Archive - 2008

December 31st

My year in cities, 2008

This year was less crazy than last year . Nonetheless, here is a list of cities I have visited in the year 2008:

  • Seattle (+Bellevue +Redmond)
  • Traverse City, MI
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • Mumbai
  • Delhi
  • Kolkata
  • Fairfield, CA
  • San Francisco
  • Mountain View, CA

And of course, home snowy home:

  • Ann Arbor, MI

Here’s wishing all my dear readers a wonderful and happy new year ahead!

December 17th

CSE Video!

My department released an awesome video capturing the various aspects of our school. It features many of my professors and buddies.


December 16th

Slideshare Office 2007 Ribbon

Kapil’s company Slideshare just launched export-from-Powerpoint functionality:


November 27th

It Happens Only In India

This Idol Worship Under Tree Session is brought to you by Shark Tooth Vodka:

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November 19th


I did not plan it this way.
I did not choose to inflict this
upon myself, upon you, upon this world.
But the symptoms are clear.
My mind is calm.
My heart is peaceful.
My being has purpose.
Call it what you may
While you may have taught me how to see this world
I still see it differently.
While my existence is for you and because of you
Your flaws are still your flaws.
They do not transform from what they are
into magical axioms that I am meant to live by.
My truths are different from yours.
My thoughts are still mine.
One would think that a lifetime of knowing them would help
in understanding them.
This disease as you call it,
I wish you could see it from here.
I wish you could see how this invasion is anything but.
I wish you could see beyond the veils;
Understand. Appreciate.
Discover how this ailment is actually
A cure for impediments you chose to live by.
Realize how this path I take
Is the one you once wished for me
and that its culmination is in fact what you desire.

I did not choose this incurrence.
But it is how I will defend your legacy.

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November 18th

If I had a million dollars

If I had a million dollars to spend, I would invest them in these two things:

Preventative secondary healthcare for rural areas:

They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India’s Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own.

and Cell Phones for developing areas :

Mobile phone ownership in India is growing rapidly, six million new mobile subscriptions are added each month and one in five Indian’s will own a phone by the end of 2007. By the end of 2008, three quarters of India’s population will be covered by a mobile network. Many of these new “mobile citizens” live in poorer and more rural areas with scarce infrastructure and facilities, high illiteracy levels, low PC and internet penetration.

November 16th

this one's for YOU


November 13th

Obama vs McCain : A management perspective

There has been a lot of debate and noise about the 2008 US election. Politics, ethics and opinions aside, let’s think about this from a simple facts-and-numbers perspective. Ignore all the controversy of popular vote vs electoral college, etc etc. Let’s consider the contest in the way it’s defined right now.

You have finite resources, and you need to win the election. It costs a fixed amount of effort to convince each person. What’s the most optimal way to win an election?

So you run an optimized campaign. You strategize and make a campaign that gives you a much better “bang for buck”. In a perfect world, you should spend enough time to convince as little over 50% of each constituency and then move on, since you’ve won there and you should spend your resources elsewhere. This should be the primary objective function to measure a campaign’s efficacy.

Using numbers from the Wikipedia :
Obama : 66,495,308 votes, 365 electoral votes. 365/66 = 5.5
McCain : 58,123,419 votes, 162 electoral votes. 162/58= 2.79

Hence, we can see that Obama’s campaign was TWICE more efficient than McCain’s.

If the ability to lead a campaign is any reflection of leadership of the country, this does seem like a decisive victory in leadership skills.

Now, in case someone argues that Obama had more money, let’s look at spending reports from
Obama : 640M$ = 1.75M$ per electoral vote
McCain : 370M$ = 2.28M$ per electoral vote

Again, Obama was 1.3 times more efficient with his donation money.

So overall, 2x efficiency in campaign effort, and 1.3x efficiency in use of money. What I see is a great contest in management, with a clear winner.


(now) you know what I did last summer

A tour of the Google NYC summer, where I spent a glorious 2007 summer. Remember to note the ball pit… was done by my team (actually it was my first assignment). Also, I noticed UofM PhD Gunes Erkan playing pingpong in the video. Hey Gunes!

(Video seems to be have problems; direct link)


November 12th

the unfinished swan

An intriguing game called The Unfinished Swan, where you paint your way through the game. You have to see it to appreciate it:

The Unfinished Swan – Tech Demo 9/2008 from Ian Dallas on Vimeo.