modern citizens should be able to approach quantitative studies and claims both critically and respectfully. Indeed, non-scientific lay people may be better able to evaluate them than they expect, because statistical studies often depend upon some quite loose, non-mathematical concepts, and common sense may detect imprecision and even fallacies in the very premises of the research in question.

Democracy and the market economy, in this age of mathematical science, require a public that is numerate enough to have some sense of what is valid - and won't just acquiesce or shrug their shoulders.
citizenship  civics  democracy  engaged_citizenry  fallacies_follies  imprecision  infoliteracy  life_skills  mathematics  numeracy 
september 2010 by jerryking
Chances Are - Opinionator Blog -
April 25, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN STROGATZ. NOTES:

1. For a good textbook treatment of conditional probability and
Bayes’s theorem, see:
S.M. Ross, “Introduction to Probability and Statistics for
Engineers and Scientists,” 4th edition (Academic Press, 2009).
4. For many entertaining anecdotes and insights about conditional
probability and its real-world applications, as well as how it’s
misperceived, see:
J.A. Paulos, “Innumeracy” (Vintage, 1990);
L. Mlodinow, “The Drunkard’s Walk” (Vintage, 2009).
statistics  mathematics  books  probabilities  risks  luck  chance  contingency  innumeracy  anecdotal 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Best New York Times Business Columnist You've Never Heard Of - Michael Schrage -
April 29, 2010 | Harvard Business Review | by Michael Schrage.
Bigs up Steven Strogatz of the NYT whose columns have quickly become
"must reads" for entrepreneurs and executives who grasp that mathematics
is now the "lingua franca" of serious business analysis.
HBR  mathematics  competingonanalytics  Michael_Schrage  Communicating_&_Connecting 
may 2010 by jerryking
Take It to the Limit - Opinionator Blog -
April 4, 2010, 5:00 pm
Take It to the Limit
april 2010 by jerryking
New approaches to quantifying the spread of infect... [Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005] - PubMed result
Traditional approaches to mathematical modelling of infectious
diseases deal most effectively with large outbreaks in large
populations. The desire to elucidate the highly variable dynamics of
disease spread amongst small numbers of individuals has fuelled the
development of models that depend more directly on surveillance and
contact-tracing data. This signals a move towards a closer interplay
between epidemiological modelling, surveillance and disease-management
models  mathematics  surveillance  disease  disease_surveillance  market_segmentation  size  flu_outbreaks  epidemiology  infections 
march 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - America’s Real Dream Team -
March 20, 2010 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. The
majority of the 40 finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search,
which, through a national contest, identifies and honors the top math
and science high school students in America, based on their solutions to
scientific problems-- hailed from immigrant families, largely from
Tom_Friedman  high_schools  students  immigration  immigrants  Intel  contests  talent  science_&_technology  mathematics 
march 2010 by jerryking
From Fish to Infinity - Opinionator Blog -
January 31, 2010, 9:30 pm
From Fish to Infinity
mathematics  blog 
february 2010 by jerryking
Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them
December 20, 2009 | New York Times | By BENEDICT CAREY. For
much of the last century, educators and many scientists believed that
children could not learn math at all before the age of five, that their
brains simply were not ready.

But recent research has turned that assumption on its head — that, and a
host of other conventional wisdom about geometry, reading, language and
self-control in class. The findings, mostly from a branch of research
called cognitive neuroscience, are helping to clarify when young brains
are best able to grasp fundamental concepts.
education  children  parenting  development  mathematics  learning  early_childhood_education  neurosciences  human_brains  childhood 
december 2009 by jerryking
Fields Institute - Overview
The Fields Institute is a center for mathematical research
activity - a place where mathematicians from Canada and abroad, from
business, industry and financial institutions, can come together to
carry out research and formulate problems of mutual interest. Our
mission is to provide a supportive and stimulating environment for
mathematics innovation and education. The Fields Institute promotes
mathematical activity in Canada and helps to expand the application of
mathematics in modern society.
uToronto  mathematics  finance 
november 2009 by jerryking
The Gripping Statistic : How to Make Your Data Matter
Mon Aug 10, 2009 | Fast Company | By Dan Heath & Chip
Heath. A good statistic is one that aids a decision or shapes an opinion. For a stat to do either of those, it must be dragged within the everyday (e.g. using ratios or useful analogies). That's your job -- to do the dragging. In our world of billions and trillions, that can be a lot of manual labor. But it's worth it: A number people can grasp is a number that can make a difference.
analogies  base_rates  Cisco  Communicating_&_Connecting  contextual  data  data_journalism  high-impact  mathematics  narratives  numeracy  persuasion  probabilities  ratios  statistics  storytelling  sense-making  value_creation 
september 2009 by jerryking
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives: Leonard Mlodinow
Mlodinow introduces important historical figures such as
Bernoulli, Laplace and Pascal, emphasizing their ideas rather than their
tumultuous private lives. Mlodinow defines such tricky concepts as
regression to the mean and the law of large numbers, which should help
readers as they navigate the daily deluge of election polls and new
studies on how to live to 100. The author also carefully avoids veering
off into the terra incognita of chaos theory aside from a brief mention
of the famous butterfly effect, although he might have spent a little
more time on the equally famous n-body problem that led to chaos theory.
Books on randomness and statistics line library shelves, but Mlodinow
will help readers sort out Mark Twain's damn lies from meaningful
statistics and the choices we face every day.
randomness  book_reviews  mathematics  probabilities  statistics 
may 2009 by jerryking
Do the math? Not our kids
13/02/07 | The Globe & Mail | MARGARET WENTE. The current
teaching and take-up of math in Canadian high schools is a national
innumeracy  mathematics  numeracy  syllabus  curriculum  Margaret_Wente  filetype:pdf  media:document 
april 2009 by jerryking
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