ESP Biography



ARNAV SOOD, NYU Junior studying Math, Econ, Phil




Major: Math/CS, with a bit of Econ/Phil

College/Employer: New York University

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Arnav Sood

Brief Biographical Sketch:

#haofei



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Recursive Macroeconomic Models in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
This class is a gentle introduction to infinite-stage decision problems, with a special focus on macroeconomic applications. These problems are tricky because there's no good way to test every possible path, especially when there's an infinite number of things we can do at each stage! The central object is something called a Bellman equation, which relates a problem we need to solve today to one we'll need to solve tomorrow. Examples we'll look at are economic growth, job search, and a few others.


Computer Programming with Julia in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
This class is an introduction to computer programming for those who have never seen it before. The tool we'll be using is the Julia language, a fast, elegant, and open-source language built by people at MIT. We'll cover a wide range of topics, possibly sampled from: how to programmatically interact with the internet, how programming languages organize information, how to interact with the operating system, how to build your own objects, some ways to do fast math, and a few others.


Privacy in America in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Most of us know that our government is watching, in that it maintains institutions to collect data on American citizens, foreign people, and the world at large. But what's the context for such surveillance? Is it effective now, and has it been in the past? How does it square with the Constitution, exactly, and how has privacy in general been treated by the government? This class is a discussion of these questions, among others. The goal will be to use mock cases, and real case law, to let you talk more intelligently about how privacy works in the United States.


The Theory of Dating: Let’s Take a {Random} Walk in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Contrary to popular opinion, mathematicians know a thing or two about (the theory of) dating. In this class, we'll look at a number of its aspects, including information asymmetry (the fact that you know more about yourself than your date does) and screening, the stable-matching problem (how a central organizer might pair everyone happily), and Bayesian inference.


Cogito Ergo Machina: Introduction to Machine Thought in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
On February 15, 2014, IBM's Watson won a million dollars on Jeopardy; since then, it's studied complex diseases and landed a job with Boeing. But can it even think? This course uses Watson, and other hypothetical machines, to explore problems in machine thought. Topics might include the Turing Test, the Blockhead, Searle's Chinese Room, and the functionalist and behavioralist approaches to intelligence, based on seminar participants' choices. Time permitting, we will also discuss the computational nature of human thought.


The Dragon and the Eagle: The Sino-American Relationship in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
The Sino-American Relationship is the most significant (by share of global power) bilateral relationship today, and yet it's still incredibly ambiguous. Have we really entered "a new type of great power relations," as Xi Jinping puts it, or are we doomed to repeat the messy wars of past realignments? This class tries to answer this and other questions by having a moderated seminar discussion.


Greed is Good, or An Introduction to Finance in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Especially since finance has been so turbulent and significant in recent years, it'd be good to have a basic mathematical precision about it. This class offers a quantitative treatment of some of the basic objects and principles in finance, including the efficient market hypothesis, derivatives, options, and arbitrage. It's loosely based on the class of the same name at NYU Stern.


The Devil's Casino: A Debate on the Morality of Finance in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
In this class, me and some other students from NYU will be having a debate about the morality of finance. We'll be guided by you (you can submit questions ahead of time, and ask them as we talk). Topics we want to touch on are free enterprise (finance is legitimate economic activity, governed by contract and subject to law, so how could it be bad?), information asymmetry (is it moral to sell products you know to be overly risky?), the role of government (regulatory capture and lobbying are highly legal, yet are they also highly immoral?), and other related philosophical questions.


"Cogito, Ergo Machina?": Topics in Machine Thought in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
On January 14, 2008, IBM's Watson won a million dollars on Jeopardy; since then, it's studied complex diseases and landed a job with Boeing, but can it even think? This course uses Watson, and other hypothetical machines, to explore problems in machine thought. Topics might include the Turing Test, the Blockhead, Searle's Chinese Room, and the functionalist and behavioralist approaches to intelligence, based on seminar participants' choices. Time permitting, we will also discuss the computational nature of human thought.