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The Value of a “Brand Name” Degree Does graduating from one of the top 10 ranked universities lead to a higher salary, more prestigious companies, and an altogether better future? Ideally, no, it shouldn’t in the “land of opportunity.” In the area of entrepreneurship, this degree supposedly has no effect. However, while this is ideal, this is not actually the case. […]


Cascades are one of the most observable concepts we have covered this semester. Why is Facebook so stable? Why did Google+ fail? The answer is cascading effects in networks. I have over 500 friends on Facebook. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. Basically, the likelihood that the […]

India’s failure with its recent 2g auction. Who’s to blame?

In 2010, Indian government had unexpectedly, but proudly, set record revenue of 677 billion rupees (approximately U.S. $15 billion) from auctioning 3g mobile licenses. Two years have passed and the same government daringly sought to reenact what they had achieved in their previous airwave auction with high hopes; however, failed miserably to their dismay. Prime […]

Better Ingredients, Better Pizza

One unusual application for social networks? Food. That’s right — Lada Adamic, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan and at Facebook, has been working on network analysis of recipes, ingredients, cooking methods, and nutritional profiles. Her algorithm accomplishes something remarkable: it predicts with 80% accuracy the number of stars a recipe will receive on […]

Collusion – tracking your data across the internet

Collusion is a fascinating tool created by Atul Varma that keeps track of how the websites you visit send information about you to other websites. It is an add-on to the popular Mozilla Firefox internet browser, and once the add-on is started, it gradually adds nodes to an interactive web as you surf the internet, […]

How true is your memory: why is Bayes’ theorem necessary

We encounter probability everyday just as we face our own memory. How was my lunch? What was the person sitting next to me wearing? How true is my “vivid” memory? The one of TED’s invited speaker shared his speech on mainly two events where people’s “reconstructed memory” doesn’t actually give out the truth. In both […]

Networks in Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

This past September the Cornell Forum on Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) hosted Daphne Koller and Anant Agrawal for remote video presentations about their respective organizations. Coursera, launched by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, is a for-profit consortium of over 30 institutions of higher learning with the goal of offering the world’s best courses online […]

Google Fiber and Network Effects

Google surprised the world (once again) when it announced in 2010 that it planned to provide its own internet service that would be 1000 times faster than the basic broadband connections being offered by major ISP’s like AT&T and Comcast. Called Google Fiber, the service was supposed to provide a gigabit internet connection to home […]

RoboRoaches and the Information Cascade

Information cascades are not only for humans. Other members of the animal kingdom also get influenced by it. Cockroaches for example get influenced by it when they decide on a shelter. Scientists have found that a typical cockroach decides on a shelter based on its darkness and on whether there are other cockroaches in it. […]

Product Differentiation vs. Strategic Imitation   Traditional economic and business strategy encourages product differentiation, which results in less competition and greater profit for a company.  However, this is not often the reality of business strategy in many industries.  The mobile phone industry is a perfect example.  The introduction of touch screen devices just a few years ago started a […]

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November 2012
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