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List of Countries by Average Wage
Here's something fun from CNN: a global wage calculator [l]. Compare your salary income with the average salary income in your country and abroad. CNN didn't make up the wage data: they took the average wage statistics from the International Labor Organization [l] which itself obtained the wages from data given by the companies to the governments. Wage or salary income only includes regular payments given to employees by their companies and does not include investment income, stocks income, property income, etc.
In the major economies, the average annual gross (before tax) salary income was as follows in 2014:
CountryAverage Gross Annual Wage in 2013 PPP$
South Korea40,791
South Africa31,702
Saudi Arabia15,420
China (public sector)13,547
Myers-Briggs Personality Types
According to the Myers-Briggs theory, everyone can be categorized as being one of 16 possible personality types. Take the test on [l] and see what type you belong to. I'm an INTJ [l]. I was surprised at how accurate this turned out to be considering the seemingly simple questionnaire.. Here is a list of the different Myers-Briggs types [l] and their corresponding Keirsey types [l] along with their corresponding roles and temperaments:
ESTJ [l]Supervisor [l]AdministratorGuardian8-12
ISTJ [l]Inspector [l]AdministratorGuardian10-14
ESFJ [l]Provider [l]ConservatorGuardian9-13
ISFJ [l]Protector [l]ConservatorGuardian9-14
ESTP [l]Promoter [l]OperatorArtisan4-10
ISTP [l]Crafter [l]OperatorArtisan4-6
ESFP [l]Performer [l]EntertainerArtisan4-10
ISFP [l]Composer [l]EntertainerArtisan5-10
ENFP [l]Champion [l]AdvocateIdealist7
INFP [l]Healer [l]AdvocateIdealist4
ENFJ [l]Teacher [l]MentorIdealist2-5
INFJ [l]Counselor [l]MentorIdealist1-2
ENTJ [l]Fieldmarshal [l]CoordinatorRational2-4
INTJ [l]Mastermind [l]CoordinatorRational1-2
INTP [l]Architect [l]EngineerRational1-5
ENTP [l]Inventor [l]EngineerRational2-5
Comparative Price Levels
The OECD compiles every month a comparison of the price levels between countries [l]. The data is obtained by dividing the PPP exchange rate (for actual private consumption) [l] by the nominal exchange rate. This can give a good idea of the cost of living in other OECD countries at the present time.
List of Countries by Publications and Citations
Scimago offers a comparison between countries on the basis of the number of scientific papers published [l]. The publications are limited to those appearing in SCOPUS [l] ranked journals (journals of reasonable quality). Here is a list of selected countries on the basis of number of citations between 2012 and 2014 for the papers published in 2012:
CountryCitationsCitations per capita
Highly Cited Researchers
Thomson-Reuters publishes every year a list of the 3000 or so most highly cited researchers in the world [l]. The number of highly-cited researchers per country in 2014 was as follows:
RegionHighly-Cited Researchers
China (excl. HK)135
Hong Kong22
List of Languages by Speech Information Rate
Different languages have different spoken information rates not only due to how fast they are spoken but also due to their different grammar and different concentration of homonyms. In Table 1 in Ref. [1] and in Figure 1 in Ref. [2], different languages such as French, Mandarin, English, Korean, etc are compared on the basis of information density (information per syllable), syllable rate (syllables per second) and information rate (information per second):
LanguageInformation DensitySyllable RateInformation Rate
English0.91 (± 0.04)6.19 (± 0.16)1.08 (± 0.08)
French0.74 (± 0.04)7.18 (± 0.12)0.99 (± 0.09)
Spanish 0.63 (± 0.02) 7.82 (± 0.16) 0.98 (± 0.07)
Italian 0.72 (± 0.04) 6.99 (± 0.23) 0.96 (± 0.10)
Mandarin 0.94 (± 0.04) 5.18 (± 0.15) 0.94 (± 0.08)
German 0.79 (± 0.03) 5.97 (± 0.19) 0.90 (± 0.07)
Korean 0.62 (± 0.02) 6.950.83
Japanese 0.49 (± 0.02) 7.84 (± 0.09) 0.74 (± 0.06)
[1]  F Pellegrino, C Coupé, and E Marsico. “A cross-language perspective on speech information rate”, Language, Volume 87, Number 3, September 2011 [l].
