What or who inspired you to study statistics?

After receiving my MS in economics and my MBA from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, I was unable to find suitable employment in private industry, so I taught as an adjunct instructor of economics part time at Wright State for a few academic terms. An instructor position with the school eventually became available, and although it required me to teach courses in statistics, operations research, and computer programming that were outside my primary field of study at that time, I was thrilled with the opportunity to teach full time. After accepting this position, I soon realized what I enjoyed most about economics was the analytic aspect of the discipline. After teaching full time for three years, I left academia to direct the analytic services division of a large marketing research firm. This offered me exposure to potential new applications of statistics and operations research and also made me acutely aware of how much I missed academic life. When I returned to academia, I knew I wanted statistics and operations research to be the focus of my studies and academic career.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Freedom and opportunity. Academic life gives me freedom to work on whatever interests me (within reason). My primary research focus is on problems and issues at the interface of statistics and operations research. There are countless opportunities for fascinating research—theoretical, methodological, and applied—in this area..."


To read more of AMSTAT's interview with Jim Cochran, click the link below:

Where Will Your Next Stop Take You?