December 4, 2015
Ah, the Bay Area: home to some of the top tech talent in the country. Where does all that talent come from? Well, it comes from the local colleges and universities, of course, like Stanford University.
You see, Stanford offers a lot of great courses for their students to get involved in tech fields like coding and programming, and one class in particular has spawned an interesting development. Specifically, their Interactive Management Science course was built to teach students about analytical techniques like linear and integer programming, Monte Carlo simulation, forecasting, decision analysis, and Markov chains in the environment of the spreadsheet. It also touches on probability management.
On the more technical side of things, the materials include spreadsheet add-ins for implementing these and other techniques. The overall emphasis is on building intuition through interactive modeling, and extending the applicability of this type of analysis through integration with existing business data structures.
So, what did students Spencer Savitz, Vienna Harvey, and Niko Alino do for their final project in this class? They built an algorithm that analyzes short term memory loss.
Or, I should rather say, it tells students how much alcohol you can drink without blacking out. After all, college kids drink a lot of booze – why not help them do it responsibly? Check out the video that runs through their algorithm:
Image Credit: Flickr / cropped, resized
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