Note: If it's convenient, and you have a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, bring it. We'll want to be able to all look up data efficiently, and I want some folks to run races against calculators. :)
I have a whole slew of stuff I'd like to talk about, and possibly even some things to test.
Short topics we'll cover:
- Fermi problems: How to get rough numbers for things you're interested in, without actually knowing much hard data.
- Fast mental math: How to compute Fermi estimates in your head, quickly.
- Value of information: How to estimate when doing more work to find more information is likely to be useful.
Some tests/experiments/kind-of-games I'd like to try:
- Is fast mental math actually useful if you have a glowing rectangle handy? I suspect it is, and will happily race some calculators to see if it is so.
- In what situations do Fermi estimates even make sense? Do we have questions that are actually better answered with roughly-guessed numbers, rather than data from the nearest source of internet?