Mind-Boggling Experience with Numbers

Dr. Abhinanda Sarkar, has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),  Stanford University, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). He received his B.Stats and M.Stats Degrees from the prestigious Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and then went onto pursue his PhD form Stanford University, USA. More recently, he spent a decade at General Electric (GE) in Bangalore, where he served as a Quality Leader for the John F Welch Technology Centre and as a Principal Scientist, Analytics, for GE Global research.

I am so proud to be a part of MYRA, where Dr. Sarkar is currently our Associate Dean and has taken a course for us on Probability and Statistics in the first year. I did not know what to expect from this course at first, as I felt more nervous about being addressed by such a proficient expert in his field. I had been eagerly waiting for the course on Probability and Statistics to commence, since the day I had attended Dr. Sarkar’s seminar during the Week of Welcome. All the knowledge that I had gained during schooling and graduation came in handy during the course. I was able to connect the dots backwards and was also able to correlate all the concepts.

We were introduced to R programming during the course and the analysis part was taught to us using this program. I gained a lot as I learnt a valuable computational skill and also learnt data handling, and its interpretations for business use. We solved various problems and analysed models on probability using R. The usage of formulas and numbers were taught which plays a vital role in data analytics. I was awed at the way problem solving could be approached by the use of R, it became extremely simple. We also got a quick glance at how big data is stored, analysed and used. R programming is an extremely useful tool, as we will be using it in our future courses. Probability and Statistics on R will be used in:

  • The elective course on Risk Management will apply probability models to finance.
  • The core course on Data Analytics will leverage R for business intelligence.
  • The Research Methodology course will provide details on sampling and data collection.

We were tested on a daily basis by quizzes that were conducted in class by Dr. Sarkar. As crazy as daily quizzes sound, they were actually extremely helpful in assessing our day to day progress and understanding of the subject. I could easily judge the concepts that I had not been able to understand thoroughly through the daily method of assessment. The entire aim of the course was to lay a strong foundation for us in Probability and Statistics for other future courses. It is a course that lays emphasis on the fundamentals that we are required to be well versed with as future managers. Professor also quoted many real world examples from his experience as a teacher, as well as from his industry experience. These examples were quoted at the right time, so that we can even relate to them in the future and not forget their importance. Many questions were also answered in class using real time examples. The quizzes were graded based on the approach we had used to solve the problem. Professor was more interested in the method we had used to approach the problem rather than the end result that we had arrived at. The synchronization of theoretical knowledge and practical approach lead to a perfect learning experience, and enhanced my learning curve.

We will come across many statisticians who love number crunching, but I doubt we will come across a statistician at whom the numbers gaze in wonder! It was a course that lasted only two weeks, but the method of teaching is what has left a lasting impact on my mind. I did not want the two weeks to come to an end. I honestly feel that two years at MYRA is too less a time to actually learn and gain from a person who has so much to offer his students. When theory, practice, talent and experience all come to one sharp point- we experience wholesome learning. This is how I can describe my two weeks at the Probability and Statistics class that Dr. Sarkar took for us here at MYRA. He is definitely one person who will play a major role in defining our careers, future managers.

KN Krishna Pavan

Kotha Naga Krishna Pavan

PGDM 2014-16, MYRA School of Business