A fascinating article on the rise and rise of Math.

Math will rock your world

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.


Posted on January 15, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Extemeley interesting article!!
    It throus up interesting possibilties ..If we are able to transform Information into a mathematical equation, maybe we can speed up the amount of data assimilation , data absorption we currently process.meaning we can learn quickly?
    Followed you from fus’ journal. Hope you didnt mind the trespass, and hope what i said made some sense.

    • Trespassers will not be prosecuted. And a trespasser from fus’ journal? Nopes, indeed 🙂

      If we could absorb data faster, that would be pretty nifty, given how overloaded we are these days. I doubt it much though. A machine can certainly draw better insights from information through patterns and stuff, but at an individual level, I doubt much will change. We will just be manipulated even better than we are being manipulated now 🙂

      • “trespassers will nt be prosecuted. And a trespasser from fus’ journal? Nopes, indeed :-)” – thanks:-)

        “We will just be manipulated even better than we are being manipulated now :-)”” … abt the being manipulated now..i more than agree:-)

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