Blog Archives

Looking like you know what you’re doing

I’ve been in The Netherlands this week for a conference where I gave a talk on erasure coding. Last night after the conference, my host drove me and another speaker to Schiphol Airport. I’m staying in Amsterdam, but it was

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Time and Productivity

Contractors were working on my house all last week. I needed to be home to let them in, to answer questions, etc., but the noise and interruptions meant that home wasn’t a good place for me to work. In addition,

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A year of consulting

I’ve been out on my own for about a year now, and it’s been a blast. If you’ve read this blog for a while you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve been working in math, software development, and especially

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Whether to delegate

You shouldn’t necessarily do things that you’re good at. In economics, this idea is known as comparative advantage. Delegating may free up your time to do something more profitable. It might be to a country’s advantage to import something that

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Micro-consulting and mentoring

Sometimes a quick answer to a question is priceless. It can even be valuable to know that you could get a quick answer to a question, even if you never ask. For example, if your company is considering doing something

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Hard-working lazy people

“It was a favorite theme of C. S. Lewis that only lazy people work hard. By lazily abdicating the essential work of deciding and directing, establishing values and setting goals, other people do it for us; then we find ourselves

Posted in Business, Creativity

How hospitals make decisions

From operations research professor Michael Carter on The Science of Better: If I went into a company, a private company, and said  “I can save you a million dollars day,” the CEO would implement it tomorrow. If I went into

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Consulting update

Here’s a quick update for those who might be interested in what I’m up to. These days I’m primarily working on two large projects, one that’s mathematical modeling and other that’s data exploration. I also have a couple smaller projects

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What have you been doing?

Several people have asked me what kind of work I’ve been doing since I went out on my own earlier this year. So far I’ve done a lot of fairly small projects, though I have one large project that’s just

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Singular Value Consulting, LLC

The name of my business is Singular Value Consulting, LLC. Math people may catch the allusion to singular value decomposition (SVD). I hope that non-math folks will interpret “singular value” to mean something like “singularly valuable.” One way to think

Posted in Business, Math

Looking for small projects

I’m looking for small consulting projects to fill the gaps between larger projects. I’m available for projects that would take up to a few days. I can’t take on another large project right now. However, if your company takes several

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Like Silicon Valley only better

I’m in Durham, North Carolina this morning, part of  Research Triangle. Last night I spoke at a Research Triangle Analysts meeting and this morning I’m giving at talk at RTI. Just like Austin and Salt Lake City, Research Triangle wants

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Abelian consulting and Lévy consulting

Eric Jonas once asked me on Twitter whether I was an Abelian consultant. The pun is an allusion to Abelian groups, groups in which the group operation commutes. No, I’m not an Abelian consultant. I don’t have a regular commute.

Posted in Business, Math

Interview with Sacha Chua

I spoke with with Sacha Chua last week. We talked about entrepreneurship, Emacs, having eclectic interests, delegation, and more. J: I ran into you by searching on Emacs topics. When I look at your blog, I see that you do

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Personality vs experience

Be careful about saying that something isn’t a fit for your personality. Maybe it’s just outside of your experience. Several times I’ve mistaken the latter for the former. There’s a story that when someone asked George Burns whether he could

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