Abhishek Saini - Software Developer at Google | Educator

:wave: Name: Abhishek Saini

:speech_balloon: Pronouns: He/Him

:hourglass_flowing_sand: How do you spend your time: I have 7 years of work experience as a Software Developer. Currently working at Google, before that worked at Tower Research Capital, and graduated from IIT Kharagpur. Other than work, my time is spent mostly in competitive programming, badminton, chess, watching Cricket, a decent amount of gym, and reading books.

:earth_africa: Where are you located: Bangalore, India

:nerd_face: What’s something Google won’t tell us about you: Trying to keep it that way :smiley:

:books: Tell us about a book that you frequently like to gift or recommend: “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely

:thinking: I am looking forward to CRiCKET because: I have been teaching Algorithms for the last few months. I believe that knowing how CSEd research is done is a super useful skill and insights from the workshop would help me become a better educator. Also, it is super interesting to me just from a pure learning perspective.

:link: We can find you at (socials, github, website, substack etc.): Linkedin for Algorithmic stuff, Twitter for that and super random thoughts, Youtube for some educational videos.

It’s wonderful to be here, I am looking forward to meeting everyone.

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Thrilled you could make it, Abhishek! Thanks for coming on board, looking forward to seeing you on campus soon :slight_smile:

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I used to use a chapter from Predictably Irrational in one of my courses, but these days it’s become impossible to tell what to believe from Dan Ariely. )-: (And in fact it appears…not much!)

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Unfortunately couple of other writers I have liked now seem to have gone on a path where their thoughts are confusing )-:
I guess all we can do is cherish their older work in independence.

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This is generally my hope too, but in this particular example, I think a lot of the older work is what was called into question. I don’t know how much this particular book was affected, though. I happened to be at Duke briefly back when the hype was real and had spoken with some folks who were involved in the publicity of the book (among other things)… it was all good vibes so this was a huge surprise.

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I’m not sure what you mean. Are you aware of the Ariely and Gino cases?

To me the problem is not that his thoughts are “confusing”. Rather, he has been accused of significant academic fraud!

And many of these charges pertain to his older work, including what is discussed in the book. So the results in the book are deeply tainted and can’t be “cherished in independence”, at least not by me, because as I’m reading it I’m constantly thinking, “Is this a part that has already been accused of fraud, or is it merely one that will be later?”

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The content of the book is indeed affected.

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Oh wow, I wasn’t aware of that at all.
I thought you meant he has also gone borderline insane with his public opinions about different topics (like a few similar cases).

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https://www.google.com/search?q=dan+ariely+fraud&rlz=1C5GCCM_en&oq=dan+ariely+fraud&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUyBggAEEUYOdIBCDIzMzRqMGo3qAIAsAIA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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More broadly, the entire field of social psychology has been in a fair bit of trouble. Beyond Francesca Gino’s fraud issues, there are also reproducibility questions: e.g., Amy Cuddy’s on power poses (see Gelman), Roy Baumeister’s work on ego depletion and willpower (here’s a very accessible summary of the problems with links to papers). Etc.

Basically, if it’s in a TED talk, assume it’s probably half-BS and walk away. If it’s covered by Gladwell, skip his coverage and read the original. Treat TED, Gladwell, etc. as entertainment, not as presentations of science.

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