National magazine features article by Louisiana Tech business professor

Nov 14, 2012 | Business

A Louisiana Tech College of Business professor is co-author of an article about predicting presidential elections that has been published in a national popular magazine. The article by Dr. James J. Cochran is titled “Frankenstein for President: Statistics and operations research come together to create the optimal candidate for the U.S. presidency” and is featured in the October issue of the popular magazine “Significance.” In the article, Cochran and co-author David J. Curry of the University of Cincinnati discuss their use of statistical estimation and mathematical programming to project the winners of presidential elections. The authors also discuss the optimal positions for a presidential candidate, note the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate’s platform and assess the viability of a third party candidate. Cochran is the Bank of Ruston Endowed Research Professor and associate professor of quantitative analysis at Louisiana Tech University. Cochran is considered a leading authority in the areas of sample-based and Bayesian optimization, statistical methods, computational statistics, statistical learning, and mathematics education. The article is based on forthcoming research papers by Cochran, Curry, Rajesh Radhakrishnan, and Jon Pinnell titled “Political engineering: optimizing a U.S. presidential candidate’s platform” to appear in annals of operations research and “Hierarchical Bayesian prediction methods in election politics: introduction and major test” which will be published in the Journal of Political Marketing. “The art of getting elected is getting more scientific,” said “Significance” editor Julian Champkin about the article. “The fascinating thing about Professor Cochran’s work is that it can tell a political candidate exactly what positions on the key issues he should adopt to win most votes.” “Significance” is published six times annually by the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association. Its goal is to communicate in a non-technical way to the general public the practical use of statistics in everyday life and to how statistics benefit society. Written by Reggie Owens –