Saturday, December 30, 2006

Game Theory

There is an ongoing investigation into the murder of the wife of a University of Pennsylvania game theorist. The game theorist is currently considered a suspect. The damning piece of evidence in the case seems to be his profession. Not to worry -- the district attorney, Bruce Castor, is considering all of the evidence:

According to what Castor has been able to glean, Game Theory is an economic philosophy wherein a person can apply factual scenarios for a desired outcome."In a criminal context, somebody applying it would calculate all the angles and then go ahead and commit the crime," said Castor. "It could also be a coincidence, too (that Robb taught classes on Game Theory)."

So while I suppose it could be a coincidence, its awfully suspicious. I wonder how Castor was able to glean this... Very impressive.

Full Story:

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Awards and Honors

Browsing Barnes and Noble today, I was reminded of an important award that I forgot to list on my NDSEG application! I was the Time Magazine Person of the Year (shared) for 2006!


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fellowship Applications Submitted

As of yesterday, I am done with applying for things (hopefully for a little while). I sent off my application for the NDSEG fellowship, which was a request that the defense department give me about a hundred thousand dollars.

Applying for these fellowships is a funny thing, because at least in the sciences (and particularly at the CS department at Carnegie Mellon), no one needs them. We are already well paid. Receiving this fellowship will not allow me to pursue groundbreaking research for the benefit of our nation that I would not be able to otherwise. The benefit would mostly go to Carnegie Mellon and to my advisers -- they would no longer have to pay me, and as a result, could more easily support other students. Because of this, its interesting that the government has chosen to distribute money through graduate fellowships like this, rather than just giving it directly to academic departments of their choice.

The whole thing is a study in incentives. The main benefit of the fellowship goes to the school, but I apply because it will provide me with a line on my resume and a few hundred dollars extra a month. To apply, students need recommendations, and who better to write them than their advisers? But of course, advisers have a vested interest in having their students receive outside support.

We find out in April.