Thursday, August 27, 2009

Solving maths problems using Wolfram Alpha

Recently, I won a maths challenge (ok, I am kidding... but anyways), and the secret sauce behind my quick problem solving ability was - Wolfram Alpha.

Lets look at how it solves some complex high school maths problems -
1. Find LCM (least common multiple of 5, 21, 87) = LCM(5,21,87) = answer

2. Remember quadratic equations ? Lets give it a try, solve 3x^2 + 6x -15 = 35
3. Moving on - solving linear equations? Lets try to find values of x, y and z from following :
7x + 8y - 3z = 80, 2x - 3y + 4z = 35, 6x + 2y + 3z = 50 - here is the answer
4. Finally, (I was lost by this point) - remember chain rule for solving differential equations ? Lets try differentiating (4x + x ^ -5) ^ 1/3 and the answer (Tip: All steps included)

Btw, here is complete list of examples. Wish I had this cool tool when I was in school - and the case for not having one, and a smart get away.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Last week two of my friends launched their own businesses - this blog is a tribute to their promising ventures -

My Carnegie Mellon friend Ankush Gupta - recently launched his venture Vigyaapan technologies - a targeted advertising product focused on leveraging social networks. Unlike most ventures of ad-targetting on social networks, Vigyaapan is building product based on social connections (network) formed over a "phone" network.. His venture was also featured under "top 10 hottest start ups" in India.

My high school friend Vipul Shah has also launched a very promising business - Trias Advisory - Firm aimed at providing financial advisory solutions. Vipul and his partners hold an MBA from reputed institutes and vital experience in wealth and financial management.

So, if you want to market your product, contact Ankush, or if you are rich and need a new and promising money manager contact Vipul. My best wishes to both these ventures...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Miles Miles Miles

If you are a "semi frequent" flyer - or a frequent flyer but not really loyal to an airline - there is a good chance that you will end up with "miles" way away from 20000 or 25000 miles required to get your free round trip.. This is your dead beast - essentially of no use but the savings number. Recently I figured out a way to use this dead beast rather meaningfully -

It turns out we can subscribe to many news papers and magazines at relatively cheap miles! Here is a quick summary of what you can get for round trip miles that you have earned on your last NY-SFO flight...
Fortune Magazine for 12 Months (1200 Miles)
Forbes Magazine for 12 Months (1400 Miles)
Wall Street Journal (Daily) for next 8 Months (2600 Miles)
Barrons for 12 Months - (1200 Miles)
Your Local news paper for 2 Months (600 Miles)
Econmist (51) - 3100 Miles

I guess thats an impressive list - if you are one like me - who loves reading all these business articles - and specially in a print format this is a free treat with your dead miles - Enjoy!

(Btw, now you know secret behind my daily wall street - Also eventually no one is going to pay any money for this - you can read this case here)