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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Math Solves Problems

Caught the following commercial the other day.

I spent the entire commercial trying to guess what company was paying for this. Should have recognized the IBM blue.

Consider the first two lines:

Math is the only language all human beings share.
Math can better predict financial markets…
One should never use "only" when bragging. One can always find counterexamples.

Perhaps these days IBM should have left out the part about "financial markets". Though the New York Times Tuesday gave the credit (actually mostly blame) to the physicists.

8 comments:

  1. Mathematicians CAN better predict the financial markets, but they can't keep their mouths shut and the effects of everyone acting on their predictions invalidates their predictions.

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  2. Is everyon in their ads an actor?

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  3. Was this ad made before or after the econ collapse.

    I was bothered by
    "Math can do anything"
    which is of course not true.
    It can do ALOT, but anything...

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  4. @bil gasarch
    Math can do nothing, but knowing enough math can allow people to do anything. Even doing anything and can't do anything at the same time!

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  5. knowing enough math can allow people to do anything

    yeah, like, solve the halting problem.

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  6. The Microsoft New England website now says that Madhu Sudan will be joining them (and leaving MIT!) as a full time researcher starting this summer. This seems like big news -- how did they pull that off?

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  7. The Microsoft New England website now says that Madhu Sudan will be joining them (and leaving MIT!) as a full time researcher starting this summer. This seems like big news -- how did they pull that off?

    One part of the news is true but not the other. Sudan is joining Microsoft but he is not leaving MIT. There is an internal email in MIT that he is taking a leave of absense to spend some time at Microsoft. Feige did the same. MIT is not worried about Sudan. He will come back.

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  8. Well politically speaking they should perhaps leave it out (the financial market claim) but it is still true for a suitable definition of predict.

    Work like Box-Jenkins models applied to financial timeseries are as intersting and relevant as ever.

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