Winter Mug

I have now finished my third semester at SNU, which marks my last semester of coursework. In my final semester, I will focus on my thesis research into college admissions markets and continue to help with our lab’s ongoing project on game-theoretic models of urban transit congestion.

I took two courses this semester. The first was graduate microeconomics, with a special focus on engineering applications of economic concepts such as tax design and price discrimination. The latter synergizes nicely with a course I took last winter on revenue management, aka how airlines get away with charging each customer a different price for equivalent seats. We used Hal Varian’s Microeconomic Analysis, a textbook that strikes a nice balance between verbal explanation, mathematical exposition, and numerical examples.

The second course was combinatorial optimization, taught my by advisor, equal parts challenge and reward. The final unit of this class concerned randomized linear programming algorithms for solving hard problems such as the minimum-cost set cover. I had encountered such algorithms in seminar presentations before and assumed that they were simply an effective heuristic for typical problem instances. However, in many cases, we can formally prove (probabilistic) performance guarantees for randomized-rounding algorithms, which marks them as an reliable tool in industrial applications and a promising area of future theoretical research.

I was also involved this semester in the design of an interactive display for self-driving vehicles, a project associated with our department’s Human Interface Systems lab. I created a variety of musical sounds for an experimental interface.

I’ve updated the sidebar with a photo of my winter mug.