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Name Jim Nash
Title Founder, Nash Laboratories, Inc.
Faculty Position Lecturer
Areas of Expertise Software Engineering; Statistics; Project Management
Education Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, Michigan State University; graduate studies in computer science and linguistics

On QMSP:
“The QMSP courses (quantitative management of systems and processes) present a set of incredibly powerful tools for solving problems. Often people have heard of some of these approaches – six sigma, lean, design of experiments, statistical process control, quality by design, etc. – but QMSP knits them together into an integrated toolset.

We cast a wide net in defining the systems and processes that the approaches help with – everything from optimizing the morning commute, to electronic systems design during the day, to getting the cats to come home at night. At their core, these approaches develop mathematical models of system and process behavior in response to system inputs and factors. We collect the data, build a behavioral model, and use the model to optimize system performance and efficiency. The beauty and power of this approach is that it works even when the mechanics or ‘physics’ of the system are unknown.

I’m tremendously energized to share with the MSEM candidates a toolset that is nearly ‘magical’ in its usefulness.”

On teaching style:
“The most effective way to present the material is also the way that’s most fun – we focus on the real world. We have a bunch of hands-on examples to bring the concepts home: we shoot catapults, analyze mousetraps, measure ping-pong balls, and optimize the foam levels in glasses of beer! Stories and anecdotes help to anchor the material in the real world – we start with my experiences, and solicit further examples from the candidates. We welcome and embrace the interesting, the novel, and even the bizarre examples – they make the material memorable, and often humorous.

The most rewarding and exciting times are when candidates implement a technique immediately and get to see it have a big impact. Often, people report back to the class: ‘I tried last week’s material on a problem at work, and now my boss loves me for it.’”

On MSEM:
“I think our competitors center on the business enterprise as a whole, focusing on what a business needs to achieve success. The MSEM program is important and different because we emphasize how to achieve business success, and how to lead an engineering organization. We help engineers learn to be leaders in action.”