[2]  Yoon-Mi Oh, F Pellegrino, E Marsico, and C Coupé. “A Quantitative and Typological Approach to Correlating Linguistic Complexity”, Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, University of Leuven, 12-14 September 2013 [l].
Calculating Probabilities — Hypergeometric Function
Calculating odds and probabilities is not always trivial. Take the new PNU presidential election process for instance. Starting from this year, there is a new “indirect” election system imposed by the Ministry of Education and in which the 1000 or so PNU faculties are represented by 33 voting professors. Such 33 voting professors are chosen randomly among the 1000 faculties. Knowing that there are only 12 foreign faculty members, what are the odds that there will be at least 1 foreign professor among the 33 voting professors? To find the probabilities for such a problem, use the hypergeometric function [l] with the following input:
Population size1000
Number of successes in population12
Sample size33
Number of successes in sample $(x)$1
This would yield a probability $P(x = 1)$ of 27.6% that exactly one foreign prof is a voting member, and a probability $P(x \ge 1)$ of 33.3% that one or more voting members are foreign.
Grid Convergence Index (GCI)
The Grid Convergence Index (GCI) gives the grid-induced error associated with numerical results obtained on a certain grid [l]. The GCI needs to be used with some care thus as it often leads to a rosy prediction of the grid-induced error because it is based on Richardson extrapolation which may not be valid for flows with discontinuities (such as shockwaves or contact discontinuities). One thing to verify when using the GCI is that the solution obtained is within the asymptotic range of convergence. This can be done by checking if the constant $C$ $$ C=\frac{\cal E}{\Delta x^p} $$ as well as the order of accuracy $p$ remain the same as the grid is refined (with $\cal E$ being the error and $\Delta x$ the mesh spacing on a given grid). If the so-obtained $p$s and $C$s differ from each other substantially, it's necessary to further refine the grid until the solution falls within the asymptotic range of convergence. Only then can the GCI be used to estimate the grid-induced error.
Handbook of Academic Titles
Michael I. Shamos, a Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University compiled a very handy list of the various titles given to professors and researchers working in universities. For instance, what is the difference between a “research professor” and an “associate professor”? Do these titles confer tenure? Explanations to the various academic titles are given on the Carnegie Melon website [l].
Minimum Wage in OECD Countries as of 2013
Here's a Bloomberg chart giving the net minimum wage in international dollars (PPP) amongst the OECD countries as of 2013 (after all compulsory deductions such as social security payments, medicare, pension plan, etc):
minimum-wage-bloomberg-2015.jpg  ./download/file.php?id=2491&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1  ./download/file.php?id=2491&t=1&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1
Read more about it on Bloomberg [l], or see the raw data for gross minimum wage for all countries on wikipedia [l].
Average Salaries in the Chaebols
Here is a chart from the Korea Herald showing the average salary of the workers in the chaebols [l] in millions of won per year:
Note: 1 million won is about 850\$US or 1100\$CAD.
Mapping Tree Density at a Global Scale
An article entitled “Mapping Tree Density at a Global Scale” appeared in the journal “Nature” this month discussing the tree density worldwide [l]. One figure showing tree density is striking:
In the latter, the white dots represent areas with year-round ice cover, the brown dots represent areas with no trees, while the dark green dots represent areas with the highest tree concentration. The land proportion composed of areas with little or no trees is alarmingly large — about half of the world's forests have been destroyed or irremediably damaged since the advent of agriculture 10000 years ago. But what is more worrisome is that half of this destruction took place in the last 50 years.. Still today, it seems we haven't learned our lesson: we continue to cut down more trees than we plant as we have been doing for generations. If we do not change our living habits soon and start caring for our environment, the entire planet will be treeless within a couple of centuries.
