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The New Friendsy App Frenzy is Ruining Triadic Closure

By human nature, we build relationships and friend groups upon the foundation of finding people who value and share the same interests as us. Personally, I can say first hand, that my friend group can spend hours talking about silly Buzzfeed quizzes or places we’ve always dreamed of traveling to. I realized that this is […]

Frontal vs Lateral Competition

Looking at the actions that we do everyday, it is evident that the power of network effects are not to be underestimated. Of course, this is rather obvious when it comes to various social networks. If our friends were not on Facebook, then there would be little to no incentive to join at all. However, […]

Airline Baggage Fee and Game Theory

When people think of logistic networks, the route maps stowed in airline seat-back pockets may come to mind. The airline industry forms a huge logistic network. Billions of passengers rely on the network to connect around the globe. In a previous blog post (see link below), I have digged into how the airlines’ route structures […]

A Six-Way Kidney Exchange

Kidney Transplants are typically thought to only involve a patient and a donor, but in recent years, kidney exchange chains have become more prominent as kidney databases are built, and algorithms optimized.  Recently, a 6-way kidney exchange occurred in California, as 6 donors and 6 patients were all brought together to transplant the kidneys to […]

On Hardness of Matching Problems

The need to establish matching may be as old as mankind itself. People marry each other for companionship and reproduction. International trade brings goods and capital to where they are valued the most. Resources, from seats in the popular Introduction to Wines class to carbon emission quota, need to be allocated judiciously because they’re finite. […]

Models for School Choice and Empirical Analysis in Boston

With education being an important mechanism for social mobility and career opportunity, school choice remains an important consideration for parents when choosing an area to reside while raising a child. Some school choice mechanisms have been more effective than others, and an important recent example that incorporates many of the matching principles discussed in class […]

Interesting Information Cascades

I recently read an article talking about information cascades with respect to specific phenomena, such as the likelihood of an incorrect cascade occurring, the likelihood of a ‘reversal of fashion’ where the overall consensus shifts, and a general analysis of the effectiveness of public information releases, such as a campaign to publicize the negative health […]

The impact of Information Cascades on the Financial Crisis

When a given individual observes the action of other individuals and then engages in the same action, despite possible conflicts with his/her own private information, then we have an information cascade. The whole idea is that the individual completely ignores their own private information “signals” and just follows the actions of many. The thought process […]

The Effect of Networks on Television

On September 29th, 2013, over 10 million people tuned in to AMC to watch the season 5 finale of Breaking Bad – a staggering 500% increase from the viewership of the previous season’s finale only two years prior [1].  The incredible snowball-like success of Breaking Bad shows the power of viral networking and how technology […]

Effects of Optimization of Preference Models on Innovation in Society

Nowadays with ML and analytics we optimize for metrics positively correlated with peoples preference models. Does this sort of trap us in a bubble of our preferences, where we only see content we’d be interested in or enjoy? What kind of impact does this have on innovation and the creation of new ideas? If we […]

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