upstream challenge
Disclaimer: I totally ripped this this site off of the "creative" guys
the company

We are a global mobile marketing technology and solutions provider. We started operations back in 2001, launching some of the first global mobile marketing campaigns for blue chip brands such as Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Nestlé. Since then we have executed, through our Marketing Communications Suite (MCS) platform, 160,000 campaigns in over 40 countries for some of the largest companies in the world, engaging more than 500 million consumers and delivering conversion rates translating to over $500 million of incremental revenue for our clients. As of today, we currently have offices in London, California, Athens, Dubai, Rome, Bucharest, Singapore and Rio De Janeiro. Check again tomorrow, we might have more.

To sum it up, yes, we rock…
(But if you're a nerd and still want to find out more about us, visit our website: click here)

the job

On the Algorithm and Analytics research team, we normally have gigabytes of behavioural and business data, and we are tasked with understanding it, and converting it to viable business strategies for our clients. We enjoy coming up with the answers, but also we are the ones that get to ask the interesting questions.

In a recent project, we had spent a few weeks of studying past data, followd by a couple of weeks of testing our ideas in the field, followed immediatly by significantly improved revenue. Let me just elaborate a bit, so that you realize how much win there is in that last sentence.

A) We had got GBs of data and studied it for a month.
B) We discovered things our client did not know about their own customers(or even think to check.)
C) We ran an elaborate series of tests to look for other behavior patterns, not evident when passively studying the data set.
D) PROFIT! seriously!

In case you want the corporate job description

the challenge

The first step in the interview process will be to receive a medium size synthetinc data set, and tell us what you see. Sort of like a Rorschach test, only with data. The 0th step is to answer the follwoing question and mail me the answer.

Given the following set of numbers {49,8,48,15,47,4,16,23,43,44,42,45,46}. A function picks a random subset of size 6, and takes the minimum, what is the expected value of this function.

the quidelines

  • Solve the previous question, don't take hours to prettify your code, it is meant to be a short question.
  • Feel free to use any language. including Matlab or R or python or perl . but don't bother switching a language for faster execution time
  • Mail the answer and any code or formula you've used to me with your CV
  • The next step would be to set aside an hour of your time for our Rorschach data challenge
  • Just say when, and receive the data files (and event log, and a user list)
  • Take an hour to extract anything from the data
  • Don't spend too long on any one statistic, if something takes more than a few minutes, just describe what you would do, and how, and move on.
  • Before I forget, first two digits are an area code(you'll understand when you see it).
  • Submit your findings to the email

Oh, the position is in London,England; pretty close to Victoria station.