Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1937, once said, “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
Analytical rigor is one of the four strategic pillars at the Huntsman School of Business. Our goal is to enable our students to come up with new, valuable insights by developing the skills to delve below the obvious and discover the key data that decision makers need if they are to gain a competitive edge.
This edition of the Huntsman Alumni Magazine is packed with examples of applied analytical rigor. In it you can read about the new faculty members who will be joining us soon, increasing our momentum on our journey to be top-tier, especially when it comes to analytical rigor. We will be adding three faculty members to the Finance and Economics Department, two to the School of Accountancy, four to the Department of Management, and one to the Management Information Systems department.
Our school’s quantitative offerings have been strengthened with the launch of a new Master of Science degree in Financial Economics and a refocused macroeconomics course. Several of our Information Technology courses focus on the rapidly evolving tools for analyzing “big data” to strengthen decision making and forecasting. You can read about the latest in big data analytics and about how students and alumni, with a professor as advisor, have launched a new website that processes and analyzes social media traffic to measure the public’s changing opinion on political candidates even before poll numbers come out.
You will read about two USU alumni who rose to the top of their fields, in no small measure due to analytical skills. John R. Miller, former CEO of National Beef, led a kind of “reinvention” of the meatpacking industry, in part by identifying metrics to drive and reshape the business. John is now the National Finance Co-chair for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. David Stowell, who teaches Huntsman courses on hedge funds, private equity, and investment banking and who serves on our National Advisory Board, was, in a sense, present at the creation of Wall Street’s most recent era of financial innovation. He offers an insightful perspective on financial tools that are well constructed and those that are not. We also feature Brett Stevenson, a Huntsman student who put his leadership and analytical skills to the test when he set up an internship that put him in the middle of rebuilding efforts in Japan after the March 11, 2011, earthquake.
All three saw beyond obstacles to identify the key steps they could take to succeed. Our students come with strong ethical, entrepreneurial instincts, and when we arm them with the right analytical skills, remarkable things happen. In fact, that’s when the real innovation begins.
And that’s what analytical rigor is all about.