Monday, December 15, 2008

Final Exams This Week

So this week I commence my final exams (Tuesday and Thursday respectively), and I feel alright...still need to do more studying, but better off now, having studied over the weekend, rather than putting it off last minute like some of my classmates.

Fortunately I have a lot of vacation time that needs to be burned, so I am taking these next three days off to study and better prepare myself. The exams are for Managerial Economics & Public Policy and Leadership & Managing Human Capital.

Overall I am looking forward to taking a break from the semester, and catching up on items that have been slightly neglected, but definitely looking forward to Spring semester, which should be a lot of fun!

Before I close out...I'd like to show below an interesting question on Game Theory (a topic learned this semester and see what answers you might come up with?

1. Golden Cones and Sara's Ice Cream are both trying to decide what kind of ma-
chines to purchase. The profits earned by the two firms in each possible outcome
are listed below with Golden's profits listed first in each cell. Golden is the "row
player" and Sara's is the "column player." G denotes purchase of a gelato machine,
while Y denotes purchase of a yogurt machine.

G 150, 0 150, 300
Y 400, 150 50, 50
Figure 1: Payoff matrix (payoffs are profits in US dollars ($ 1,000))

(a) True or False: G is a dominant strategy for Golden.

(b) True or False: Y is a dominant strategy for Sara.

(c) Suppose the two players make simultaneous purchases. The Nash equilibrium
points of the game are:
i. (G, G) only
ii. (G, Y) only
iii. (Y, G) only
iv. (Y, Y) only
v. (G, Y) and (Y, G)
vi. (G, G) and (Y, Y)

(d) Now suppose that Golden moves first. Golden's equilibrium payoffs will be:

(e) Suppose Golden continues to have the first move. But before their move, they
get a phone call from the management at Sara's who announce that they plan
on purchasing Yogurt machines no matter what.
True or False: Golden should now choose to install a Gelato machine.

(f) Suppose that before Golden moves, the owner of Sara's rearranges his physical
plant in a way that makes the installation of Gelato machines more costly. In
particular, let's assume that Sara's profits from installing Gelato machines fall
by $125,000 due to this maneuver.
True or False: Golden should now choose to install a Gelato machine.


Monday, December 1, 2008

China...Post Trip Reflection

Some of you may have heard through the grapevine that I was selected to represent the Smith School of Business-University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship Delegation to China (Whew...what a mouthful).

Below is a writeup I composed (for the center) regarding my thoughts on the experience...
as well I have included an actual press release link and you-tube video link highlighting the trip...


The Communist China as we thought we knew it... is "dead".

Standing in Tiananmen Square, the site of the 1989 Student Protests, it was amazing to see the portrait of Mao Ze Dong hanging across the street of the entrance to Forbidden City, amongst a sea of people dressed in fashionable western attire from Armani or Gucci clothing to Dolce and Gabana HandBags. You might ask yourself how is this possible? The year was 1979 and Deng Xiaoping, then leader of the People's Republic of China famously quipped " is glorious to be rich", pursued a capitalist open-market policy to help initiate China's rise as an economic power-house and leader in the global market-place.

As a part-time MBA student, I was priveleged with the opportunity to represent the Smith School of Business's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship to help assist with the annual China Business Plan Competition (at Beida University) and learn more about the cultural, trade, and intellectual partnerships between the United States and China. Our agenda was jam-packed with various business meetings and tours of companies in Beijing and Dalian. We met some of the top business leaders of China in Beijing from Bensom Tam of Fidelity Investures to Matthew Estes of BabyCare Co, as well met with Diplomat Conrad Wong, Intellectual Property Rights Attache, of the United States Government/Department of Commerce. Also we scored a very cool tour of the Lenovo Manufacturing facilities, unfortunately we were unable to receive a free laptop, but as a constellation prize we did see and hold an Olympic torch from the 2008 Summer Games.

One fascinating highlight of the trip was a visit to a "tech-focused" high-school where bright and eager teenager students from impoverished areas of China are able to receive an education in a specfic trade, helping them learn useful skills and pursue a career in job opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable to them. Smith Alumnus and former Dell CEO, Kevin Rollins helped contribute to the students intellectual development by donating money and Dell PC's for their educational benefit.

During some of our down-time we were able to visit the Great Wall, the Bird's Nest and Water Cube Olympic venues, and utilize our bargaining skills at the Silk and Dirt Markets. The students were provided the opportunity to interact not only with each other but also with the Dingman Center Staff (Asher Epstein, Melissa Carrier, Sarah Moon), the Entrepreneurs in Residence (Paul Bowen, John Lapides, Neil Selvin, Tien Wong, and Steven Roth) and Associate Dean Bob Krapfel learning so much from their insights and experiences in both the academic and applied business worlds.

Although we had to be up bright and early each day, and generally not able to go to bed till midnight usually, the excitement and opportunity to learn more about international business and seeing first hand the transformational changes occuring to China was well worth lack of "shut-eye". I highly recommend Smith School of Business students to take advantage of this opportunity and be ready to immerse yourself in an intense week of business learning and cultural immersion for what will be an amazing experience.