Saturday, August 11, 2018

Amazon Research Awards

Amazon has a program for research awards. Check out the process. The focus areas include online advertising for the first time and this should be interesting to researchers in mechanism design, optimization, game theory and multiagent systems, among other things. There is also a lot of interest in machine learning methods in general, and theory in the context of these focus areas. The deadline is Sept 15, 2018. Looking forward to submissions. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dear Data

People who work with data often don't innovate on presenting it.  Tufte's classic books presented new options for a generation, but maybe dated. I like a recent book called "Dear Data". As authors say, "For our project Dear Data, each week throughout a year we collected and measured different types of personal data relating to our lives and then visualized it as a drawing on a postcard which we then sent as a type of “slow data” transmission of our personalities and our days to the other person." Beautifully communicative visualizations, acquired by MoMA

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Walk NY Pride.

I walked through the sixth avenue, following the pride parade, with two ambient kids. I got a "Go Dad!" cheer from a tired group of paraders.

I picked up a pie of Joe's Pizza and walked home. An old man walking the opposite way said, "Hand over Joe's and we will call it a trade," as a way of negotiating a passage across a tight sidewalk spot on the west village. 

I am glad strangers in NY still find a  way to create moments. 

Some Uber Humor

Got into a Uber car, shiny and Prius.
Driver said, "Buckle up, it is the law."
Few minutes into the ride, honks and near-misses,
and I said,  "Also, a good idea."

Kearns in News

Morgan Stanley hires Michael Kearns as their AI expert and here is their announcement.

As an aside, financial institutions are/have been  dipping into the ML/AI pool. I am curious to see what the battle of the GAN armies from different finance players (for modeling risks, strategies, trading) produces as the eventual market. 


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Children's Books

Here are two collaborative books:

- The Redwood Tree and Its Friends, and
- Left and Right.

These books are a collaboration of Eira with her parents, written when she was four years old.

The Redwood Tree and Its Friends was inspired by the time when Eira lived in a redwood forest.  She explores friendships between a growing redwood tree and other creatures.  The talented NY-based artist Alexis Kandra has brought the story to life through animals situated in abstract grids.

In the Left and Right book, Eira and her dad explore the dialogue between the left and right parts of one's body during their outdoor play activities. A talented artist from Prague - Patrik Antczak -- literally drew paper illustrations with scissors and arranged the cuts into paper sculptures for this book.
EmmEmm Publishing believes that the child will grow with collaborative books while books and stories will grow with the child. Also, children’s books deserve great art, so these projects involve painters, sculptors, installation artists, performers, and  others.  If you are inspired,  support the books and the artists: share the books with friends and libraries.

Books are available at and
Left and Right
The Redwood Tree and Its Friends

Optimization notes

  • Looking through lecture notes on convex optimization by Nisheeth Vishnoi. 
  • Celebration of Vijay Vazirani's 60th birthday, schedule looks great.
  • The winners of the 2018 ACM SIGecom Test of Time Award are: 
    • Varian, Hal R. "Position auctions." international Journal of industrial Organization 25.6 (2007): 1163-1178. 
    • Edelman, Benjamin, Michael Ostrovsky, and Michael Schwarz. "Internet advertising and the generalized second-price auction: Selling billions of dollars worth of keywords." American economic review 97.1 (2007): 242-259. 
    • Aggarwal, Gagan, Ashish Goel, and Rajeev Motwani. "Truthful auctions for pricing search keywords." Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Electronic commerce. ACM, 2006.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Quick Notes: FANG, skylights, hair color.

A few quick notes:

  • I have a graduating student: he seems to have the FANG job offers!
  • Airplanes should have skylights. 
  • If you are interested in my current hair color, check out this article
It is not lost on me that my previous post is on A Facebook Nightmare, which sounds entirely different now when I say it aloud. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Facebook Nightmare

Students have nightmares: they appear at the finals and don't recognize the course, the problems, or other startling variations.

Last night I had a nightmare. I realized I was a Facebook user, but I did not sign in for several months. I panicked: I may not remember the password, Facebook may have change their look into something strange, or Facebook will pop up bunch of new permissions, etc. I spent the rest of the "dream" finding a  way to sign in to Facebook, with each direction ending in some disaster (no monitor, no internet connection, no power, ...) while being pursed by friends everywhere I sent (and I was trying to keep them from finding out that I may not know what happened in Facebook).  So there. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Snow, A Natural Prediction

Snow is coming down now,
A flurry of floating farfalle.
Tomorrow the poetry will stop.
Then the plows will spew geysers of snow.
And after that, people, pets and prowling cars,
will sink, slip, slide and do muddy pirouette.