Map of Flights in Real Time
Here is an interesting website for the aerospace aficionados: [l] provides real time display of flights on a map everywhere around the world.
World Business Culture
The website [l] gives information on how local culture can affect meetings, communication styles, management styles, etc. This can be useful in understanding foreign cultures obviously but also in not making a faux pas when visiting foreign firms/universities or when collaborating with them. The information seems spot on, at least regarding the countries I have experienced firsthand (Japan, South Korea, Canada, U.S.).
Steve Jobs Commencement Speech: Linking the Dots
Yesterday was graduation day at Pusan National University, and this reminded me of an inspiring commencement speech I had seen on youtube a while back.
One part that I particularly liked is the one about “linking the dots”, with the dots referring to ideas or concepts. Many ideas we get, many papers we publish as researchers may seem useless at first. But often, the breakthroughs that are useful to society come from linking together these seemingly useless concepts. Sadly, linking the dots is becoming rarer these days in university environments. Less and less focus is now given to long-term basic research (i.e. the seemingly “useless” research) and more and more emphasis is given to short-term research with immediate applications. Ironically, putting emphasis on research that is immediately useful prevents more useful breakthroughs from occurring..
Asia's Leading Financial Centers
financial_centers.png  ./download/file.php?id=3022&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1  ./download/file.php?id=3022&t=1&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1
Inequality in Hiring Process
A recent study shows that graduates from the creme de la creme universities have a much easier time finding a job in academia than those in slightly lower ranked institutions:
The Authors argue that this can not be due simply to the students at the top universities being more talented and/or more productive. Rather, they demonstrate that the hiring process in universities is not meritocratic but largely based on social class: the “class” to which we belong to (as determined by our present and past affiliations), rather than our accomplishments, is often the dominant factor that leads to job offers in the academia.
“Blind hiring” causes stir among Korea’s top ranks
A month has passed since the government announced a plan to implement a so-called blind hiring system that removes job applicants’ personal information, including the name of the university they attended, their place of birth and other credentials unrelated to the job from their applications, but groups who believe they’ll be losers in the process, such as graduates of the country’s prestigious colleges, are crying foul over the plan...
Read more here: ... id=3036954
The Lewis Model — Cultural Differences Worldwide
The Lewis model was proposed by Richard Lewis in “When Cultures Collide” (1996) as a means to clarify cultural differences between countries. The Lewis model identifies three dominant cultural traits: reactive, linear-active, and multi-active:
Talks half the timeTalks most of the timeListens most of the time
Does one thing at a timeDoes several things at onceReacts to partner's action
Plans ahead step by stepPlans grand outline onlyLooks at general principles
Polite but directEmotionalPolite, indirect
Partly conceals feelingsDisplays feelingsConceals feelings
Confronts with logicConfronts emotionallyNever confronts
Dislikes losing faceHas good excusesMust not lose face
Rarely interruptsOften interruptsDoesn't interrupt
Job-orientedPeople-orientedVery people-oriented
Sticks to factsFeelings before factsStatements over promises
Truth before diplomacyFlexible truthDiplomacy over truth
Sometimes impatientImpatientPatient
Limited body languageUnlimited body languageSubtle body language
Respects officialdomSeeks out key personUses connection
Separates the social and professionalMixes the social and professionalConnects the social and professional
The culture of each country is then represented as a mix of the latter three traits:
lewismodel.png  ./download/file.php?id=3849&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1  ./download/file.php?id=3849&t=1&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1
The latter reflects the dominant culture within each country. However, independently of the country, engineers tend to be linear-active, sales people multi-active, and lawyers & medical doctors reactive. Read more here: ... behaviour/
Components of Drag on a Transonic Aircraft
aircraft_drag_components.png  ./download/file.php?id=4060&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1  ./download/file.php?id=4060&t=1&sid=a725a7ecda63540e074b2f136cdc03b1
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