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  • Stone Bridge at the Confucius Temple in Jianshui, China


  • Appropriate Technology and Focus on Improving Lives at MIT

    The D-Lab is building a global network of innovators to design and disseminate technologies that meaningfully improve the lives of people living in poverty. The program’s mission is pursued through interdisciplinary courses, technology development, and community initiatives, all of which emphasize experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, and scalability.

  • STEM Graduates in the USA: 465,000 Women and 451,000 Men

     STEM baccalaureate degrees in the USA in 2010 (reported by NSF in 2014):

    Field Women   Men
    Science (including math) 442,000   343,000
    Engineering 23,000   108,000
    Health 193,000   36,000
    Total 658,000   486,000

    If you exclude health, women still lead 465,000 to 451,000.

  • Debate Should be Encouraged – Calling Judgement “Extremely Paternalistic” is Normally Unwise

    I also think it is sensible to object to payday loans in the USA. You could make the same argument that such an attitude is paternalistic...

  • Strategy Based on Capability and Integrated with Execution

    “Strategy” without a thorough understanding of the organization as a system or an understanding of the capabilities of the organization is little more than dreams. Planning and strategy without the capability in the organization or a process to turn strategy into action are not much use.

  • Take Advantage of the Strengths Each Person Brings to Work

    Managers should be setting up the organization to take maximum advantage of the strengths of the people in the organization while minimizing the impact of weaknesses.

  • There is No Such Thing as “True Unemployment Rate”

    As Dr. Deming said: “there is no true value” of any measured process. The results depend on the process which includes the operation definitions used.

  • Why are We So Slow to Change?

    In management we often seek the new new thing. So while great ideas take a long time to become common practice we stop looking at them fairly quickly because we decide they are old outdated ideas. Not a very effective strategy :-(

  • If You Visit Kuching, Malaysia Eat at Tribal Stove

    Yes it has great food, which thankfully there is a a great deal of in many place. What makes Tribal Stove someplace not to miss is it is the rare combination of great and generally inaccessible food.

    I often find great restaurants in tourist destinations. And sometimes it is even local in a sense – but nearly always (not all, but almost) I can get very similar good dishes in any large city across the globe.

    Tribal Stove had truly distinctive dishes that were also great.

  • Peter Drucker Discussing The Work of Juran, Deming and Himself

    Drucker talked about the shared importance he, Deming and Juran put on the importance of valuing all employees and creating management systems that capture all the value they can offer. He spoke of all 3 of them tilted against those that believed in command and control business organizations. Sadly the lack of respect for all workers is still common today; but it is much better than is was due to the work of these 3 management experts.

  • Making Credit Cards More Secure and Useful

    Business should not be allowed to store credit card numbers that can be stolen and used. The credit card providers should generate a unique credit card number for the business to store that will only work for the purchaser at that business.

  • Engineering Graduates Earned a Return on Their Investment In Education of 21%

    Engineering graduates earned a return on their investment of 21%. The next highest were math and computers (18%); health (18%); and business (17%). Even the lowest returns are quite good: education (9%), leisure and hospitality (11%), agriculture (11%) and liberal arts (12%).

    These returns look at graduates without post-graduate degrees (in order to find the value of just the undergraduate degree).

  • Niamey Grand Market, Niger, Africa

    We lived in Nigeria (my Dad was a Chemical Engineering professor) and took a trip during winter vacation through Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. I am nearly certain the photo is in Niger and very likely Niamey but it is possible it is elsewhere.

    My mom and brother are in the photo, which is likely taken by my father (or maybe by me). In this part of the trip we were quite far off the beaten path. The only foreigners we noticed were a National Geographic film crew at the market.

  • Self Driving Cars Have Huge Potential for Benefit to Society (2014)

    The potentially to reduce the amount of death and serious injury we currently experience is a great goal. I have always found our objection to new ideas that it has a drawback and will ignoring the drawbacks of the current system to be poor reasoning. It is often related to an attachment to the familiar and reluctance to change.

    It also relates to our psychology where we often see mistakes of commission as more harmful than omission and then we equate doing the same thing we did before as the assumed behavior and somehow not something we chose (which of course is not accurate, it is an act of commission even if it is the same action as before but psychologically we mistake this relation).

    It also related to our legalistic thinking to blame individuals, even when that is not sensible as systems are more responsible for the results. This will be one of the challenges to a safer transportation system – the desire to assign blame in the same way we did before. The delay of safer solutions because lawyers don’t like the new system would be a shame, but is possible. While a delay is possible I don’t think they will be able to prevent a safer transportation solution from becoming a reality.

  • Hexawise Buys the Beers

    George Box was an amazing person, scientist and statistician. One of the traditions George started in Madison, Wisconsin was the Monday Night Beer Sessions.

    An excerpt of Mac Berthouex’s introduction to An Accidental Statistician: The Life and Memories of George E. P. Box:

    I met George Box in 1968 at the long-running hit show that he called “The Monday Night Beer Session,” an informal discussion group that met in the basement of his house. I was taking Bill Hunter’s course in nonlinear model building. Bill suggested that I should go and talk about some research we were doing.

    Hexawise has decided to bring this tradition to software testing...