The Art of Approximation
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How did a rough sketch of a bridge on the 'back-of-the-envelope' save the nation during a war? An approximate curve on a dinner-napkin kickstarted the complete new supply-side economics! 

In order to reach actual values, one has to go through a process of rough estimation to arrive at the feasibility of the project. In the number-driven age, how do (approximate) values change our way of perceiving the biological world? Nobel laureate like Enrico Fermi also swears by the art of approximation. The method named after him -“Fermi Question”- asks for a quick estimate of a quantity that seems difficult or impossible to determine precisely. The underlying approach to such questions is to use common sense and rough estimates of quantities to piece together a ball-park value. Almost all communities of scientists, economists, engineers, entrepreneurs, designers use this method to achieve successful results. No surprise then, that such problems are often used to gauge the problem-solving skills in candidates during interviews (with companies such as Mckinsey, Google, Microsoft & in interviews with top business schools).

The art of approximation improves one’s critical abilities and teaches one to be intuitive, creative, and strategic. Exercising this skill improves the thinking process and the ability to approach a problem in all areas of life. Read further to learn how the subjectivity in the language is also an approximation...

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