James Cochran

The University of Alabama

Contact Details

The University of Alabama


James J. Cochran is Professor of Applied Statistics and the Rogers-Spivey Faculty Fellow in the Department of Information Systems, Statistics, and Management Science at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. He earned a B.S. in Economics (1982), an MS in Economics (1984), and an MBA (1985) from Wright State University, and a PhD in Statistics (1997) from the University of Cincinnati. He has been a Visiting Scholar with Stanford University, the University of South Africa, the Universidad de Talca, and Pôle Universitaire Léonard De Vinci.

Professor Cochran’s research interests include statistical methods (particularly general 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 forty articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and five textbooks in statistics, analytics, and operations research. Professor Cochran has served as a consultant for many companies, government agencies, and NPOs.

Professor Cochran was a founding co-chair of Statistics Without Borders, and he established and has organized INFORMS’ Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium series and annual Case Competition. Professor Cochran also established the annual INFORMS/IFORS International Education Workshop series and has co-chaired workshops through this initiative in Uruguay, South Africa, Colombia, India, Tanzania, Argentina, Kenya, Cameroon, Croatia, Cuba, Mongolia, Moldova, Tunisia, Bulgaria, Grenada, and Sri Lanka. In 2008 he organized and chaired the 2008 ORPA Conference on Using Operations Research to Address Urban Transport and Water Resource Management Issues in Africa.

In 2006 Professor Cochran was elected to the International Statistics Institute, in 2008 he received the INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice, and in 2010 he received the Mu Sigma Rho Statistical Education Award. In 2011 Professor Cochran was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, in 2014 he received the Founders Award from the American Statistical Association, and in 2015 he received the Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions for the Betterment of Society. In 2017 he received the Waller Distinguished Teaching Career Award and was named a Fellow of INFORMS, and in 2018 he received INFORMS President's Award. Professor Cochran is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the Wiley Series in Operations Research and Management Science, and the INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge. He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of INFORMS Transactions on Education and serves on the Editorial Board for several other journals and publications including Significance and Interfaces.