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phrackwulf (589741) writes "In college I majored in materials science and now support myself as a contract engineer providing various technical services to a wide variety of companies. As I've gotten older, I've found myself more and more attracted to big data analytics and combinatoric and applied math because of the idea of using math to solve real world problems and a lifelong passion for mathematical logic. My question is this, what does someone in their mid thirties do to get admitted to a graduate program in applied mathematics? What undergraduate work should I consider doing first and what types of things would make me more marketable to a school with a highly competitive program?" top
phrackwulf writes "As a step towards realizing a new economic system based on sufficiency rather than scarcity, I would like to propose the creation of government sponsored bartering centers to benefit the poor and elderly. The first series of centers in this network could be established in California, given that the state government has just passed a budget that cuts services to these segments most of all. The use of money would not be prevented at these centers, but they would serve as a central distribution point for state government assistance along with allowing the sort of human connection that gives entrepreneurs at the most basic level (and I have been there personally) to start to build networks and barter goods and services. What does Slashdot think?
phrackwulf (589741) writes "My understanding of the current credit crisis that set off the massive financial system meltdown is as follows. Bad loans are chopped up and mixed in with other loans to make things called derivatives that are sold at a certain value to securitize risk and make money for banks. The current crisis has not been resolved because, like a contagion in a population of animals, or an oil slick spreading through a water supply, the banks are not able to separate out the bad loans contaminating the derivative population. The market is not able to value these derivatives because of the missing information on how many of them are "contaminated" and which loans make up the different derivatives. My question for Slashdot is this. Isn't this a job for a search algorithm and a database or what? Why isn't Tim Geithner and the best group of code monkeys and accountants he can find, building an algorithm to quickly search and order derivative portfolios at each major bank followed by running it on however many Beowulf clusters he can beg, borrow or steal? Do the banks themselves just not have the information? Or is the information not able to be accessed all at once by a powerful enough computing system? Or how about we use a distributed client like Seti at home to get ourselves out of this mess? Advice?"