Scott Page discussed his book, The Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You, at MOI Global’s Meet-the-Author Summer Forum 2019. Scott is a Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

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About the book:

From the stock market to genomics laboratories, census figures to marketing email blasts, we are awash with data. But as anyone who has ever opened up a spreadsheet packed with seemingly infinite lines of data knows, numbers aren’t enough: we need to know how to make those numbers talk. In The Model Thinker, social scientist Scott E. Page shows us the mathematical, statistical, and computational models–from linear regression to random walks and far beyond–that can turn anyone into a genius. At the core of the book is Page’s “many-model paradigm,” which shows the reader how to apply multiple models to organize the data, leading to wiser choices, more accurate predictions, and more robust designs. The Model Thinker provides a toolkit for business people, students, scientists, pollsters, and bloggers to make them better, clearer thinkers, able to leverage data and information to their advantage.

About the author:

Scott Page is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His research focuses on the myriad roles that diversity plays in complex systems. For example, how does diversity arise? Does diversity make a system more productive? How does diversity impact robustness? Does it make a system prone to large events?

Scott has written five books: “The Model Thinker – What you need to know to make data work for you” – stresses the application of ensembles of models to make sense of complex phenomena; “The Diversity [Bonus] – How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy” the follow up and expansion on the themes in The Difference; “The Difference”, which demonstrates the benefits and costs of diversity in social contexts, Complex Adaptive Social Systems (with John Miller), which provides an introduction to complexity theory, and, most recently, Diversity and Complexity, which explores the contributions of diversity within complex systems.

Scott has also published papers in a variety of disciplines including economics, political science, computer science, management, physics, public health, geography, urban planning, engineering, and history.

In his research, Scott has been fortunate to work with a collection of brilliant people — Lu Hong, John Miller, PJ Lamberson, Russell Golman, Kate Anderson, Ken Kollman, Evan Economo, Michael Wellman, and Jenna Bednar — as he tries to make sense of these questions.

In addition to writing papers and books, he has also filmed a video course on complexity called Understanding Complexity.

Scott’s research on diversity provides his with many opportunities to talk with community groups, high schools, corporations, government agencies, NGOs, and university audiences.