This week, I defended my master’s thesis at Seoul National University. My thesis concerns an NP-hard portfolio optimization problem that I call the college application problem. My slides, presentation script, and the thesis itself live on this GitHub repository, and all are provided in both English and Korean versions. I also have a very brief deck of reveal.js slides introducing the problem, and I recently wrote some documentation for OptimalApplication.jl, the Julia implementation of my solution algorithms.

The defense process was relatively painless: I received some very helpful comments and reference suggestions from the professors on my committee, and I was pleased that they were persuaded by my argument that the model of the college admissions process I have chosen represents the best tradeoff between realism and tractability.

I also was able to give a brief presentation about my research at a conference in Jeju at the end of last month. Here’s a terrible photo for Mom:

Max giving a presentation about the college application problem at a conference in Jeju