Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Econometrics


The dear reader has my word that the above is no kidding for real homework submitted by your humble blogger for his econometrics class. In case you can't read it, the text inside the bubble reads, "Then a miracle occurs." Not to make light of torture, water boarding, or the physical experience of drowning, anyone wishing to have the cerebral experience of drowning can join me in this insane class taken only by twisted, masochistic semi-psychopaths.

Granted, the mind mutilating material inflicts mental anguish below that of Statistical Mechanics, but the latter warns potential victims with 500 level prerequisites in both Mathematics and Physics. No one takes Statistical Mechanics, a field essentially started by four people. Three of them committed suicide. The curious can safely peruse this summary from Stanford University.

As the reader can see, my miracle cost five points. The Chinese woman sitting next to me did not need a miracle. She got 50/50, as did the very dark skinned genius from India that sits in the back.

I am never taking another mathematics class.

8 Comments:

Blogger Dustin said...

hehe, so many times I've wanted to write something like that, but never had the audacity to try.

Statistical mechanics is a philosophy course?? I had other questions. I know most mathematic equations fulfill a specific role, much like a phillips head screwdriver. I know that the varied mathematic disciplines are also tools for describing specific relationships. For the life of me, I can't even begin to guess the purpose of econometrics.

10/31/2007 3:56 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I can do computational math, but don't enjoy it. The math classes I DO like tend to focus more on thought problems and proofs. Thus my fondness for algorithms, graph theory, etc.

10/31/2007 4:05 PM  
Blogger John Rose said...

Man, that looks like fun! You almost had it too... The only part I don't get is how Y-bar equals (sum X of t) * (sum Y of t) / (T-squared * X-bar)... What were you supposed to do?

10/31/2007 5:20 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Fun? Yeah, when it's not your fanny on the line.

Yes, I was close, and B2 was straightforward, but I could not see the move to get from the expression I had for B1 to the one I needed to complete the proof.

At least not in the time I had.

10/31/2007 6:18 PM  
Blogger Zelph said...

Have you read Nicholas Talib (The Black Swan or Fooled by Randomness)? If not, perhaps you should wait until after you finish Econometrics to read these. Econometrics is largely based on the GIF, as Talib calls the Gaussian distribution. GIF stands for Great Intellectual Fraud.

10/31/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

Matt - study political science!

10/31/2007 9:01 PM  
Blogger Zelph said...

I won't go so far as to say that Econometrics is worthless, but having attempted to apply it in the real world, I have found that there are a lot of random shocks ("Black Swans") that make it difficult to effectively model financial variables. IMHO, Econometrics is an attempt to make economics more of a science that it really is. Some have joked that an Econometrician is someone who can reach any conclusion you give him. Mandelbrot, Talib's mentor, discovered in the 60's that financial variables are often not normally distributed. His findings have been largely ignored by academic economists, since they tend to knock the foundation out from under them.

10/31/2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

I just want to survive it and move on. The statistics that I do FOR REAL do not involve any of the painful manipulations involved with the course material. I use software and need to know how to interpret the output.

For the homework due today, I spent an hour trying to resolve an issue with a covariance matrix. All of the calculations checked and it had symmetry, but it was wrong.

Then, while riding the bike to work, I realized I had forgotten to hit the whole thing with s-squared.

Geez. This is my last MATH class.

11/01/2007 12:24 PM  

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