A large chunk of applied mathematics has focused on optimizing something with respect to all relevant data. However, in practice, especially in the online world, the data is not available to us, and, yet, we're still expected to make nearly optimal decisions. This problem is exemplified by the famous secretary problem, where a manager needs to decide to hire candidates right after interviews, even though he has not yet met all the candidates. In this article, we review this classic as well as many very recent developments.
How to best sell a good? Should we auction it like in movies? Since the 1960s, economists have addressed this question mathematically and found surprising results. Most notably, in 1981, Nobel prize winner Roger Myerson proved that most auctions you could think of would win you just as much as any basic auction, but that, as well, you could do better using his approach. Since, today, billions of dollars are at play in online auctions, you can imagine how hot a topic it has now become!
Column generation and the Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition are powerful tricks which have revolutionized optimization addressed to industrial problems, and generated millions and millions of dollars. My PhD supervisor effectively took great advantage of these tricks and founded companies with it. This article explains the tricks.
Designing routes to visit customers has become one of applied mathematicians' favorite optimization problems, as companies offer millions to solve them! This article discusses the clever technics they have come up with, and use them to help Santa deliver toys to kids all over the world!
Back then, I simulated the outcome of the 2006 World Cup, based on a modelling of football games. This article explains this model and presents its results.
How to better understand Poker and card games in general? Bayesian games provide the right mathematical model just for that! These correspond to games with incomplete information and include probabilistic reasonings.
As more and more complex problems are dealt with in our societies, developing models such as multi-criteria analysis is crucial to better understand these problems. MACBETH is a state-of-the-art method to do just that. Its functioning is described in this article.