Welcome back to the CEO Book Club! Ajay Patel, CEO of SMA, reads a wide variety of books and this week he is reading “The Ten Equations That Rule the World and How You Can Use Them Too” by David Sumpter, published in 2021. What are these ten equations and why do they matter? The equations are about how today’s world works and how it applies to our daily lives. These equations are “working” every time you like a LinkedIn posting, when you follow someone on Twitter, when you judge whether the person you just met in the hallway is friendly or not, or when you decide to watch that next video in your YouTube feed.
Ajay expresses that he has always been interested in probability theory, matrix algebra, logistic regression, and other advanced mathematical concepts and how they can be used to problem solve. David Sumpter presents his ten equations in a progression, where one concept builds on the other. He makes the equations come to life with personal stories and explains the concepts in a way that doesn’t require a mathematics education. He starts with Bayes Rule, also known as “The Judgment Equation” explaining how the equation can help you make better decisions, and ends with if-then statements as the basis of computer programming and what he refers to as the “Universal Equation”.
“I was immediately hooked after I read a few pages of his chapter ‘The Betting Equation’ describing how Sumpter developed algorithms to predict outcomes of the 2018 World Cup. The author is a highly respected mathematician, recognized for making advanced mathematics popular and exciting. I immediately discovered several areas in our business that we can improve and possible new offerings for our clients based on the concepts in this book” states Ajay.
David Sumpter reminds us that Mathematicians are the geniuses behind much of our daily lives, not the narrow and negative clichés associated with the profession.