Thursday Dec 25, 2008

The Gibbs

I was reading about the Amistad case on Wikipedia, and noticed the interesting role that Josiah Willard Gibbs Sr., the theologian, had played in finding a Mende speaker. (Gibbs learned how to say numerals one to ten in Mende, shouted it in the New York Harbor, and found someone who understood the numbers.) Gibbs name, of course, made me curious about this relationship to the other Josiah Willard Gibbs, the mathematician and physical chemist, whose theories we constantly apply in chemical thermodynamics. (Josiah Willard Gibbs, Jr. also happens to have been awarded the very first U.S. Ph.D. in engineering, under a dissertation entitledOn the Form of the Teeth of Wheels in Spur Gearing.)

It might be worth mentioning that Wikipedia runs on the MySQL database server, as has already been described in a number of case studies and presentations.

Saturday Dec 23, 2006

Multi-Lot Auction Design

Here is another academic presentation from my Haas years. It describes "Multi-Lot Auction Design: Applied to 3G Spectrum Auctions." I hope you can follow it. Like the previous paper I just posted, it needs some editing and work to bring it up to par. It is definitely worth a separate paper of its own if only time would allow.

Put together originally as a presentation for a game theory seminar, it distinguishes auctions involving multiple lots (items) of potentially complementary value from auctions involving identical lots (items). An example would be if you would participate in an auction involving pieces of adjacent properties of various sizes as opposed to auctions involving instances of the same object. Another example of the first kind, discussed in this paper, are spectrum auctions because these auctions are national and span multiple, but separate, municipalities and regions with value complementarities having to do with costs of maintaining a mobile network on a particular topography of auction licenses.

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