Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Teenager’s View on Social Media — Backchannel — Medium

A Teenager’s View — very nice review about the various Social Media Platforms. Quite comprehensive coverage.

A Teenager’s View on Social Media — Backchannel — Medium

Saturday, June 22, 2013

George B. Rathmann: A Tribute - @UWBothell Connection

I am sure that you have by now read about the passing of George B. Rathmann. He will be credited by the world’s press for his bio-tech success. In our region he will be known as the person behind ICOS.
What is less well known is the pivotal role that he played in the short history of the UWB School of Business. As some of you have heard me say over the years, it was thanks in part to his support that we have a graduate program. He was instrumental in having us design the original program – the MMGT (more on that later). He wanted his bench chemists to have a place that they could go to get management education. His support was critical at a time when there a feeling that UW Seattle might never agree to us getting into graduate education. His employees were some of our first students. In the early years, our undergraduates used to trade his stocks hoping to get rich quick!
We owe him a debt of gratitude. Here is a link to the story.
George B. Rathmann dies at 84; co-founder of biotech giant Amgen
chief executive of a small Seattle biotech firm, Icos Corp.
Postscript: Dr. Ken Walters the first Dean of the UW Bothell School of Business writes this to say:
George Rathmann was a visionary business leader who also was an unusually enthusiastic supporter of higher education and especially research universities.  His energies on our behalf were open and enthusiastic, including lobbying and advocating for greater recognition of the link between Seattle's high-tech "knowledge-based" economy and a world-class research university.
George and his wife were guests in our home in Bellevue, where his keen mind was always strategizing on how the public and our public officials could develop a deeper appreciation of the role of research and education for our nation's future.  He saw entrepreneurial business and first-rate science and technology as natural allies and mutually dependent on each other.
Rathmann never turned down an opportunity to lecture to students.  Even when he did not have time, he made time.  Whenever I would call, his secretary would tell me how busy he was, but that he would get back to me soon -- which he always did.  And his lectures were substantive, cutting-edge, full of theory and examples, and even humorous. 
He was an amazing resource for the nascent high-tech economy in our region, a gifted scientist equally at home in new product development in a large corporate culture and in the entrepreneurial environment.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Boss Nerds: Prom and Robotics!

How to get asked to the prom!

A great video lesson for all young men on how to ask super star girls.

It should be at a Robotics Competition at Worlds when you are getting one of the major awards…and in front of the entire auditorium and is being livecast!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

US Presidential Scholars Program

Two Candidates for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program from Redmond High School.

Two students from Redmond High School were announced by the U.S. Department of Education as having made the cut for the 2012 list of candidates. The students from RHS are:

Maya N. Balakrishnan


Preetum Nakkiran.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

Vex Robotics Tournament

Redmond High School hosted their Annual Vex Robotics tournament on February 25, 2012.  It was a resounding success.  This year teams from Canada to Oregon to California participated. Within the state teams from Bellingham to Bellevue made the trek to the must-enter tournament.  In past years, there would be typically 28 to 34 teams.  This year was one for the record books.  A total of 58 teams took part in one of the most competitive robotics tournaments in the country. There were ten teams from Redmond Junior High and Redmond High School alone.  Eight of the Exothermic Club’s teams made the knock-out stages. Two of our teams won awards for Build and Excellence as well. 

The volunteers, participants, mentors, judges, faculty, and staff were responsible for making this a great success. A special thanks to Mr. Rick Tyler the Club Advisor and Mrs. Melinda Tyler, unofficial team tournament project manager for their countless hours of effort. The club has its early origins in the sponsorship of Mr. Pete Saxby, the much beloved Physics teacher. Redmond High School is the home of the Exothermic Robotics club – perhaps the largest club after football! This year’s president of the club, Tara Balakrishnan, is a Redmond High Senior. She is the first female to be the head of the club. Over the last three years the club has seen a phenomenal increase in membership, particularly from young women.

A special thanks to principal Ms. Jane Todd for keeping the club alive by her efforts behind the scenes. The kids put in untold hours over the last many months and have inspired others with their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and math. In addition, the club enhances the kids ability to work together, develop leadership and communication skills, and the spirit of fair play. Despite the rain and cold a large audience showed up to cheer on the competitors and they witnessed some truly exciting matches.  It is wonderful to have such a resource for STEM education in our neighborhood.

