Sunday, May 19, 2013

Story Reading

I revisited an old story I liked and decided to read it aloud.  The story is "Chicken Hawk's Dream" by Al Young and appeared in Spero, 1,2 (1966:19--21). Here is a version.  Here is my story reading performance. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fixing IPL Games: Market Design Issues

Indian Premier League (IPL) is an innovation. It takes a classic 5 days long cricket game that had whittled down to its 1 day version sometime in the past, further shaves it down to a few hours, and built a professional league. Now each game is like a long Bollywood movie, and people tell me they are just as popular, even managing to pull in a large female audience thanks to the halftime drama.

This is an interesting market. On the positive side,  IPL has built a fat top pyramid and expanded the opportunities of cricketing talent worldwide, together with all the trickle-down effects. On the negative side, there is the ongoing match fixing scandal, which is interesting for market design:
  • They do spot-fixing (target number of runs per over, etc) and not match-fixing. Slicing the full match into nuggets yields a more compelling market. 
  • The players use signalling schemes like towels tugged in etc, the bookies signal using WhatsApp and other cross platform messaging systems.
  • During a 150sec break, apparently transactions total US$100M. They use software like "Back N Lay Pro" to estimate probabilities and set up bets. 
Btw, this is illegal. 

Announcing SPARC 13

The Coding, Complexity and Sparsity workshop (SPARC 13) will be held in Ann Arbor, MI on Aug 5-7. These will be hour-long lectures designed to give students an introduction to coding theory, complexity theory/pseudo-randomness, and compressive sensing/streaming algorithms. We will have a poster session during the workshop and everyone is welcome to bring a poster but graduate students and postdocs are especially encouraged to give a poster presentation. There is some funding for graduate students and postdocs with preference given to those who will be presenting posters. For registration and other details, please look at the workshop webpage: