Dr. James J. Cochran

Professor & Rogers-Spivey Faculty Fellow
Information Systems, Statistics, and Management Science

Department: Information Systems, Statistics, and Management Science

Degree: Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1997

Areas of Expertise

Sports AnalyticsBaseball
Comparative Analyses of PerformancesEconomics of Sports
Hall of Fame

Biography

James J. Cochran is Professor of Applied Statistics and the Rogers-Spivey Faculty Fellow in the Department of Information Systems, Statistics, and Management Science of The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. He earned a PhD in Statistics from the University of Cincinnati and has been a Visiting Scholar with Stanford University, University of South Africa, Universidad de Talca, and Pôle Universitaire Léonard De Vinci.

Professor Cochran’s research interests include statistical methods (particularly linear models), statistical learning, sample based and Bayesian optimization, and applications of statistics and operations research to real problems from a wide variety of disciplines. He has published over three dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and seven textbooks in statistics, analytics, and operations research.  He was co-editor of the Anthology of Statistics in Sports that was published in 2005 as part of the ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability, and he is co-editor of the Oxford Press Anthology of Statistics in Sports I, II, and III (forthcoming).

Professor Cochran has served as a consultant for many companies, government agencies, and NPOs. In 2008 he co-founded Statistics Without Borders, and he established an international education workshop series and has organized workshops in Uruguay, South Africa, Colombia, India, Argentina, Kenya, Cameroon, Croatia, and Cuba. He was the General Chair of the 2005 INFORMS Conference and he organized and chaired the 2008 ORPA Conference on Using Operations Research to Address Urban Transport and
Water Resource Management Issues in Africa.

In 2008 Professor Cochran received the American Statistical Association’s Significant Contributor Award for his contributions to statistics in sports. He received the 2008 Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and the 2010 Statistical Education Award from Mu Sigma Rho (the national honorary society for statistics). In 2006 Professor Cochran was elected to the International Statistics Institute, in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and in 2014 he received the American Statistical Association’s Founders Award, and in 2015 he received the American Statistical Association’s Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions for the Betterment of Society.

Professor Cochran is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research as well as the Founding Series Editor of both the Wiley Series in Operations Research and Management Science and the Wiley Essentials in Operations Research and Management Science book series. He is also the founding Editor of the Oxford Press Series on Science in Sports. He was Editor-in-Chief of INFORMS Transactions on Education from 2007 through 2012, and he serves on editorial boards of several academic journals. Professor Cochran has given plenary talks at operations research and statistics conferences in twenty nations. He is regularly interviewed and cited by media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN, BBC, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Slate, Reuters, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and National Public Radio.

Sports-Related Books

Cochran, J.J., Albert, J., and Bennett, J. (in progress). Oxford Anthology of Statistics in Sport, Volume 3: 2010–2014, Oxford University Press.

Cochran, J.J., Albert, J., and Bennett, J. (forthcoming). Oxford Anthology of Statistics in Sport, Volume 2: 2005–2009, Oxford University Press.

Cochran, J.J., Albert, J., and Bennett, J. (forthcoming). Oxford Anthology of Statistics in Sport, Volume 1: 2000–2004, Oxford University Press.

Albert, J., Bennett, J., and Cochran, J.J. (2005). Anthology of Statistics in Sports, SIAM Publishing.

Sports-Related Academic Journal Articles

Cochran, J.J. and Blackstock, R.C. (2009). Pythagoras and the National Hockey League. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 5(2).

Cochran, J.J. (2008). Operations Research and Sports: A Brief Overview. StatOR, 8(2).

Cochran, J.J. (2008). The Optimal Value and Potential Alternatives of Bill James’ Pythagorean Method of Baseball, StatOR, 8(2).

Lertwachara, K. and Cochran, J.J. (2007). An Event Study of Economic Impact of Professional Sport Teams on Local Incomes, Journal of Sports Economics, 8(3): 169-197.

Cochran, J.J. (2005). Can you Really Learn Basic Probability by Playing Sports Board Games? The American Statistician, 59(3): 266-272.

Cochran, J.J. (2004). Bowie Kuhn’s Worst Nightmare – An Integer Programming & Simpson’s Paradox Case, INFORMS Transactions on Education, 5(1): 18-36.

Cochran, J.J. (2002). Data Management, Exploratory Data Analysis, and Regression Analysis with 1969-2000 Major League Baseball Attendance Data, Journal of Statistics Education, 10(2).

Cochran, J.J. (2000). Career Records for All Modern Position Players Eligible for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Journal of Statistics Education, 8(2).

Sports-Related Book Chapters

Albert, J. and Cochran, J.J. (2008). The Use of Sports in Teaching Statistics, chapter 2 of Sociology of Sport: Syllabi and Teaching Resources Volume 5th ed., K.C. Longest, ed.

Albert, J. and Cochran, J.J. (2005). The Use of Sports in Teaching Statistics, chapter 2 of Anthology of Statistics in Sports, J. Albert, J., Bennett, and J.J. Cochran, eds., 2005, SIAM Publishing.

Albert, J. and Cochran, J.J. (2005). Introduction to the Baseball Articles, chapter 9 of Anthology of Statistics in Sports, J. Albert, J. Bennett, and J.J. Cochran, eds., 2005, SIAM Publishing.

Other Sports-Related Publications

Brewer, L.M. and Cochran, J.J. (2013). August’s Child is …Favoured by Fortune! Significance, 10(3).

Cochran, J.J. (2010). The Emergence of Sports Analytics: From Baseball and Football to Basketball and Hockey, Analytics gets a Year-Round Workout in the Athletics Arena, Analytics, Jan/Feb.

Cochran, J.J. (2005). O.R. Scores in SpORts, ORMS Today, 32(1).

Cochran, J.J. (2004). New Section: OR in SpORts, ORMS Today, 31(5).

Cochran, J.J. (2004). You Can’t Spell SpORts Without O.R., …but you Can Teach OR With Sports! Issues in Education Column, ORMS Today, 31(4).

Cochran, J.J. (2001). Using Strat-O-Matic Baseball to Teach Basic Probability for Statistics, American Statistical Association’s Statistics in Sports Newsletter, May.

Cochran, J.J. (2001). Probability, Statistics, and ‘Playing Games’, Issues in Education Column, ORMS Today, 28(2).