The Great Educational Divide / La Gran Brecha Educativa

We need more people in the world that understand this!! (Cauchy’s Inequality)

Regarding my collaboration with Math Multipliers, I would like to share some important documents regarding basic education in China and Latin America. The contrast in math education between this two regions is quite staggering. China has clear guidelines to use math as a tool that enriches the individual’s mind and brings forth a higher level of societal understanding thru abstract thinking, to this extent, China executes an educational program three times the size of its latino equivalent.

For more on Chinese Math Education refer to Math in China, Mathematics Curriculum Standards, Prepared by the Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China

A particular weakness of the Latin American system is forgoing training in inequalities and maximization problems. Hence, we end up with a society that lacks significant high-level understanding of maximization processes, statistical analysis and optimization procedures. In particular, very few Latin Americans now about the Cauchy-Swartz inequality, a very important, albeit somewhat advanced, mathematical concept.

To learn about the Cauchy Inequality refer to Starting With Cauchy.

Yes, the situation is worrisome, but programs such as Math Multipliers, sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and the Iberoamerican Math Olympiad seek to improve the situation by making this knowledge accesible to young students and fostering math studies with international math olympiads and other prestigious competitions.

Learn more about the tremendous benefit that Math Competitions bring to education.

——————————— In Spanish / En Espanol ———————————

Necesitamos más gente en el mundo que entienda esto!! (Desigualdad de Cauchy)

Con respecto a mi colaboración con el proyecto Multiplicadores Matemáticos, me gustaria compartir algunos documentos importantes de la educación en China y Latinoamérica. El contraste en la educación matemática de estas dos regiones es francamente sorprendente. China tiene lineamientos claros para usar las matemáticas como herramienta de enriquecimiento individual que le trae al individuo un mayor entendimiento de la realidad social a través del pensamiento abstracto y, en ese tenor, China ejecuta un programa educativo tres veces mayor al latino en cuanto a educación matemática se refiere.

Consulte (en inglés) Matemática en China y Estándares Curriculares de Educación Matemática – Preparado por el Ministerio de Educación de China para obtener una perspectiva más clara del sistema educativo chino.

Una debilidad particular del sistema educativo latino es la ausencia de entrenamiento en desigualdades y problemas de maximización. Por ende, graduamos a una sociedad a la que le falta un entendimiento significativo de los procesos de maximización, el análisis estadístico y los procesos de optimización. En particular, muy pocos latinos conocen acerca de la desigualdad Cauchy-Swartz, una de las más importantes en las matemáticas, aunque para algunos, un concepto muy avanzado para ser explicado en la educación media.

Para aprender acerca de la desigualdad de Cauchy visite Demostración de la desigualdad de Cauchy.

Sí, esta situación es inaceptable, pero programas como Multiplicadores Matemáticos, apoyados por la Fundación Clinton y la Olimpíada Iberoamericana de Matemática, organizada por la OEI, buscan mejorar la situación haciendo estos conocimientos accesibles a jóvenes estudiantes y fomentando el estudio de las matemáticas a través de prestigiosas competencias internacionales.

Descubra los beneficios que ofrecen las competencias de matemática a la educación. (En inglés)

Si no esta familiarizado con el tema le recomiento que descargue el documento Entrenamiento Básico en Desigualdades.

AgencyRank – A New Way to Reward Creative Professionals

State of the Art in Digital Agency Ranking

Our industry is a very subjective one. A client likes your design today and hates it tomorrow. You enter a Behance* profile and find very nice looking portfolios with sometimes, too much curation and end up with an under representative sample of work that only shows you the very best productions of a particular professional.


The last group in the graph is essentially award-winning work, the middle 95% is most likely representative of the usual performance of the professional, or agency, while the low 2.5% can be thought of as “unpublishable blunders”. The problem in the web design industry is that, right now, there is absolutely zero visibility into the blunders and very low visibility of the typical 95%. Agencies and designers only show their very best work and this makes it harder for us to pick the most consistent players. Both as employers and as end customers of digital agencies.

Agencies and sometimes designers are ranked primarily based in the number of awards they have obtained. This rank, while a subjective measure is also a very unfair one because it makes it harder for the unestablished designers to move up and get better clients. However, rankings such as these use only award counts to rank agencies. In conclusion the current of affairs as awards can be subjective, can over-celebrate brand association and can reward friendships and particular design styles.

Enter AgencyRank

A better way is to rank professionals and agencies based on the success of their work and the importance of each production. In this case, the judgment should be performed by clients not judges, so that we capture the very important 95% piece of productions.

The way to calculate this is very simple, we first need a catalog of sites in a given industry, say energy for example. Then we produce a public list with the sites and key public figures provided by clients: page rank variation (or logarithm variation to account for an exponential raise in page rank), bounce rate change, average time spent on page, and so on. You can click the following image to see a sample calculation**.

AgencyRank Calculation

In this particular competition, the judges assign more weight to bounce rate reduction because, probably, page rank is not naturally distributed in this particular industry. Or maybe this is a web design and not a web marketing competition. Making these equations public, giving clients the ability to self-report the numbers and come up with a more reasonable set of criteria can produce better rankings and help the whole industry rank creative professionals in a more reasonable manner.

A similar metric can then be self-reported in oDesk and the like to give us principals are more accurate view of the capabilities of each professional or group of creative types. Giving clients the wheel in this scenario also helps in capturing more of that 95% of the performance that still remains in the dark.

* Behance is a showcase site for creative professionals. A good tool for sharing and discovering the best work of creatives but not a particularly enlightening one when it comes to hard-figure analysis.

** I don’t account for page rank’s exponential nature. Feel free to make adjustments to the formula and consider including logarithms in your page rank calculations to adequately account for big jumps in page rank.

Smartwatches: To Wear or not to Wear?

The new Android operating system for wearables looks great. And, apparently, this is a clear signal of new things to comet the industry. But, not so fast cowboy! Android Wear might be the next new and shiny toy for your teenagers but it sure won’t move the needle for businesses in the next couple of years. Why you might ask?

Well, for starters, in this new device class the king of monetization will be micro content delivery. And no social network (except perhaps for twitter), search engine of mainstream portal has made a full change to micro content. Even Twitter ads can be too big for this new platform. So, in the next couple of years we can expect a new wave of applications that take advantage of this new device class. But ads won’t make it into this platform for a very long time, and that is bad news for small business owners, because this is another digital screen that gets to be owned by the major players.



If you want to take advantage of this new platform the best way is to make early deals with upcoming apps that can sell you tiny but noticeable real estate for some early funding. But it’s simply best to wait, wearables are a completely new game that we’ll have to learn in the coming years. Just my two cents.