Dear All,

It has been my great pleasure to work with willing and able minds. In our school, the indicator for this breed is IF( ID in M239, 1, 0). Indeed, finishing the class is a testament to your grit and wit.

M239 promised you three things: Excel, logic thinking, and competence, along with its demanding nature. In hinder sight, I am less sure if I have delivered the first three, but I am quite sure of its demanding nature. I believe honest teaching must be challenging; true learning must go beyond one’s comfortable zone. I’ve never felt sorry for pushing the limits of my students.

Perhaps you will forget the models of dart game, newsvendor, options, hedging, market share, healthcare, social mobility, auctions, or Markov chain. Perhaps you will not use all the techniques from M239 in your future life. Perhaps you will forget the intellectual challenges you have endured.  But the hours of hard work you have committed to overcome those challenges, will undoubtedly sharpen your logic thinking, enhance your competence, and shape your character. At the end of the day, it is at this level that you should seek the reward for your efforts.

Others may wonder if all your efforts are worthwhile. They seem to confuse two states of life: survival and quality. People can survive by living on welfare. But to live a quality life, we need to be a bit more demanding—what we think we become.


“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think we become.”

I wish you excel!

2016-06-04 19.43.26


Teaching: we simply do not click.

Auction used to be my punch. But today it wend lukewarm in the morning undergrad class.

This quarter I have changed my approach to teaching, with more focus on establishing the connection with students. For MBA I am satisfied with the results so far. But for undergrad, it seems we never click. A bit disappointing.


Finish the book: Good writing, but a bit overdone with the ‘selling’ part, not exactly my taste. Rating 7/10.

act.like a leader.


I messed up last Wed. Felt terrible. After sending the apology email, finally find peace…

Hi, S,

I apologize for impatience on Wednesday. The confusion is caused by poorly written English (I should have doubled checked before posting the problem), not the logic itself. I have reworded the problem (attached). In particular,

“Suppose that the number of new firms created in each year is the same as the number of firms that default in the last year.”

I hope this makes more sense now. If you still have questions, please let me know.

Thank you for the detailed suggestions. In particular, the idea that asking students to present solution ideas before the class is a very good point. I will try it in the future classes.

You may also notice that not all students are as willing or smart as you are. Some just want  a passing grade. In fact, the current content is only about 2/3 of what I covered before (using MATLAB, not Excel). That year the enrollment dropped from 50 to 8 within 3 weeks, and the school was not happy, threatening to cancel the class. They insisted that this is a MBA course, as such, I must cut the theoretical content, and focus on applications and Excel. Even with all the above compromises, this class still struggles, year after year, to attract enough students: they still complain it’s too hard.

In the past, those who were unsatisfied with MBA level education went on with PHD studies. That is the level you may consider.

Again, I am really sorry for losing patience. It won’t happen again. I hope you enjoy the rest of the class, and you are always welcome to my office hours.



2016-05-02 10.04.17

B125: hang on there

Dear All,

Learning Excel is like doing exercise. Exercise works on our physical muscle; Excel works on our brain muscle. The more we do it, the better we get, the more we love it.

In B125, we build our Excel and logic thinking ability through intense, deliberate practice. As to build any real skill, it takes efforts and patience. But as long as we keep pushing our limits, we will get there eventually.

2016-04-25 12.47.59


quantitative analysis and Excel skills are critical for sounding decision making in all business function areas. Students have great interest in studying quantitative analysis and Excel, as evidenced by the class 301. However, E01, the only course offered for general quantitative analysis in our MBA program, can only cover basic statistical methods and barely touches on decision models. More advanced courses and training are very much needed for our students. In light of new faculty hiring, the revival of 321 & 336 will be the first step to fill in this gap.

With 321, 336, and 339, we will have a complete curriculum on business modeling courses. It is worth noting that this sequel is not limited to M area; rather, they cover all business areas, especially operations, marketing, and finance. For example, in 339, topics cover valuation, option pricing, cash management, market share modeling, advertisement and promotion models, revenue management, joint pricing and inventory control, auctions and bidding, etc.

2011-10-06 302 - Copy

[CA, 10/06/2011]