Thursday, May 06, 2010

Absence of Malice

I never know what to make of bloggers who apologize for not being around as much as they oughta should, as if they had no real lives, but explanations are usually at least interesting, if not necessarily helpful. Basically I've been caught between ramped-up activity at work (if you want job security without the sanity, try social services in a crap economy) and an ops management class that quickly morphed into the calculus end of a supply-chain management course. And the last time I took a calculus class was, I shit you not, 1986.

But there's been simply too much fun stuff to cover the last couple days, so sit tight -- tonight is going to be busy. Must be sunspot activity or something.


daver said...

If you get in trouble with a calculus problem, post it and I'll help you out (I can put an lin. prog. problem into Excel too).

Keep them blog entries coming. :-)

Heywood J. said...

Thanks, Dave, I may take you up on that, though the class ends on 5/15, so I'm almost through it now.

Right now we're using functions and inverse functions to create pricing and revenue management models. For example, you have a demand curve with several price-point segments on it, and they give you the mean demand and standard deviation, and plug those into the functions to optimize either price or production.

On the one hand, Excel has radically simplified calculus functions and linear programming models; on the other hand, you misplace one parenthesis anywhere in one of these extended formulas (and the expected-profits formula for an optimized cycle service level model features four different normal distribution functions), and you're hosed.