This year I had chance to speak at my undergraduate institution – a well recognized engineering school in Trichy, India – about various things concerning my professional development and understanding of Science, Engineering and innovation in my short career as software developer and scientist-in-training.
Primarily, my goal was to communicate the tournament model and how we may enjoy our time in educational institutions pursuing a quest for truth regardless of some of the outcomes – just because they are governed by the tournament model.
Consider your task: to pick a winner in 2-player games from a group of N (say 128 or 64 players – like a typical Tennis tournament [or teams of smaller sizes for IPL or World Cup cricket tournaments]) then goal is to organize the games as a championship format with league rounds and knock-out tournaments to eventual final which decides the winner. This is the tournament model.
An alternate version where number of teams/players participating is not a power of 2, we may setup the model as follows algorithm/pseudocode;
- Enter all teams/payers in a double-ended-queue [deque]
- Select first-2 teams in queue and let them play;
- Take the winner of this game and enqueue to the end of queue; discard the loser (obviously!)
- Now we have N-1 teams/players in the queue.
- Repeat steps 2-4, till number of players is 1.
- We have a winner!
Key insight of tournament model is the fact that small differences between entities participating in the model can be amplified by the model making winners, and effects like the Matthew effect can ensure initial advantages snowball over time [esp. in industries like entertainment, social networking etc.]
The tournament model decides frequency of India vs Pakistan cricket matches, why Nadal vs Federer is most likely grand-slam final match up; the system decides success of professional actors and actresses. Why are Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth more famous than other talented male actors of their generation (e.g. Sathyaraj, Karthik, Prabhu, etc.)[not to mention other female actresses – a whole other question]. Modern day movie star rivalries are also plenty, to wit – Danush vs Simbu etc. in their ascent to fame.
Many principles of randomness of outcomes, and regression toward mean explain the outcomes in retrospect; but none of the techniques have an ability to explain these phenomenon in a predictive manner which one may seek.
Hence as students approaching a potentially lifetime of work in field of engineering or science, I recommend everyone to aspire to understand the fundamental pieces – to learn the instruments, notes, chords, scales of their musical pieces – not just the piece itself- so in the future you can compose your own orchestral music; so that you can build tools for future challenges that you may face – surely different from challenges you were taught to resolve – using an open ended approach to learning.
Tournament model also helps you handle failures – be it product, strategy, problem areas in life. Usually, losing at something is by not making the grade or placing second or being edge out is by being marginally “less” in some way, shape or form, compared to competition.
What is your experience with managing technology projects, and their outcomes ? Leave your comment below.
Mr. B. Vijaykumar, founder of GLUG-Trichy, Zylogic, and GNU evangelist, and ChennaiPy organizer , is launching a Python conference in Chennai – PySangamam. Pre-registration is open at http://pysangamam.org
Early bird tickets for PySangamam, are now open! The early bird ticket is priced at Rs. 900 (Inclusive of GST). You can purchase tickets from http://pysangamam.org/
Do note that we have a contributor ticket priced at Rs. 5000 (Inclusive of GST). As a contributor, you can take pride in making the conference more accessible to students. Your contribution will go towards providing discounted tickets to students. You will also be credited on the conference website.
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I had pleasure of participating in Chennai Python meetup in March, 2018; their technical audience is high-level and very sincere in their attempts to understand and communicate in regards to your material. Highly recommended to attend this event.
Indian government Ministry of Commerce has released a report on the developing A.I. related tooling, technologies, marketplaces and workforce – read more here
The AI Taskforce also has a website aitf.org.in
At this time I do not have an analysis on this report itself; but it does seem like India is trying to (in principle) catch up with other nation states.
Citizens and residents of Toms River, NJ, USA, have a higher incidence of cancer directly attributed to the causative agents by untreated industrial effluents dumped into their groundwater.
The journalist Dan Fagin, wrote a self-titled book laying out the details of the problem and its aftermath – personally for an unfortunate few, and legally from lawsuits to compensate for suffering of the people – all stemming from the negligence of the industrial overlords. You can read more about his book here. It got 2014 Pulitzer prize for non-fiction.
Close to town of Karaikudi (Ramanathapuram/Sivagangai District) we know of stories of neighboring villages polluted by a certain public-sector petro-product company etc. But despite court-orders they continue to be functioning with little respite for the citizens.
I see what is happening in Thoothukudi right now as an effort to raise awareness of higher than random incidence of cancer most-likely attributed to past Sterlite unsafe practices; people are coming together to literally save their livelihoods and need assurances and updated practices and concrete buy-in before questionable practices can be allowed to continue.
Our computers – interconnects, microprocessor chips, IC’s in appliances like microwave oven, toaster etc, smart phones, lines of telephone wires, and cable TV’s need copper. We have to find a way to extract it safely and dispose off the effluents in internationally agreed safe processes, and continuously monitor the neighboring areas for contamination of ground-water, air and other environmental hazards. Up until that point it should be a no-go.
People of Tamilnadu deserve their voices heard. Tamil people have written on Copper – செப்பேடு – now we don’t want our fates written by Copper. Surely this can’t be too much to ask!
I’m somewhat late to hear this news, but recently there was a bug in iMessage application of iOS and Mac platforms causing it to crash/freeze up as reported here.
The crashing character consists of 5 codepoints.
U+0C1C [Lo] TELUGU LETTER JA
U+0C4D [Mn] TELUGU SIGN VIRAMA
U+0C1E [Lo] TELUGU LETTER NYA
U+200C [Cf] ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER
U+0C3E [Mn] TELUGU VOWEL SIGN AA
and has a complex ligature form.
Sadly the poor usage of Telugu language Unicode block is potential cause to discover the bug so late; however the root cause of bug is some unsightly buffer overflow in Apple’s codebase.
Who knows if Tamil Unicode has any equivalent horrible bugs living in Android/Apple/Mac/Linux/Windows platforms. Hopefully not.