The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Category: PhD

What a week

In general I’m a busy guy and it’s known amongst people who engage with me. My weeks tend to be busy, my diary or planner (whatever you call it) is often jammed with activities I need to be doing or involved in. This week, has been by far, one of the busiest this year and I’ve felt it more tiring towards the second half of this week. I’d be lying if I said “Thank God it’s Friday” since Friday isn’t end of the week for me, my weekend is just as busy (if not more) than during the week. Already I’ve had to prioritise my workload and engagements for this weekend, including cancelling a meal, a powerhouse meeting, a viewing of a business up for sale where sales and revenue have slumped but one time did extraordinarily good amount of business.

I do have, however, a relaxing few hours this evening with the crew. I use the word ‘relaxing’ loosely as with the crew we can reach one extreme to another. On the PhD front I am supposed to be reading through academic paper(s) my supervisor has recommended me to read but I think I’ll skip them till Sunday morning.

Anyway despite the unpredictable British weather this evening and a little lull in my busy week thus far – I’ll be making the most of this evening before the busy weekend kicks in.

Predicting Fifa Football World Cup 2014 in Brazil results

Within a few hours, the first football game for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will kickoff. In light of this tournament and my love for Mathematics (as a hyperlexic) I have spent the last 26 months developing algorithms and mathematic formulas that will predict the outcomes for each game – thus predicting the winner for Football World Cup 2014.

It started off as bit of a laugh and something to do, but as I invested time, effort and concentration I realised this was taking shaping into something big.

Before I go any further I must state: I don’t work for any betting organisation, or have been asked by one to develop this and neither do I place bets to make money. This little project that I started was purely based on the love I have for numbers, mathematics, algorithms and statistics.  As a part time PhD research student and a entrepreneur I’m passionate about predictability with mathematical based algorithms.  By all means you don’t need to take my word for, I’ll prove it to you through my predictions before every game – right here on this very blog.

The last 26 months I have worked extremely hard in perfecting these algorithms as best as I could, and while the pre-tournament games leading up to the world cup 2014 qualifying were in progress I tried and tuned these algorithms and equations to ensure that when it comes to the world cup itself I’ll be ready, thus far I’ve got it tuned to 85% (with +/- 7%).

How have I done this? Well the truth of the matter is everything has a number, and it’s how you interpret that number into real meaning, something we understand. For example, if I said to you 28, this could mean anything. 28th of February, 28th can be my age, 28 can be my house number or it could mean I have 28 pairs of shoes – its finding out exactly what 28 mean that makes the big difference – and for this I’ve had to dig deep and analyse data from over an extremely long time.

So I’ve gone back to the drawing board and looked at everything:

–          Individual players statistics since turning professional

–          Each team statistics since records began

–          Team coach statistics for each game both national and international

–          Assistant coach statistics for each game again both national and international

–          Location/venue statistics

–          And many more

I’ve then used a total of 21 clever and extremely complex pieces of mathematical equations including The cardinality of the Continuum, The explicit Formula for the Fibonacci Sequence, Euler’s identity and The Explicit Formula for the Prime Counting Function but to name a few, and then modified them to serve my purpose – and bingo – I’ve got it to work.

So, before each game is played I’ll publish a new blog post. The blog post will contain the results from my system. It takes approximately 3 hours and 11 minutes for my machine to execute the algorithms. So you can expect the predicted results to be up on my blog any time from a few days to a few hours before the game.

Today in Group A it’s Brazil vs Croatia.

 My system predicts Brazil 3 – 1 Croatia.

 

 

11 June 2014: a short statement from The British Asian Blog

I fight on.

Elusive PhD

Recently, I’ve had a 3 letter word allot on my mind – it doesn’t, for once, begin with an ‘S’ and end with an ‘X’ (joke intended).  It begins with ‘P’ and ends with a ‘D’.  Yup – that’s right it’s my PhD research.

I bet many of you have probably forgotten that as well as everything else, I am, still, a (part-time) PhD research student and if you didn’t know – now you do.  Majority of you, I know, don’t have a ephemeral memory – thank god.

One main reason why I’ve been away, especially from this blog-platform, is purely because of my PhD.  I realised and it hit me hard, while I was in India (business-pleasure vacation) (Dec 2013 to Jan 2014) during a Skype meeting with my University supervisor, that I needed to scale down my travelling dramatically, especially seen that I am now entering a critical demesne phase of my research – the dreaded practical lab work.

I use the word ‘lab’ loosely (and you can probably see the academic PhD language coming out here) as it covers a multiple areas including recording the physical behaviour of subjects (which is another academic/scientific name for human beings) including their vital signs.

In a perfect world:

  • I’d be able to complete my ethical approval request with ease (by the way is a thesis in itself).
  • Submit it to the University ethical approval department.
  • Where the ethical approval board/committee would meet, sit and approve it in record time.
  • Which would then be forwarded and thus allowing me to repeat the same process again but this time to the public healthcare service (trying to avoid using the name here but you might just get the idea).
  • Who would meet, sit and approve again in record time and I’d be on my way to the next step.

However, and unfortunately, the world I live in isn’t so damn perfect, and having submitted my ethical approval request (or rather thesis) for the second time earlier this year, I am yet to hear the verdict (either its granted or more information is required) – talk about wanting this to be more cynosure.  I have, however, been assured, after knocking on a few doors, that a response will be with me soon.  In an academic dictionary the word ‘soon’ has no definition (according to me).

