Portrait of a Photographer – Humans of Rice University

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Until he graduated this year, Soorya Avali and his camera were everywhere on Rice University’s campus. The engineering student turned photographer shot every awesome happening, from birthday parties to the time-honored Beer Bike traditions. Everyone knew him, if not by name, then as “that Indian guy with the camera.” His was lens through which we viewed the school.

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In Defense of Chandler Parsons

"Hey Chandler, want to play with me next season?"

“Hey Chandler, want to play with me next season?”

There seems to be a lot of revisionist history going on in the wake of Chandler Parsons’ departure north to Dallas. Many are saying that Parsons is actually overrated and that Trevor Ariza will be a better fit anyway. This is all summarized neatly by one article on BleacherReport that I felt compelled to respond to. “One could argue that Ariza is actually an upgrade at small forward.” The author is right, there are numbers that favor Ariza. But statistics without context do not do much good, so I decided to examine the evidence a little closer. What can I say? Chandler Parsons is one of my favorite players. Have to make an attempt to defend him.

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The Flaw in the Models, or How’d Brazil get beat down that badly?

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Let’s get this out of the way. Based on Nate Silver’s models, Brazil had a 1 in 4000 chance of losing by six goals. By that same model, Brazil had a 65% chance of victory, even without Neymar and Thiago Silva [1]. And there is no statistical model I would trust more than something Nate Silver created (John Hollinger being a not-too-close second).

Even if you take the reasoning that statistical models don’t really care about the difference at the extremes, that 1-in-4000 is not that distinguishable from 1-in-400, this beatdown was still an all time outlier, as in this was one of the most unexpected scorelines in history.

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Business is still a positive force for change- An op ed on the Purpose of Business

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“Financing dreams, creating solutions.”

That was the motto of my firm during my foray into the mortgage-banking world. Our aim was not to simply sell a 30-year loan at a steadily rising interest rate, but rather to connect our clients to the means towards achieving the American Dream of owning their own house.

I entered the industry as a naïve teenager who thought doing business was only about selling products and making profits. How wrong I was.

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