Book Review: A Beautiful Math

A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of NatureA Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature by Tom Siegfried

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An amazing book which beautifully blends numerous diverse areas into a unified narrative of game theory.

It presents a complete timeline of game theory from its past, present and future! There is discussion on how many areas evolved and how a need for a science arose which could address systemic issues instead of specific problems. Next, there are details of how the foundations of game theory itself were build mainly by von Neumann, Morgenstern and John Nash. Initially it was thought to be applicable mainly in the area of Economics, however soon it was found that these principles could be applied to a variety of fields. Next, the author highlights how diverse areas like network science, cognitive science, physics, chemistry, maths, quantum theory and many more can be connected to game theory to solve much bigger challenges. This in turn has lead to further developments in game theory as well.

The book concludes with a vision towards the future where the author believes and argues that game theory will play the prime role in coming with a Code of Nature i.e. a science which can connect all the dots and integrate the diversities of all the scientific disciplines to come out with a unified theory.

In my opinion, this book is more intriguing and exciting read, if the reader at least has some basic background knowledge of some of the areas like game theory, network science, cognitive science etc. This book gives are birds-eye view of game theory, dives deep into some of it key aspects and amazingly connects it to so many other areas! It is a must read for someone interested or working in the area of game theory!

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Cisco Girls in Technology Experience

What will you say when you get a chance to visit an awesome campus of a top company, see the work they are doing, learn many new things, get to interact with numerous like minded people and have a lot of fun ? In my opinion it is a perfect example of a day well spent. And this is what i experienced at the Cisco Girls in Technology Event held on March 16th, 2013 at the Cisco campus in Bangalore.

The preparation for this event had started long back. We were to compete with various teams and present a topic assigned to us. Overall it was a great learning experience to give a presentation online on the Web-ex tool. We also got the chance to interact with teams from other colleges. Our mentors from Cisco guided us and gave us feedback. The winners got to present on the D-day.

A group of 14 girls from our college got the opportunity to participate in this event. We reached the campus by 8 AM. We were all awe-struck with the beautiful and huge campus. It was green and well maintained. I am sure everyone must have thought of it at a perfect workplace ūüôā Well we were done with the registrations and had a tasty breakfast.

The event started with a welcome note where around 100 girls from various colleges participated. We were introduced to the main motive of this event which was to have more women at higher positions in the organization. Statistics say that a large number of women quit as it is difficult to balance the personal and professional life. Cisco is trying to come up with strategies that will help in reducing this trend. And Cisco GIT is one such step. We were motivated to be passionate about technology, so that no problem can be big enough for us.

Next session was on Cisco Technology Trends where we could see the current market trends and Cisco’s involvement in it. The best part was “Tele-presence”. Using this technology, people at far off places can interact with each other as if they are having a round table conference. We interacted with the girls from Chennai. We came to know about “Internet of Everything” which¬†brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable.

Next was the lab-tour. Here we could ourselves see the amazing work done by Cisco in diverse areas.

The first was Health-Presence. Using this technology the doctor can treat the patient from far off places. It can send heartbeat, blood-pressure, pulse etc to the doctor. The doctor can then diagnose and sent the prescription back to the patient. This system has been actually used during the floods in Raichur.

Next demo was on Cloud Computing. We got to see their servers and other resources. We also had a demo on how a user can easily demand for the required resources on a cloud and access it within seconds. We were also demonstrated how the admin manages the cloud.

Last demo was on the Security and Maintenance at Cisco.  We saw the complete system which manages their security. We were told about the smart-doors. We could see the live streaming of various Cisco offices. Cisco is also doing great work for protecting the environment by conserving the resources. The complete lighting system is automated. They have won a platinum award for this.

After these demos we were all very hungry. Tasty food was ready for us. We had a sumptuous lunch while interacting with the Cisco team.

Next it was time for presentations. All the teams gave the presentation on various topics and were thoroughly questioned by the judges. In the end top three winners were declared. Then there was certificate and goodies distribution. The event ended with a vote of thanks.

Overall it was a great day packed with lot of practical learning and fun. Interacting with industry gives a new perspective to us. We are able to judge the gap between the academics and industry and then we can decrease this gap. Thanks a lot to Cisco for the awesome day!