Photographs Courtesy of Mr. Jason Brett of BCIT:

2012 U.S. Physics Team Four Semi-finalists from Redmond High School

2012 U.S. Physics Team - Semi-finalists have been selected!

Four students from Redmond High school have made the list of Semi-finalists for the US National Physics team.  This is an astonishing and unprecedented achievement.  A huge credit to the ever popular and outstanding RHS physics teacher Mr. Pete Saxby. The students are:

Tara G Balakrishnan,

Vladimir Korukov

Nolan A Miller,

Preetum Nakkiran,

Each year, AAPT and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) sponsor a competition for high school students to represent the United States at the 2012 International Physics Olympiad Competition. The mission of the U.S. Physics Team Program is to promote and demonstrate academic excellence through preparation for and participation in the International Physics Olympiad. View a list of all Semi-finalists here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Investor Behavior & Financial Markets: Biology & Anthropology Perspective

Articles (from that are connected by a common thread of studying Investor Behavior and Financial Markets that argue loosely for an interdisciplinary perspective of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology.
  1. Scathing attack by Commentator John Kay on the economic models of recent Nobel laureate Thomas Sargent. Kay argues strongly for an Anthropological Perspective – invokes the spirit of Ronald Coase. Eminent Economist Ronald Coase will be 101 shortly.  Useful for those interested in Financial Markets and Investor Behavior. John Kay's blistering attacks on Tom Sargent continue.  
  2. Horses for courses: picking market models - The anthropologist Edward Evans-Pritchard described the fallacy of "if I were a horse". Since we have not been, and never will be, horses, our speculations are unlikely to connect with reality. We should not use categories... (See more articles »)
  3. Interesting review of the reasons for the behavior of Rogue Traders. Parallels from evolutionary biology. Review looks at the work by Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman on Behavioral Decision Theory What makes a rogue trader? - | FT

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Classical Dance - Ehasas 2011 Review

The citizens of the Pacific Northwest in general and the greater Seattle Community in particular are fortunate to have Dr. Joyce Paul Poursabahian in our midst. Dr. Joyce Paul is the Director of Arpan arts one of the premier Bharatanatyam dance schools in the Pacific Northwest.  Fondly called “Joyce akka” (meaning elder sister in classical Tamil) to her legions of enthusiastic dance students she is the paragon of patience and charm balanced with rigor and outstanding artistry.

Recently I had the privilege of attending a program that her dance school put on at the Meany Ethnic Theatre on the campus of the University of Washington. The evening’s performance was also an occasion for a fund raiser for young destitute women around the world. The spirit of charity was invoked even before the spotlights were turned on by her talented and versatile students. The program was called Ehasas 2011 and many of her most highly trained students put on a show that thrilled and captivated the audience. Dr. Joyce Paul’s Bharatanatyam dancers are not only well trained in the classical form of the dance, they are also inculcated with a deep love for the ancient form. They seem to view it as a privilege to be able to be a generational link in long chain of human history that has preserved the elegance, grace, athleticism, mysticism and intricacy of such a magnificent corpus for mankind to cherish.

The program consisted of several very traditional and classical Bharatanatyam pieces and some less traditional pieces. The amazement to this scribe is the joy and ease with each dancer approached what must surely have been a nerve wracking event. The sure footedness of the students combined with the artistry and outstanding choreography made it an exhilarating event for the audience.

Dr. Joyce Paul has an extraordinary ability to relate to her students whether they are the very young or the more senior. Even before the show Joyce akka took the time, when most art directors are at their most frenetic, to sit down on stage with the tiny tots and get them to realize this was a fun occasion. This is truly a Joyce Paul Poursabahian trademark. It is apparently not restricted only to the little ones. Joyce is able to harness the talent of her entire team of dancers. This co-creation results in a choreography that the dancers seem to grasp and enjoy, perhaps significantly more than if handed a piece to perform. It is not wonder that her students’ passion for the dance items comes through like a clarion call.

The pieces in the middle performed by the young children were enchanting and charming as the young dancers expressed their love of dance through their movements and with a sense of true joy.