Once I have the ethical approval from both the University and public healthcare service, I will then need to spend a considerable amount of time, close to about a year, with subjects (remember real human beings) where I can perform some activities with and record their behaviour (from both close proximity and long distance) thus fusing together technology and medicine to help subjects with various forms of clinical illnesses.  I was told during this time by my supervisor that I will be mentoring some final year under graduate students – a total of 3.  I asked “do I have a choice?” he laughed and after a long pause replied “No”.  I then said to him “give me all female students, or, let me pick my 3 students”.  He responded with a raised eyebrow.

So I guess you kind of get the idea of what I mean by lab work.

On this very blog, excluding the other two (remember I do have two more blogs where I’m the author and run with the help of a team) I haven’t talked much about my PhD research other than mentioning it very briefly in my ‘about me’ section.  I don’t want you guys to get the impression that I’ve suddenly woken up in the middle of the night and said “damn, I have a PhD research to do” which in a panicking fashion led me to manufacture this blog post.

The fact is that I have been hard at work and it hasn’t been just a dalliance or halcyon approach.

Not only handling my business(es), a newly started venture (well by that I mean just over a year old venture), existing property development and expanding my portfolio, travelling and career in the healthcare sector, I have been engaged in studying and making a conscious effort in doing so.  Having an apartment in Leeds and Knightsbridge London where I tend to stay during the week and where I commute between the two, and a home (an actual house) in a nice part of Leeds, it can become extremely challenging and imbroglio to study everyday, especially since my study and research material is scattered and can be anywhere (Leeds or London) along with my equipment and journals/papers.  In the past it has been a tremendous amount of pain in the backside having settled down to study only to realise I’ve left something behind at my last location.  So now I have to ensure that no matter where I am, intend to stay, travel to, or how I travel – I need to take with me everything (books, equipment, laptop(s), journals, research papers and more books) even when travelling to Florida or India for vacation – Yes it’s been that crazy.

Speaking about India, on my last visit to India I screwed up by leaving a large about of study material (all very important) at the apartment of my acquaintance.  Although we had spent plenty of time together she ended up in Maldives with her family (a break well deserved considering how hard she had performed worked) and during the 2014 New Year celebrations she ventured off to New York, which meant my study material was locked at her apartment as I headed home – but thank god, after having scraped myself off the ceiling and virtually crying to her over a Skype call, once I got back home in the UK she arranged for the material to be DHL’d and was back with me in around 10 days.  You see, no matter where I am, or go, I am still a student.  My acquaintance in India finds it fascinating that I am so dedicated to so many things in my life and she doesn’t falter in constantly reminding me – especially when, at times, she has woken up 4am and found me studying in a surreptitious fashion outside the bedroom in her kitchen only to look at me slightly bemused and left scratching her head as to the sight of me scattered all over her kitchen.  She is right and I am totally dedicated.  Once I’ve committed to something I need to see it through come what may?  I’m just like that.

My supervisor, who I need to see desperately face to face as oppose to Skype and phone, is always concerned about my progress and at times does give desultory and evocative hints.  He’s not the only one – I am too.  With so much to do, read, work on, plan and discuss he finds that I am all of the place, by that he means physically not academically (I hope).  The truth is, when I first embarked on this PhD path, part time study was my personal choice – why – because it allowed me to keep a balance between family, life, business, money, work and everything else.  Yes, being full time ‘could have’ meant finishing my PhD research allot quicker, but imagine what else I would have missed out on?  So, when he complains I am left scratching my head (even on Skype) thinking “well you knew I was going to be all over the place – hence why I did it part time”.  I have to, however, remember and take into account his concerns, after all he is a Professor as well as my supervisor, and has seen it all before and knows the signs of when someone is on the path of screwing up badly.  So to ensure I am not going to screw up I have made some extremely critical and vital decisions, all which aid me in becoming more of a research student (that too at a PhD level) and less of a – well – everything else I’m known as.  My cohorts on campus find it funny and amusing that I arrive on campus in a large four wheel drive, suited up and carry a briefcase (yes  I do, I’m old school) and a rucksack.  Other than to the cohort I appear to be a young lecturer of some kind (as the old folk usually appear to be wearing a 20 year old cream/brown coded trousers, a jumper and a 20 year old bottle green jacket).  The truth is, I’m just another student on campus who 1) hasn’t had the time to get changed into something-more-student-like-wear or 2) simply can’t be asked getting changed from Professional into something unprofessional clothing.

I embarked onto this PhD research, not because I didn’t know what to do after I graduated with a Masters, or because I need to up my qualifications to get a better career, the fact is, I have a good career, I own and run multiple businesses with good (outrageous) turnover, I have no money worries.  My PhD research was a ebullience challenge I set myself – and despite having contemplated quitting a couple of times – I know how important it is for me to complete it.

As my father once said, before he left me at the gates of my boarding school – somewhere in Berkshire “Son, remember, don’t trail and track money – trail and track your passion”, and so, this one statement has guided me to where I am today.

Once I’m in I’m in.

Note:  This post was written via a iPad and my smart phone – both I find unconventional in writing and churning out such material, so if you find lack of creativity or errors than please do excuse me, I can only get better while using such technology and tools.

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