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Optimization Models

Objective: Maximize my time at SOM by exploring my interests, satiating my unflagging curiosity, and extracting as much knowledge and understanding as I possibly can from interactions inside and outside of the classroom.

Decisions: Breadth and depth of commitments.


  • Only 24 hours per day available. Seven days/week.
  • Sleep requirements between 5.5-7 hours per day.
  • ~1 hour gym time each day.
  • Retaining good relationships with non-SOM friends and family back home. 

And so on and so forth. If only we could actually create an optimization model for how to maximize our time here at SOM. I know! That would be awesome, right?! Just draw a decision tree or throw your individual considerations into Solver. You could map out your next two years at SOM with enough time to grab a drink or two with friends at GPSCY or catch a show at the Yale Cabaret before the night’s through. Boom. Done.

But: Solver has encountered a problem with your model.

Why?  Well, I’d posit that throwing everything into a set model if we could would take all of the fun out of exploring and discovering everything that SOM and the broader Yale community can offer. We’d miss out on some of those serendipitous, chance conversations fuel innovation. Even though it might be easy to map out how we should spend our time here based on an initial set of constraints, we would severely limit our ability to adapt, thrive, and grow.

I already know that I’m growing and changing just as a function of being surrounded by a crop of incredibly vibrant, thoughtful, and pioneering people who have a wealth of perspectives that they are willing to share that enhance conversations, galvanize ideation, and transform that ideation into action. And, that’s after only eight weeks. With that kind of track record, who knows what the next two years might bring?