5 June 2012

The End of OR at UC

Blogs are by their nature, personal. Today’s blog is even more personal as I tell of my life with Operations Research and the demise of OR at UC. I love Operations Research. It was love at first sight, and though I now teach statistics, it is with an attitude strongly shaped by Operations Research. At school I loved maths. And I was good at it. I captained a team that won the city “Cantamath” competition two years running in the early 1970s. In high school I had a great maths teacher who let me be an assistant to the others […]
15 March 2012

Seductive Causation

Causation is a seductive notion. We want to make meaning out of our world. I love playing “the beeping nose” with little children. I press their nose and it beeps. I press my nose and it whirrs. It fascinates them. They have discovered cause and effect. They can make cool sounds by pressing noses. You can keep them amused for quite some time. Cause and effect implies control. If we know what causes things we are better able to control them. Scientific endeavor is largely a search for causes. History is littered with examples of misplaced cause and effect theories. […]