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A passion for applied statistics

Mike Adams, Professor Emeritus, Applied Statistics at The University of AlabamaMike Adams, Professor Emeritus, Applied Statistics at The University of AlabamaIf you are a regular reader of the JMP Blog, you may have seen a post before with a quote from September’s featured guest on Analytically Speaking. Though recently retired as Professor of Applied Statistics for more than 25 years at the University of Alabama in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, Mike Adams has begun an active retirement because when you have a passion for applied statistics as Mike does, it is never something you retire from completely. He is currently serving on the JMP Discovery Summit Steering Committee, where he and others have done a great job selecting speakers for the upcoming Discovery Summit in St. Louis in October. And on Sept. 20, we are pleased to host him as our featured guest on Analytically Speaking.

In addition to years of teaching applied statistics like design of experiments, statistical quality control and data mining, Mike has considerable experience showing the usefulness of applied statistics with organizations such as NASA, Mercedes-Benz USA, U.S. Veterans Administration, Wal-Mart, AT&T, and others. His passion for applied statistics extends to other educational areas like the Alabama Quantitative Literacy Program. At JMP Discovery Summit in Amsterdam last year, Mike’s paper, Have You Heard the Expression…?, was motivated by something that could be applied and very useful.  

It begins with a fun quip: “Data sets are a little like people. Some are short and wide, others long and narrow. Most of them have ‘issues’.” But, it turns serious when he shares his motivation to learn JMP Scripting language (JSL) and use JMP’s Expression modeling type. A friend’s life was significantly disrupted by the devastating tornado of April 27, 2011, that left a wide swath of destruction in Tuscaloosa. His applied perspective comes through when he made the prototype surface a trove of useful information for would-be responders in disaster recovery. Sadly, such an application as Mike prototyped for the paper could be put to use in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Mike’s students were fortunate to have had someone so passionate about applied statistics (and witty) who sought to give them skills that would ultimately help them find jobs more easily. In 2013, he oversaw two student teams who received honors at the SAS Analytics Shootout national data mining competition — one took first place and the other an honorable mention. 

Please join us to hear more about Mike’s successful efforts to make analysis relevant and useful to students and organizations in a changing data landscape. We'll talk about some of the best and worst things in statistical education, the evolution of statistics over the past several decades and more.  If you can’t join Sept. 20, you can always catch the archived interview along with other Analytically Speaking episodes you may find interesting.

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