A fascinating article on the rise and rise of Math.
A generation ago, quants turned finance upside down. Now they’re mapping out ad campaigns and building new businesses from mountains of personal data. How do you convert written words into math?
…Goldman says it takes a combination of algebra and geometry. Imagine an object floating in space that has an edge for every known scrap of information. It’s called a polytope and it has near-infinite dimensions, almost impossible to conjure up in our earthbound minds. It contains every topic written about in the press. And every article that Inform processes becomes a single line within it. Each line has a series of relationships. A single article on Bordeaux wine, for example, turns up in the polytope near France, agriculture, wine, even alcoholism. In each case, Inform’s algorithm calculates the relevance of one article to the next by measuring the angle between the two lines.
Ok, I didn’t understand a bloody word of that. I have had a little bit of second hand experience with the impact of Math on Finance. At first, it excited me tremendously, and then, it depressed the hell out of me. So much so, I swore off it for ever. Now, I don’t even know what I think of it. If you read enough of both sides of a story, you rarely can come to any sort of conclusion.
Anyway, interesting reading. Make of it, whatever you wish to.