NFL Picks- Super Bowl 2015

Overall against the spread: 78-63
Conference: 1-1
Divisional: 3-1
Wildcard: 3-1
Week 17: 8-8
Week 16: 11-4
Week 15: 7-9
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

Here’s my Super Bowl prediction, with the current line in parentheses:
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks (-1.0): Predicting 23.6-22.0. Bet on the New England Patriots.

How did Seattle Win?

I watched it. Still don’t understand it. Advanced Football Analytics has a great breakdown of the win probability model and how it went so bad for Green Bay.

Ignore the failures of Green Bay in scoring TDs in the first half. Ignore the fake-field goal TD for Seattle. All GB had to do was
-Stop Seattle’s drive when the score was 19-7
-Get some first downs to kill the clock
-Stop Seattle’s drive when the score was 19-14
-Stop the hail mary two point conversion
-Score a TD instead of a FG when score was 19-22
-Win the coin toss
-Stop Seattle’s drive in overtime

Any of the above.

Insane hail mary two point conversion. How does this work?

Code Monkey Monday- Cropping Images in LaTeX

Suppose you have an image that you wish to insert into your LaTeX document or presentation. You can crop the image to your specifications prior to saving and importing it, using your favorite image editing software. Or you can crop it on import, with the following syntax:

\includegraphics[trim=1cm 2cm 1cm 2cm,clip,width=1in]{imageName}

The trim command takes the specified amount off of the left, bottom, right, and top of the image, respectively. The width command tells LaTeX how big to make the image in print, scaling it up or down as necessary.

Book Review- It Works

It Works
by Melvin Evans, 1946

it works
(I’m not sure if the cover really looks like this. My copy is really from 1946 and doesn’t have a dust jacket.)

This book will make you a better person. It’s written by an “industrial executive and management engineer” who has moved on to studying human engineering. His book is filled with suggestions for doing better at work, at home, and in the community. It’s refreshing to read a book founded on good morals and Christian virtues. You don’t read much written with this sort of vigor anymore. Reading it just made me feel good.

The last chapter quotes the Gettysburg address, a plan for peace from a Chinese peasant, and a prayer from the author’s daughter: “God, give us the strength and willpower today to do the things we know we should do for Thee, but so often lack the courage.” The book praises democracy and the American way profusely. The three parts of the book are “E Pluribus Unum- Teamwork”, “In God We Trust- Faith”, and “Liberty- How It Works”. Throughout, there are calls for people to do things the right way with the right intentions, in order to generate good results: It Works!

Spring 2015 Schedule

6 half semester seminars

First half of semester:
Monday, 3-6pm: Healthcare Operations Management (OM) from Jonathan Helm
Tuesday, 1-4pm: Emerging Areas in OM from Ruomeng Cui
Thursday, 1-4pm: Recommender Systems (an Information Systems course) from Jingjing Zhang

Second half of semester:
Monday, 1-4pm: Empirical OM from Qiuping Yu
Tuesday/Thursday, 4-5:30pm: Information Economics from Dmitry Lubensky
Thursday, 1-4pm: Operations Planning and Scheduling from Kyle Cattani

All courses are reading-heavy. I will probably be assigned about 10-15 papers to read each week.

NFL Picks- Conference Round of 2015 Playoffs

Overall against the spread: 77-62
Divisional: 3-1
Wildcard: 3-1
Week 17: 8-8
Week 16: 11-4
Week 15: 7-9
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

Here are my division round predictions, with the current line in parentheses:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5): Predicting 21.4-25.0. Bet on the Green Bay Packers.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-6.5): Predicting 22.8-27.9. Bet on the Indianapolis Colts.

Book Review- Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman, 2011

Thinking Fast and Slow

This is a great book that hits on all the research in behavioral economics and cognitive biases. It’s also a devilishly slow read. 400+ pages, with each page probably averaging 4+ minutes for me as I read it and contemplated its significance. I’ve been reading it slowly over the last 2 years.

Here’s the list of topics it will discuss at length, in alphabetical order:
affect heuristic
associative memory
availability heuristic
Bayesian statistics
causal base rates
certainty effect
cognitive strain
confirmation bias
conjunctive fallacy
decision utility
decision weights
denominator neglect
disposition effect
duration neglect
ego depletion
endowment effect
experienced utility
expert intuition
focusing illusion
halo effect
hindsight bias
illusion of understanding
insufficient adjustment
intensity matching
law of small numbers
loss aversion
mental accounts and keeping score
mental shotgun
narrative fallacy
narrow/broad framing
negativity dominance
optimistic bias
outcome bias
overestimation of rare events
pattern seeking
peak-end rule
planning fallacy
preference reversals
priming and associations
prospect theory
regression to the mean
remembering self
risk aversion/seeking
sunk cost fallacy
System 1/2
what you see is all there is (WYSIATI)

Learning about these terms and recognizing when your human brain is leading you astray will improve your future decision making.

Papers Read June-December 2014

I’ve started to keep the first page of each academic paper that I read in a binder, marked with my notes about the paper’s content and usefulness. I started doing this in June 2014. Between June and December, I read 89 academic papers. 40 of those were for Kurt Bretthauer’s Service Operations class.

By Decade:
1960’s: 1
1970’s: 3
1980’s: 9
1990’s: 16
2000’s: 24
2010’s: 35
(I’m surprised the 2010’s beat the 2000’s by that much)

Journals (with more than 1 paper read):
Production and Operations Management: 11
Management Science: 10
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management: 9
Operations Research: 8
Harvard Business Review: 4
Journal of Sports Economics: 3
Applied Economics: 2
Decision Sciences: 2
Interfaces: 2
Journal of Marketing: 2

Total citations among 89 papers: 47,531
Max citations: 15,588
Total citations among top 9 papers: 40,318
Mean citations: 573
Median citations: 54
Papers with less than 5 citations: 20, though some are very new

If interested, the full Excel list is here.

NFL Picks- Divisional Round of 2015 Playoffs

Overall against the spread: 74-61
Wildcard: 3-1
Week 17: 8-8
Week 16: 11-4
Week 15: 7-9
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

Here are my division round predictions, with the current line in parentheses:
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-7.0): Predicting 20.8-26.1. Bet on the Baltimore Ravens.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-11.0): Predicting 15.9-25.3. Bet on the Carolina Panthers.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers (-6.5): Predicting 24.4-28.7. Bet on the Dallas Cowboys.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-7.0): Predicting 24.2-29.0. Bet on the Indianapolis Colts.

My model says the lines are all too high, which was my intuition when looking at them. It’s only Monday though, maybe they’ll move down by game time. I would bet on the home teams if the lines were -5, -9, -4, and -4.5, respectively.