^{ Type post AuthorGary Smith Date October 17, 2022 Categorized Business and Finance, Economics, Mathematics Tagged Alan Sokal, Black box algorithms (in decision-making), Data pruning, Featured, Harris Friedman, Internal rate of return (IRR), Lemonade insurance company, Losada line, Marcial Losada, Mathematics and comprehensibility, Net present value (NPV), Nick Brown, NPV vs. IRR, Principal components regression }

## More Hard Math Does Not Necessarily Mean More Useful Solutions

_{It is sometimes tempting to overemphasize the math and underemphasize the relevance }

_{ Gary Smith October 17, 2022 7 Business and Finance, Economics, Mathematics }

Math is said to be the language of science in that most (but definitely not all) scientific models of the world involve mathematical equations. The Pythagorean theorem, the normal distribution, Einstein’s energy-mass equivalence, Newton’s second law of motion, Newton’s universal law of gravitation, Planck’s equation. How could any of these remarkable models be expressed without math? Unfortunately, it is sometimes tempting to overemphasize the math and underemphasize the relevance. The brilliance of the models listed above lies not in mathematical pyrotechnics but, if anything, in their breath-taking simplicity. Useful models help us understand the world and make reliable predictions. Math for the sake of math does neither. Examples of mindless math are legion. I will give three very different examples. Read More ›