Alumni Stories

We encourage QSS alumni/ae to contact us with news they would like to share.

Alumni Story: Jim Lattin ’78

One of the things I'm most proud of is directly connected to my experience in the MSS program at Dartmouth: I wrote a book!

The book is Analyzing Multivariate Data (co-authored with Paul Green and J. Douglas Carroll).

I wrote it after teaching a PhD course at Stanford for about 10 years. What started me down that path was taking Joel Levine's course on Data Analysis in my freshman year at Dartmouth (Winter of the 74-75 academic year). It was in Joel's course that I developed many of the instincts that still serve me well to this day when I am examining data and building models. (10/2014)

Alumni Story: Scott Elliff ’75

My career has included the ongoing use of math and social sciences as combined disciplines. Whether quantitative analysis of federal programs as a staffer at the White House Office of Management and Budget or crunching numbers related to consumer buying patterns as part of private business consulting work that I did for a number of years, or more recently assessing effectiveness of different advertising and marketing programs for the boutique Virginia winery that I own, the concept of applying quantitative methods to social sciences lives strong. As well, applying facts and statistics rather than just generalized opinions is valuable of course to putting structure around a wide range of public and personal issues — every day. (10/2014)

Alumni Story: Eric Wadsworth ’74

My MSS degree has been invaluable my entire career. After programming computers for a few years I got an MBA and moved into finance. I did a stint as a CPA in public accounting and then became a CFO for several years. 10 years ago I completed an PhD in Business and now I have appointments at Geisel School of Medicine and the Tuck School of Business where I teach healthcare finance and am the Faculty Director of Dartmouth’s Masters in Healthcare Delivery Science (MHCDS) program. I also teach in the management and the strategy courses. Throughout my career the ability to think about, frame, and communicate complex systems with quantitative tools has been a major theme and an extremely valuable skill.  I am very fortunate to have chosen a degree that has allowed me to continually re-invent myself in ways that are relevant to society’s vexing problems. I give a lot of credit to my undergraduate degree. What a treat to have been the beneficiary of such fine, foundational teaching and such caring faculty. (10/2014)

Alumni Story: Paul Velleman ’71

I earned a PhD in Statistics from Princeton. I then joined the Department of Social Statistics at Cornell in 1975, where I’ve taught since then. (For a coincidental link, the Department’s home is the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, which turned out to be the undergraduate school of Nick Mullins, who was my social science side advisor at Dartmouth—but I didn’t know that until I came here.) My career has included developing the statistics software, Data Desk, which is still successfully sold worldwide, writing the first e-book in Statistics (ActivStats) and co-authoring 6 textbooks in introductory and intermediate level statistics, published by Pearson. I continue to teach at Cornell, often teaching the introductory statistics course aimed at social science undergraduates. I’d say that I’ve stayed pretty connected to my MSS degree. Just last week, it came up when advising a student who was investigating a possible major in Statistics and asked how I’d gotten into the field. (10/2014)

Alumni Story: David Andersen ’70

My whole career for the past 40 plus years has been built directly upon work that I started in my BA thesis in MSS at Dartmouth. I wrote about the application of computing and mathematical models to support decision making in rural New England towns. That was 1970. In 1977, I graduated from MIT’s Sloan school working in system dynamics and computer modeling (I had first encountered this field in a senior seminar at Dartmouth). I have been teaching simulation modeling to masters and PhD students in public administration and information science at the University at Albany ever since 1977. I have had an exciting and rewarding career based directly on my work in the MSS program and would be willing to pass on more information about such careers to anyone who is interested. (10/2014)

Alumni Story: Lawrence Fabian ’67

My career has been as a city and regional planner, always specialized in the spatial distribution of activities and travel, which are amenable to quantitative analysis. With the expansion of computing hardware and software, such work has expanded to increasingly sophisticated simulations and visualizations. I worked for many years on Boston's Big Dig providing input to the traffic simulation model which guided its planning, design and construction. I am proud that the Greenway now adds value to live in Beantown. Quantitative thinking can have real impacts on public policies and projects. (10/2014)

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