Monthly Archives: November 2015

NFL Picks- Week 12 of 2015

Bills at Chiefs line is not out yet. Recall that the model does not use injury information, so for the Monday night game between the Ravens and Browns, the model does not know that Flacco and Forsett are out for the season.

Overall Against the Spread: 71-66
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 5-11
Week 4: 10-5
Week 5: 5-6 (2 pushes, 1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 6: 8-6
Week 7: 6-7 (1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 8: 6-6 (2 pushes)
Week 9: 6-7
Week 10: 10-4
Week 11: 6-7 (1 push)

This Week’s Predictions (line in parentheses):
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions (even): Predicting 23.2-22.3. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (even): Predicting 24.2-20.1. Bet on the Carolina Panthers.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-10.0): Predicting 19.6-26.6. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-1.0): Predicting 19.9-22.9. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.
St. Louis Rams at Cincinnati Bengals (-10.0): Predicting 15.9-24.6. Bet on the St. Louis Rams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts (-3.0): Predicting 22.3-25.6. Bet on the Indianapolis Colts.
New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans (-3.0): Predicting 22.4-28.0. Bet on the Houston Texans.
San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.0): Predicting 22.1-26.7. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (even): Predicting 20.3-26.0. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-3.5): Predicting 19.4-25.4. Bet on the New York Jets.
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (+1.0): Predicting 22.1-23.0. Bet on the Tennessee Titans.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (+1.0): Predicting 24.7-25.5. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (+11.5): Predicting 28.0-19.7. Bet on the San Francisco 49ers.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5): Predicting 19.8-22.4. Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (+3.0): Predicting 23.5-21.5. Bet on the Denver Broncos.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (-2.5): Predicting 23.5-23.6. Bet on the Baltimore Ravens.

Book Review- Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull, with Amy Wallace, 2014

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A combination biography/business advice book from the co-founder of Pixar and president of the Disney/Pixar Animation merger. Catmull describes his unending quest to promote creativity at Pixar and avoid the pitfalls that success can bring. I really like Pixar movies, which drove me to the book. I really like the advice given in the book, but wouldn’t suggest the book for those who want to read about the Pixar movies. Pixar is just the setting in which the advice is explained, and the amount of details and insights into the workings of animators is limited.

The last section offers a summary of the advice in the book, and is easily quotable:

Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. If you get the team right, chances are that they’ll get the ideas right.

If there are people in your organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere.

Do not fall for the illusion that by preventing errors, you won’t have errors to fix. The truth is, the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.

Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often. It’ll be pretty when we get there, but it won’t be pretty along the way. And that’s as it should be.

Be wary of making too many rules. Rules can simplify life for managers, but they can be demeaning to the 95% who behave well. Don’t create rules to rein in the other 5%– address abuses of common sense individually. This is more work but ultimately healthier.

Don’t confuse the process with the goal. Working on our processes to make them better, easier, and more efficient is an indispensable activity and something ewe should continually work on– but it is not the goal. Making the product great is the goal.

Amazon Link: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

NFL Picks- Week 11 of 2015

Jets at Texans line is not out yet.

Overall Against the Spread: 65-59
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 5-11
Week 4: 10-5
Week 5: 5-6 (2 pushes, 1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 6: 8-6
Week 7: 6-7 (1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 8: 6-6 (2 pushes)
Week 9: 6-7
Week 10: 10-4

This Week’s Predictions (line in parentheses):
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5): Predicting 20.9-24.3. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons (-7.0): Predicting 20.5-26.3. Bet on the Indianapolis Colts.
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-8.5): Predicting 19.9-26.8. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears (even): Predicting 22.3-22.0. Bet on the Denver Broncos.
Oakland Raiders at Detroit Lions (+1.0): Predicting 25.8-25.0. Bet on the Detroit Lions.
New York Jets at Houston Texans (even): Predicting 21.7-21.8. Bet on the Houston Texans.
Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins (even): Predicting 19.4-23.8. Bet on the Miami Dolphins.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (even): Predicting 19.2-22.9. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5): Predicting 18.6-26.5. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
St. Louis Rams at Baltimore Ravens (-1.0): Predicting 20.8-23.4. Bet on the Baltimore Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals (-3.0): Predicting 21.9-26.4. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-13.5): Predicting 15.4-25.0. Bet on the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (+3.0): Predicting 25.9-23.7. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-7.5): Predicting 20.6-29.8. Bet on the New England Patriots.

Book Review- Hypnotizing Maria

Hypnotizing Maria
by Richard Bach, 2009

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“Every man’s perception is his own reality” is something Bryan Wallace, high school friend, used to say. This book takes that to the extreme, telling a story that suggests that our own perceptions are the sum of the auto-hypnosis that we have performed upon ourselves. The book equates hypnosis to suggestions accepted. While it is a little “out there”, it is a good reminder to put yourself in the most positive state of mind possible.

A quick story about the library: I reserved this book at the library and Maria went to pick up my holds. She grabbed two, and What Every Body Is Saying was on top. She flipped through that as she walked to the checkout, thinking “that’s interesting”. A few feet from the checkout, she finally checked the second book in the pile. She stopped cold when Hypnotizing Maria was the title. I think she half-expected me to be watching her and laughing, somewhere in the library. Yes, I did pick the book half for the chance to say that I can now hypnotize Maria (spoiler alert though: I could do it before, as well).

Amazon Link: Hypnotizing Maria

NFL Picks- Week 10 of 2015

Updated 11/12/15, 11am.

Overall Against the Spread: 55-55
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 5-11
Week 4: 10-5
Week 5: 5-6 (2 pushes, 1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 6: 8-6
Week 7: 6-7 (1 not bet due to correct line)
Week 8: 6-6 (2 pushes)
Week 9: 6-7

This Week’s Predictions (line in parentheses):
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-2.5): Predicting 21.4-25.6. Bet on the New York Jets.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-13.0): Predicting 19.1-29.9. Bet on the Detroit Lions.
Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans (+5.5): Predicting 24.1-21.2. Bet on the Tennessee Titans.
Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.0): Predicting 19.2-26.3. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5): Predicting 18.2-26.5. Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (-7.5): Predicting 17.9-25.0. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5): Predicting 22.2-28.1. Bet on the Baltimore Ravens.
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.0): Predicting 22.9-24.6. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New Orleans Saints at Washington Redskins (even): Predicting 23.9-26.7. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Minnesota Vikings at Oakland Raiders (-3.0): Predicting 21.8-24.5. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-5.5): Predicting 19.5-24.7. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.
New England Patriots at New York Giants (+8.5): Predicting 28.4-24.4. Bet on the New York Giants.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-3.0): Predicting 23.1-22.1. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-12.0): Predicting 17.7-28.6. Bet on the Houston Texans.

INFORMS Annual Conference 2015 Recap

cropped-INFORMS_banner_logo_annual_meeting31

I thought the conference went relatively well. I was very busy, with an energy talk on Sunday, sports poster on Monday, healthcare talk on Tuesday, and call center talk on Wednesday. All the talks went well and were pretty well attended (20-30 at each).

Maria was able to attend the conference as well, and she attended a mix of information systems talks and sports talks. We explored Philly on Saturday (Halloween), seeing the art museum (Rocky steps), Love sculpture, and Ben Franklin statue/museum during the day and doing a ghost tour at night (saw Independence Hall). Philly has a lot of history, but seems like not a great city nowadays. We had a few cheesesteaks, but couldn’t make it out to the famous cheesesteak venues.

One promising development from the conference was the SpORts business meeting. It’s good to see the section getting back on its feet, with plans for the future.