The PROFile

Jeff Babb

Associate professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

 

Jeff Babb, an associate professor in the department of mathematics and statistics, has taught nearly every class in math and stats available at the University of Winnipeg since joining the faculty in 2000. 

“Lately I’ve been doing a lot of collaborative work in mesolithic archaeology and anthropology,” he says.

Babb is also a master-level chess player, “but just barely in the category,” he laughs. “I usually lose to grand masters.”

When he was 16, he tied for first in the Manitoba Open men’s championship and tied for third in the Canadian Open in 1979. 

“Chess is an analytical game. A lot of my development as a chess player occured when I was in junior high and high school.”

“Some of the type of thinking you do in mathematics and theoretical statistics is somewhat related to chess thinking.”

“That would be my best result,” Babb laughs. 

Babb admits he’s not that competitively active any more but has won the Manitoba Grand Prix in 2004 and 2006, and has had moves from some of his games published in books. 

He has an M.Sc. in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Alberta and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Winnipeg, and has served three times as president of the Statistical Association of Manitoba and twice as vice-president.

 

AREA OF RESEARCH: Statistical climatology, statistical anthropology, spatial statistics, multivariate analysis, linear and nonlinear models, history of mathematics and statistics, statistics and social policy.

NUMBER OF PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS: Twenty-three, and one more that should be coming out very soon, in a book for a conference I spoke at in Germany in 2013.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Timescape by Gregory Benford.

WORST TEACHING MOMENT: I had a root canal in the morning and tried to lecture mathematical statistics in the afternoon. I’m not sure how coherent that lecture was.

FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WINNIPEG: I was born in Winnipeg… I’m very comfortable in Winnipeg, I feel like I’m at home. I’m at home at the University of Winnipeg cause I was student here.

Published in Volume 70, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 3, 2016)

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