Saturday, April 14, 2007

Deterministic vs. Stochastic

I always have interesting conversations with my wife on one issue.  She is a mechanical engineer who does Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis on cars at GM.  I, as some know, am a PhD in Marketing.  A clash of worlds was always in the making.

Although both of us live in highly analytical worlds, we are separated by huge chasms in our approach.  Her life is deterministic and her mathematical models are equations which represent how the real world "will work".  The real wold in her case consists of cars and their components.  My world, in contrary is stochastic or probabilistic.  It comprises of firms, teams, and individuals and my models represent how the world "might work".

My world can only be imperfectly represented, while her world can be perfectly represented (well at least practically - if you sedate Einstein and hype up Newton). 

I envy her.

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