Monday, March 27, 2006

The most important algos of compsci and math

Results of a survey amongst computer scientists: The Most Important Algorithms

1. A* search
2. Beam search
3. Binary search
4. Branch and bound
5. Buchberger's algo

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Finance Blog Aggregator

The Ad-Free Personal Finance Blogs Aggregator - An awesome collection of blogs (and posts, of course) on finance

(via FinanceProfessor)

BarCamp Chennai

BarCamp Chennai

When: April 8th & 9th, 2006
Where: Anna University, Ramanujam Computing Center
What is it: From the BarCamp Chennai Wiki:
BarCamp is an unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. The BarCampChennai focusses on Web 2.0, Social Media and Next Generation Internet.

BARCamp is an open, welcoming, once-a-year event for geeks to camp out for a couple days with wifi and smash their brains together. It’s about love and geekery and having a focal point for great ideas, like FOOcamp but open.

I plan to attend.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Business Velocity and the Innovation Imperative

Speed Demons - in BusinessWeek

"...Virgin Comics LLC was born. The company was revealed to the world on Jan. 6, and now Branson and Virgin Comics Chief Executive Sharad Devarajan are sketching out grand plans. They hope to build India into a multibillion-dollar comics market by plying its under-20 population of 500 million with mythic tales. And there may be huge opportunities for export to the West. Seven titles are due out in the U.S., Britain, and India in the coming months. Even animated movies and TV shows are on drawing boards in Bangalore"

"It's all being driven by a new innovation imperative. Competition is more intense than ever because of the rise of the Asian powerhouses and the spread of disruptive new Internet technologies and business models. Companies realize that all of their attention to efficiency in the past half-decade was fine -- but it's not nearly enough. If they are to thrive in this hypercompetitive environment, they must innovate more and faster."

"...Then there's technology. The Internet has become ubiquitous, so companies can connect with talent anywhere in the blink of an eye, inside or outside the company. Open-source software can be plucked off the shelf to become the foundation of new software programs or Web sites. Algorithms can be used to slice and dice market information and spot new trends."

Personally, I was stunned when I first came across outsourcing. Most of us associate outsourcing with the offshoring of work from the US, but the real power of outsourcing today lies in the ability to attain world-class capabilities almost instantly. It is a concept akin to the modular creation of software - the modular build-up of organizations. Today, it is possible to almost "create" a company from scratch - you conceptualize the overall design and outsource the actual functioning of individual divisions (the "modules") to partners who specialize in individual areas. And just like you could call the best piece of sorting code without bothering about how it was written, you gain access the best global practices and technology in an area without bothering about the nitty-gritties. As BusinessWeek calls it... witness the emergence of the Agile enterprise.

In interesting times, we live.


Orangemedhas and MSL Gaming. Best of luck guys !!!

Orangemedhas - How it all began? by Prasad

Friday, March 17, 2006

On academic careers in science in the US

Adjusted for IQ, quantitative skills, and working hours, jobs in science are the lowest paid in the United States by Philip Greenspun

"Having been both a student and teacher at MIT, my personal explanation for men going into science is the following:

1. young men strive to achieve high status among their peer group
2. men tend to lack perspective and are unable to step back and ask the question "is this peer group worth impressing?"

Consider Albert Q. Mathnerd, a math undergrad at MIT ("Course 18" we call it). He works hard and beats his chest to demonstrate that he is the best math nerd at MIT. This is important to Albert because most of his friends are math majors and the rest of his friends are in wimpier departments, impressed that Albert has even taken on such demanding classes. Albert never reflects on the fact that the guy who was the best math undergrad at MIT 20 years ago is now an entry-level public school teacher in Nebraska, having failed to get tenure at a 2nd tier university. When Albert goes to graduate school to get his PhD, his choice will have the same logical foundation as John Hinckley's attempt to impress Jodie Foster by shooting Ronald Reagan.

It is the guys with the poorest social skills who are least likely to talk to adults and find out what the salary and working conditions are like in different occupations. It is mostly guys with rather poor social skills whom one meets in the university science halls."

Hilariously well written. However, one thing I'm beginning to realize is that cribbing about jobs or money is the favorite past-time for most - its a trait found even amongst the most highly paid (relative to what I wonder:p) and those with 'dream' jobs. There is, it seems, no limit to human desires. This article could as well have been written by a person from any industry.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


The iPod Nano vaguely reminds me of an early version of Windows 95. I'm surprised by the lack of robustness of its software - an absolute dainty, it restarts at the slightest provocation; remove the cord by mistake while charging and there's a very high chance that the software would be muddled beyond repair. However, the player's interface is amazing - the click-wheel is the most intuitive design in hardware user interface I've ever come across. Sad they haven't paid as much attention to the software.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Valuing an MBA

Quite a few of people I know (themselves MBAs) feel that the MBA degree is a sheer joke, that people go through two years of arbit stuff to get a well paying job at an end. Talking about the value of an MBA has, in fact, become the favorite past time of a lot of people - heck, people like Mintzberg have made a career taking pot-shots at it.

Now bubblegeneration makes a comment on this issue:
"My personal take on the MBA: If you are passionate about business, economics, strategy and leadership (as I am), you can't go wrong with a top MBA. However, if you see the MBA just as an escape hatch that takes you from being a code monkey at tech shop and land you a spreadsheet monkey job at an I-bank or become a consultant droid, you would most likely miss out on what could potentially be the most rewarding and enriching educational experience of your life.

I *loved* each and every moment I spent at b-school. Just pick a school that in non-parochial and attracts smart people from around the world."

During my induction at XLRI, one of the Professors told us that what we would get out of our two years of stay there would be proportional to the effort we put in - we would have immense learning resources at our disposal, whether we choose to use it or not would be up to us. We could, if you want, while away the two years and get our 'dream' job at the end, but we would have learned nothing new. But that is because, we chose to do so. After all its GIGO.

Personally, I loved the time I spent in the MBA - learnt exciting stuff I never had access to before, got a new perspective on analyzing issues and problems, met a lot of interesting people and made awesome friends. In sum, I think I got more than my time and money's worth.

And to think people view consultants as droids... ha ha ha