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Research with Rigor and Relevance

iORB broadens impact in second year

September 21, 2017
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Since its debut in 2016 with a robust Distinguished Visiting Fellows Series, the Institute for Outlier Research in Business (iORB) has grown three-fold, adding new opportunities for outlier research funding, and program support for workshops and conferences. Along the way its name changed from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Business to iORB, an executive board of veteran scholars was established, a website was created and iORB evolved into the first business research institute of its kind.

“Our plan is nothing less than to revolutionize research that is performed at Marshall and other business schools,” said Gareth James, founder and director of iORB, holder of the Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration and professor of data sciences and operations. “Our goal is to encourage work that has the potential for a transformational impact on society.”

iORB provided funding for five projects with that potential last year, ranging from “Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Outlier Behavior in the Mobile App Ecosystem,” to “Optimization in the Small-Data Regime,” to “A Paradigm of FDR Control in High-Dimensional Nonlinear Models.” Already the latter project has foreshadowed disruption with its revelation that traditional regression models are not adequate in big-data settings. The researchers, Data Sciences and Operations associate professors Jinchi Lv and Yingying Fan, are developing a novel method for controlling the False Discovery Rate (FDR) in high-dimensional non-linear models. (see story in R.A.R.E.)

New Directions

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Professor Sheridan Titman

In addition to outlier research, five conferences also were funded by iORB in 2016, including the inaugural “New Directions in the Psychology of Technology Research Conference” organized by Nathanael Fast, associate professor of management and organization, in partnership with Juliana Schroeder of the Psychology of Technology Institute at UC-Berkeley.

Embraced by scholars across the range of academic disciplines, the event welcomed an overflow crowd of attendees, and sparked a new network of researchers, a quarterly newsletter, and an initiative to perpetuate the momentum. The meeting will be held for the second time in November 2017 at Berkeley, with plans for a conference at Stanford University after that.

To kick off its second year, iORB welcomes Sheridan Titman, McAllister Centennial Chair in Financial Services at the University of Texas–Austin, as the first distinguished visiting fellow in the series. Titman, a past-president of the American Finance Association, is an expert in finance, with research interests in asset pricing, corporate finance, and real estate and energy finance. He is the author of three finance textbooks: Financial Markets and Corporate Strategy, Valuation: The Art and Science of Corporate Investment Decisions, and Financial Management: Principles and Applications.

“Sheridan’s work addresses central issues in corporate financing and stock pricing,” said Harry DeAngelo, Kenneth King Stonier Chair in Business Administration and professor of finance and business economics. “He has helped alter thinking about efficiency in stock markets and momentum effects in pricing. We’re looking forward to the synergy that scholars of his stature bring when they spend time here.” DeAngelo recommended Titman for the series and will serve as his host on campus.

Titman’s visit runs from Monday, Sept. 25, through Friday, Sept. 29. 2017. While on campus he will meet with faculty members and students and present his work twice, including a campus-wide talk on “What Makes Cities Prosper and their Real Estate Appreciate?” The event will be held on Friday, Sept 29, at 1:30p.m. in Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, room LL125. More information can be found on the iORB website.

“We’re thrilled to begin the second year of iORB with Sheridan Titman’s visit,” said Gareth James. “His transformative, multi-disciplinary research exemplifies our mission to promote scholarship that positively impacts the business community and society at large. We are on the way to becoming the home of renowned thought leaders across business disciplines and from around the world.”