Archive for June 3rd, 2011

Best Birthday Gift

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 -- By ET

It was my birthday on June 1 (yes, the children’s day, that’s why I don’t get old).

My friend John was visiting, he was bored so dragged me to watch the Horse Race in Happy Valley.

The point is really not watching horse. We were busy checking the statistics of the horses and played a few hands. I typically don’t do gambling because I always believe it is a form of “stupidity tax”. This time, however, I played. Of course, we lost.

Just before we were ready to leave, I got the email (can’t imagine the days without iphone). It was the acceptance letter of my paper by Management Science.

So I guess this is the best birthday gift ever. I started working on that paper in 2003, then presented it in 2005. Presented it as my job market paper around the world (literally), and it won me quite a number of great job offers. However, it was such a long journey to publish it. It stayed at one particular journal for 18 months before I got two very irresponsible reviews.

Probably we were one of the first to write on the topic, when we first submitted it in 2006/2007 the reviewers could hardly understand what we were talking about. After several years of extensive study by many other colleagues, finally the value of the paper gets recognized. When we submitted it to MS in 2010, one of the reviewers said:”This is a very timely study to look at dynamic features of keyword auctions, while the majority of the literature still relies on static models.”

Some friends asked me if the reviewers knew the “inside information” of my birthday. I guess not, even if they do, it would be hard to coordinate so that the editors can send out the notification exactly on that day.

For the record, my dear reviewers, please do not wait to surprise me only on my birthdays. Surprise me now! Surprise me any time!


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