The centerpiece of the program was a half-hour long varnam, “Naadhanai Azhaithu Vaa”, which was beautifully choreographed and then arranged for a group. The rich Abhinaya enhanced the tightly executed Nritta. This was high art form that truly enriched and nourished the Seattle cultural scene.

The final piece of the night was a dance item titled Guru Ashtakam. It was the piece-de-resistance for even the uninitiated amongst the audience who were viewing a Bharatanatyam performance for the first time. It was the world premiere. This performance by teacher and students was a truly spectacular piece of choreography with a lone dancer in the spotlight up front while the dancers in the shadows behind her echoed the graceful and powerful movements of the chant. All of the mundane aspects of a weary world were sublimated as the audience and dancers seemed to be of one rhythm. The space between all disappeared. The very sacredness of knowledge and the excitement of learning were brought forth in a most exquisite way by the talented dancers. Joyce certainly has a way of getting out the best from her dancers. What a pity the night had to end. But what a culminating experience! Thank you, Arpan.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Blogs and Tweets: Influentials

In response to a query from a senior colleague who is coming abck to teach for us.

                Dear K: I don't follow many blogs.  A couple for you: Clay Shirky of NYU is considered a thought leader.

                A real big name is of course Danah Boyd of Microsoft (based out of MSR in New England).

                Jennifer Aaker at Stanford (possibly daughter of Dave Aaker of UC Berkeley) has a blog.  Some interesting research. See:

                Many of the newer style blog postings are unfortunately fairly frenetic.  It is hard to read for an "old school" reader who likes depth.  Some of these new media people are best read for their tweets on Twitter. GigaOm is one that I follow on that format. Example:

-----Original Message from a highly respected colleague-----

“Sundar, sometime I'd like to chat with you about what you see happening in the social media industry.  Of course I know all about Facebook and Google, but what about all the peripheral companies that are starting and growing around this phenomenon?  Is there someone who is "mapping" this and following what the opportunities are, and how it is evolving?   Who are the 2 or 3 top business school scholars studying this?  Do they have web pages, summarizing their research activities?

Have a great weekend with the family, as we are doing.  I am teaching the "intensive" 300 in Bellevue starting Wednesday.  If you have time for a quick chat on Tuesday, let me know.  I need your wisdom.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yakima vacation: hotel review

Had a pleasant late summertime vacation. Went to soak in some sun.  Stayed at the Howard Johnson’s in Yakima.  It is right next to the highway, a Wal-Mart and a Target. Quite useful for us as I “surprised” the family by reserving for two-nights while they thought to pack for just one! No one listens to me here. The time here was spent by the kids in the pool – nice one. Super crowded on one day and almost empty the next. The morning of the checkout the pool (10 to 10) was not open as it was undergoing a major cleaning – a disappointment for the younger kid. The service staff are very friendly and helpful.  Provided goo suggestions for restaurants.

Check-in was a major problem.  Was it Expedia’s fault more than the hotel? Reserved two rooms and wanted adjoining rooms with a connecting door.  Made this request multiple times.  First called the hotel to check if this was possible.  Then called and made the reservation over Expedia – who sent the hotel a fax with the request. Called the hotel to reconfirm this that same night and the day of the check-in as we drove there. Was reassured that all would be taken care of.  Once we got there all such information seemed to have disappeared from the collective conscious! After a fairly long time was told we could have such rooms in the next building further away from the pool. Declined.  Given adjoining rooms with no connecting doors. Worked out fine this time expect for having to go from room to room each time was a bit of a hassle that we did not want. The breakfast included scrambled eggs and hash browns (despite being labeled continental) was a bonus. A little dumpy the room, but the staff allowed people to come in a bit later than the advertised closing time (unlike other places we have stayed in).

The rates were unbelievably good that made it possible to get two rooms rather than pack 5 of us into one room with a rollaway bed. These rates were only available on the web and was significantly higher when I called the hotel directly – the staff directed me to book on the web!  Two queen size beds in each room.  The mattress coils are perhaps past their prime.  The fridge did not work in one of the rooms.  The AC is the loudest thing to go on and off.  The kids mildly suggested the first night that they did not sleep well.

The area nearby with the trips to the WA state Wineries was fabulous.  The drive along Hwy12 was scenic.

Would certainly stay there again.