Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There and Back Again

The usually great Emmanuel Derman has a nice description of how the financial crisis turned into a "real economy" crisis. For all incoming students of the Capital Markets course, this is one of the things we'll discuss in class:

° After the financial crisis everyone got scared about the future and stopped buying the crap they don't really need.
° The companies that make the crap people don't really need, anticipating a decline, laid off people, sometimes preemptively.
° The laid-off people then had to stop buying not only crap they don't really need but some of the things they actually do need.
° That affected the companies who make things people really need, and so they laid off people too.
° If everybody would just start buying stuff they don't really need then pretty soon everyone would be able to buy the stuff they really need.
Even will all the talk of the emergence of the BRICs The world economy stilldepends a lot on a healthy US economy. The last round of indicators showed that the sky is more cloudy than it was last quarter. Will the US come up with another large stimulus package? Is this going to rattle ond markets or are we still going to see the low yields observed today?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Qualities of a Sucessful PhD student

Sometimes I have MBA students interested in pursuing a PhD or just curious about what it takes to get one.

This article is spot on in describing what are essential qualities of sucessfull PhD student in any field.  I particularly agree with this:
"There's a ruinous misconception that a Ph.D. must be smart.
This can't be true.
A smart person would know better than to get a Ph.D."
I hope that my blogging helps to make me a better and more productive writer...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Combining things in new ways

Many times, doing research is a matter of putting together existing things in a new way that nobody thought before. 

I saw this Ted Talk given Blaise Ag├╝era y Arcas, the architect of Microsoft's Bing Maps, showing the integration of live information (not just photos, but also live video) with maps in amazing ways. Given the advances in computing power and networks we havebeen seeing, there are lots of amazing things to be seen in the near future. It's about 8mins long, but worth the watch.

If only people got that sense of amazement when I presented my work... :)