Saturday, May 08, 2004

Well, well. I had a little too much fun the last couple of days, and am now way behind schedule in my studies. The whole day today got spent working on a balance sheet and income statement of a fictitous company. I still can't figure out why certain items are debited and others credited. I now have a new-found respect for accountants the world over.

I was talking to one of the guys in my study group, and it turns out that we both studied in the same school, The Army Public School in New Delhi, at the same time. However, there were far too many sections to know everyone.

There is a whole lot of studying to do today and tomorrow. Microeconomics, Statistics, Marketing, Accounting etc. I did not know where to start from. So I went to the library and picked up a couple of Tintin comics. The librarian said that the rest of the Tintins had been checked out by my batchmates. So I am not the only one!

As promised, here's the answer to yesterday's puzzle. To give some background, this goat-car situation was used in game shows in the US in the past, where the contestant had to decide whether doors should be switched.

The answer is that it is advantageous to switch doors. In fact, the probability that the car is behind the other door is 3/4. Let's look at it this way. To start with, the chance is one in four of getting the door with the car, out of the four possible options. After the host reveals what's behind the other two doors, the situation changes. If you decide to switch, you will win in all eventualities except when your original choice of door 1 contained the car. This happens with probability 1 – P(Car behind 1) = 1-1/4 = ¾. Thus, it is to your advantage to switch your choice of door.

Confused? Well, don't lose heart, I got it wrong too!

And if you are wondering how my game of tennis went, it didn't happen. Work-life balance goes out the door when you come to a place called ISB.

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