Movies. Physics. Cars…and Organ Transplants!

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Let me begin with an unexpected (a super-positive surprise given their recent news that I mentioned in 57!) email that made my week:

Hello Sridhar,

It’s my pleasure to share the news that a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) has been assigned to your Lucid Air. This is an important milestone in the production of your vehicle. You can use this VIN to get quotes on car insurance or to advance financing applications, but please confirm before finalizing either of these items so we can best time them with your delivery.

This means that the 2-5 months window has, in principle, narrowed to 2-4 weeks. But, I do not have great confidence in their interval! As benchmark, if this was BMW for instance, then a VIN assignment usually means that the car is about a week from rolling off the production line and ready to ship.

You also know that this week was PQI 2022, beginning with our PQI Tutorial on Monday. The conference closed last evening with a nice talk – a public lecture by Nicole Yunger Halpern – on quantum thermodynamics based on her recent (and very readable and enjoyable) book:

Quantum Steampunk.

I really liked this excerpt (and I mentioned it to her at lunch):

So how efficiently can we send information down a wire? I call the answer “the liver of information theory,” thanks to my ninth-grade biology teacher. The teacher, a firecracker of a Texan woman, advised my class, “If you don’t know the answer to a test question, write, ‘liver.’” The liver fills an absurd number of roles in the human body: Johns Hopkins Medicine’s website reports over 500. You have a high probability of receiving credit. If someone asks, “with what efficiency can you perform such-and-such an information-processing task?” and you answer, “It depends on entropy,” you have a high probability of receiving credit.

Talking about liver, you know our recent work on awarding exception points by height to bring equity in liver transplantation has appeared in American Journal of Transplantation. Earlier this week, Savannah Tang (a PhD student working with Alan Scheller-Wolf, Andrew Li and myself) on Split Liver Transplants – that I wrote about in To Split, or not to Split) received this email:

Date: Mon, Sep 12, 2022 at 4:03 PM
Subject: 2022 INFORMS Service Science Best Cluster Paper Award – Finalist Notification

The award committee has recommended your submission as a finalist for the 2022 INFORMS Service Science Best Cluster Paper Award. Congratulations!!

The winners will be announced at the business meeting of the Service Science Section at the conference.

What is this paper about?

Multi-Armed Bandits with Endogenous Learning and Queueing: An Application to Split Liver Transplantation

What else happened on September 12th? The Emmy Awards! Here is a wonderful write up from Vanity Fair and I was happy that two of my favorite shows won big:

We came, we saw, The White Lotus conquered.

The HBO limited dramedy picked up five awards at the Emmys 2022 ceremony Monday night in Los Angeles, including best limited series and supporting actor (Murray Bartlett), supporting actress (Jennifer Coolidge, who danced to her own play-off music and cemented her legend status), writing (Mike White), and directing (White, again) for a limited series.

Ted Lasso snagged four wins overall at the ceremony…


And now, for the most important email (from Laura Davis, producer of Virulent: The Vaccine War) of the week:

Hi Sri, Thank you for helping make the film possible. Look forward to seeing you on Oct. 26!  Please use this invitation to invite your guests.  All best, Laura

Virulent: The Vaccine War

I could not have designed a better week of Movies, Physics and Cars (and Organ Transplantation)!

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