Math news update, query

Carnival of Mathematics #55 is up.

There is a new blog dedicated to polymath projects like the one I wrote about here.

The Netflix Prize appears to have a winner; on the last day for submissions two teams broke the 10% improvement in the original recommendation algorithm mark, off each other by .01%.

Does anyone know what’s going on with the castle being built for the American Institute of Mathematics? It was slated to be finished in 2009.

2 Responses

  1. I think the whole Netflix Prize idea is fascinating, but I’ve had this thought from early on in the process: are they asking the wrong question? Isn’t the best way to get better recommendations and ratings for users to figure out how to get them to rate more movies? In other words, wouldn’t an increase in that data make a much bigger leap in accuracy than the methodologies being explored by the Netflix Prize teams? I think they should do a second round for marketers, freakonomists and creative thinkers to find the best incentives and methods to get people to submit more ratings (thus increasing the data available for challenges like the current Netflix Prize).

    • A sequel has been announced, maybe they’ll address that in the second installment?

      The advances spurred by the Netflix Prize have so impressed us that we’re planning Netflix Prize 2, a new big money contest with some new twists.

      Here’s one: three years was a long time to compete in Prize 1, so the next contest will be a shorter time limited race, with grand prizes for the best results at 6 and 18 months.

      While the first contest has been remarkable, we think Netflix Prize 2 will be more challenging, more fun, and even more useful to the field.

      Stay tuned for more details when we announce the winners of Prize 1 in September.

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