Submitted by Henry
on November 11, 2009 - 8:30am
Anyone who has read my blog long knows that I am not big on counting things. Some of it is that I have math anxiety -- a serious vulnerability for someone who spent the first 20 years of his career at MIT! Some of it is that I think people often act as if counting things is the same thing as analyzing things or that the only things that count are things that came be counted. I often wage a one-man struggle against the push to quantify the universe -- perhaps as if (arbitrary science fiction reference warning) the world would end if we could just capture all of the billions of names of God. That said, I am finding myself mellow more than a little now that I am at USC, am watching my former graduate students struggle to grasp quantitative methods, and getting to know some of my office mates and colleagues who count things for a living.