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Information and Direct Benefit Effects on Groupon

An article on CNN Money describes the earning struggles for the familiar consumer-deal company: Groupon. The article can be found on the CNN Money Website at the following address: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/09/technology/groupon-stock/index.html. Although the article focuses on Groupon’s poor business model and the difficulty of attempting to monetize its business, the idea of Groupon is based on […]

Subprime Mortgage Crisis: The Result of an Information Cascade?

The ongoing recovery from the recent financial crisis in the US serves as evidence of some of the dangers of information cascades. Even today, the economy is sluggish despite steady improvements, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) has continually investigated the roles that major U.S. investment banks played throughout the crisis. As mentioned in […]

The Dangers of Information Cascades in Crowdsourcing

Kickstarter in an online crowdsourcing where startup companies or people can ask for funding for projects, and in return people who back a startup can receive some sort of compensation, whether it is a completed product, or a small gift. However, Kickstarter is not perfect. There have been multiple cases in which people claimed to […]

Stop and Stare

Andrew Gallup from Princeton University experimented with how people follow each others’ gazes in a crowd. Five actors in a busy street stopped and looked upwards and a camera followed the gazes of other pedestrians. The study confirmed that people tend to follow each other’s gazes. Because of the modern technology Gallup used, he was […]

Braess’s paradox and power grid upgrades

http://phys.org/news/2012-10-power-grid-blackouts-braess-paradox.html We went over Braess’s paradox briefly in lecture a while ago. When it appeared on the most recent homework and after reading the article “Power grid upgrades may cause blackouts, warns Braess’s paradox”, I was intrigued by the concept.   Braess’s paradox is derived from modeling traffic networks.  The paradox shows that adding more options […]

In Nate Silver We Trust

On this past Tuesday, Barack Obama was elected to a second term as President of the United States. While he won the presidency, statistician and New York Times blogger Nate Silver won the prediction game that night. His forecasts weeks before the election claimed that Obama would win with almost 80% confidence, and then come […]

Athletes Use Bayesian Ideas?

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/20/health/subconsciously-athletes-may-play-like-statisticians.html Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the brain of a professional athlete when they are on the field or playing a match? How do they perceive the field?  How do they decide where to throw the ball, or where to place their first serve?  Having played sports all my life, I was […]

Cascading Democracy

When I was in third grade, I participated in the Scholastic Student Vote.  I remember going into the quaint red booth, voting for my candidate and walking back to my classroom.  This past Sunday I followed a similar process when I voted for the President on my absentee ballot.  Though I have aged 12 years […]

Weighing Out the Odds

Presbyterian minister, Thomas Bayes, discovered a theorem that would revolutionize how people think when it comes to making decisions. The New York Times article, “The Mathematics of Changing Your Mind,” written by John Paulos discusses how statistics can be applied to more than just math but to every aspect of life. Throughout the article Paulos […]

Foreign exchange cascades in the evolving world of trading

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/net-us-markets-forex-socialmedia-idUSBRE8A80Z420121109 When thinking of a highly specialized foreign exchange trader, the picture of an isolated man using highly esoteric information comes to mind. However, the world of trading in the foreign exchange market has been ever evolving since the advent of social media. According to Philip Baillie’s article, FX traders are now “hooking up their broker […]

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