Archive for June 14th, 2017

Profile of Prof. R.D. Sharma: A math genuis who helped many a students.

June 14, 2017

Nice to read profile of Prof R.D. Sharma. His umpteen math books showed how useless our math training all through school years..

He dreams of algorithms that would give most people nightmares. And, spends every waking hour thinking of ways to explain concepts like ‘series solution of linear differential equations’. Meet Dr Ravi Dutt Sharmamathematics teacher and author of 25 reference books — whose name evokes as much awe as the subject he teaches. And though students have used his thick tomes for the last 31 years to ace the dreaded maths exam, it’s only recently that a spoof video turned the tutor into a YouTube star.

The Viral Fever (TVF) video ‘A day with R D Sharma’ stars an eccentric genius and his obsession with numbers. Sharma, in the video, prays to deity ‘X’, eats chapatis with a 5cm diameter made painstakingly with a compass, gives directions that involve using a protractor to find the right road and his mobile ringtone is the hit song from Madhuri-starrer Tezaab, ‘Ek, do, teen’. India’s preoccupation with maths and R D Sharma can be judged by the fact that the video has notched up 3.5 million views.

Shown the video by his students, the real-life R D Sharma had a good laugh but said he shared little with his on-screen persona except for the love for maths. “I like to spend all my time thinking and writing about maths problems. I find it relaxing,” he says. When he is not writing books explaining mathematical concepts for classes 6 to 12 and engineering students, Sharma is busy dispensing his duty as vice-principal and head of department of science and humanities at Delhi government’s Guru Nanak Dev Institute of Technology.

The son of a poor Rajasthan farmer who walked 15km to school before his father finally saved up enough to buy him a cycle, Sharma says his love for the subject blossomed early. Lying on a charpoy under the stars, Sharma senior would make his son recite multiplication tables up to 40 before he could go to bed. By age 9, Sharma had not only mastered the tables but also knew the square roots and cube roots of numbers till 20. Not surprisingly, the boy would top his class in the tiny village of Bhoopkhera in Behror tehsil, over 150km from Delhi. Times were tough and Sharma recalls how his father borrowed money to pay for his graduation.

Fascinating…

Why do economists who advocate a monetary policy oppose the gold standard?

June 14, 2017

Prof. Larry White wonders about the question.

He says the reason is economists (macro ones) see central banks as their main recruiters. The central banking jobs also come with quite a few privileges and reputation. Moreover, economists see themselves as social engineers whose designed policies/rules can benefit society. In a way it double standards of sorts as same economists talk about markets as well.

(more…)

Central Bank of Kazakhastan to use blockchain technology for allowing trading in short-term notes..

June 14, 2017

Central Bank of Kazakhastan is going to use blockchain technology to allow investors to trade in its short term notes (short term bonds) (HT: centralbanking.com):

The National Bank is completing the development of a new technology – a mobile application for the population to conduct transactions for the purchase and sale of securities on the basis of “blockchain.” The pilot project involves the use of short-term notes of the National Bank.

The proposed project will allow citizens to buy and sell the notes of the National Bank online from a mobile phone, bypassing intermediaries, namely brokers and dealers. No taxes and no commissions.

Absolute liquidity and no restrictions on the periods of ownership. The nominal value of one note will be defined in the amount of 100 tenge, which will allow even small savings for investment to be used. Currently, the system is undergoing the internal testing. It is planned that the product will be launched in the second half of 2017.

In the long run, these solutions can be used for the issue of other securities, for instance, for IPO among the population. Deals will be settled directly without the participation of intermediaries and executed in real time remotely.

“Blockchain” technology will be used for the accounting of executed deals and for ensuring the safety and inalterability of information on transactions. With the implementation of this system, the National Bank of Kazakhstan will carry out two completely new functions: selling short-term notes directly to the public and issuance of electronic money.

Under the project, the purchase or sale of short-term notes will be carried out remotely without the need of a personal visit of a financial institution by a physical entity. Transactions will be settled with the use of electronic money.

This is interesting.

Central banks may worry and not accept bitcoins for payments. But some of them are open to using blockchain technology for security purposes.

Insights into the future of cash: View of chief cashier of Bank of England…

June 14, 2017

Interesting speech by Victoria Cleland who is the chief cashier and director of notes at Bank of England. Chief cashier is such a traditional title which no one wants to be associated with these days. Interesting , BoE maintains the job title. After all they are one of the key players which has shaped the monetary world where cash has played a key role.

She is optimistic that cash will continue to remain in the system despite technology developments. Its share has declined but still remains important:

While reliance on cash is less significant than in the past, it is still crucial to everyday life and I encourage the cash industry to continue to innovate, to evolve, and to keep cash relevant and fit for purpose. To quote Jane Austen, or more precisely Mr. Knightley in her novel ‘Emma’, “Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and inconvenience is often considerable”. Understanding the drivers in demand for cash will help us to avoid surprises.

Lots of data in the speech discussing role of cash..

Hmm..

Mostly Economics maintains its top 100 rankings!

June 14, 2017

Intelligenteconomist.com ranked Mostly Economics last year amidst top 100 blogs. It continues to rank the blog this year as well.

Thanks to all the visitors and good wishers. Keep spreading the word..:-)


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