## New “exciting techniques” series of articles.

I am starting a new “exciting techniques” series of articles on the Win-Vector blog. The primary purpose of the Win-Vector blog remains identifying and describing needs, but I am starting a new sub-series of articles about techniques.

## The Purpose of this Blog

The purpose of this blog (which is not quite “blog like” in its promise of a once a month longish technical article) is to educate, share the Win-Vector principles and learn more about writing (through practice). I am a big fan of “understanding through writing” (you learn through trying to […]

I don’t really know what the right answer to the \$700 Billion Dollar Bailout Question is (I have not read the bill, and I wonder if the bill really describes what would happen). But the whole situation does remind me of a related question: is it really the end of […]

## A Quick Appreciation of the Sharpe Ratio

The current state of the global financial markets has gotten more people than usual worrying about the technical aspects of finance. One method for reasoning about investment returns and risk is a tool called the Sharpe Ratio. It is well worth reviewing this measure and seeing how, if used properly, […]

## What is Mathematics, Really?

I recently had one of those “practitioner’s epiphanies” that I really feel captures the core of the issue and quickly explains a lot about mathematics. My current definition is: Mathematics is the minimal environment to preserve ideas.

## YAYGDA (Yet Another Yahoo Google Deal Article)

Information week describes the current “Yahoo/Google deal” as being one that would “allow Yahoo to place Google ads on its site and collect the revenue.” But in reality it is a deal that will allow Google to sell Yahoo the rope to hang itself. To the theorist’s eye the deal […]

## How Market Designs Set Prices

Hal Varian (Chief Economist, Google) recently shared a concise article with the title “How auctions set ad prices”. The article is a clear exposition of how ad prices determine the sorting order of bidders for online advertising. However, the tone of the article is not quite compatible with how it […]

## Betting Best-Of Series

Betting Best of Series is a new expository paper describing the mathematics involved in betting on something like the United States’ Major League Baseball World Series. It isn’t so much about baseball as about demonstrating some of the really great ideas from mathematical finance in a simplified setting. This sort […]

## Is Search Advertising a Market for Lemons?

author: John Mount, 5-13-2008 Anand Rajaraman recently wrote a very thought-provoking entry on his Datawocky blog. He asks “Is Search Advertising a Giffen Good?” As he explains a Giffen Good is a sort of economic doomsday machine that some segment of consumers are forced to buy more of an inferior […]

## I know, I am the one being a jerk

The other day’s blog post and a recent Andrew Binstock interview of Donald Knuth made me think more about how the ACM is really not serving the interests of computer science.