He is author of The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 2012), and Chancification: How to Fix the Flaw of Averages (2022). He is cofounder of the discipline of probability management https://probabilitymanagement.org
Chairman of Vector Economics, a Consulting Professor at Stanford University’s School of Engineering, and a Fellow at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School. His recent book, “The Flaw of Averages,” describes a class of systematic errors that we make in the face of uncertainty, and explores significant new technologies for illuminating and manage risk. In 2008, in collaboration with Oracle Corp. SAS Institute, and Frontline Systems, he led the development of the Distribution String (DIST), a revolutionary open standard for describing probability distributions. He holds PhD in the area of Computational Complexity from Yale University.
After receiving his Ph.D. in the field of computer science, from Yale University in 1973, Sam spent a year at General Motors Research Laboratory, and then joined the Management Science faculty of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Here he discovered that an Algebraic Curtain separated the bulk of his management students from management science.
In 1985 Dr. Savage led the development of a software package called What’sBest!®, that coupled Linear Programming to Lotus 1-2-3. The package won PC Magazine’s Technical Excellence Award in 1986. Sam has worked ever since to bring analytical tools to managers in an algebra free environment. In 1990, Sam moved to Stanford, where he teaches Management Science in the Engineering School. He has been a Visiting Professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, and has recently been appointed to the position of Senior Associate of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. Recent publications include articles on The Flaw of Averages in the San Jose Mercury News, and Harvard Business Review, and Accounting for Uncertainty, in the Journal of Portfolio Management. Dr. Savage consults and lectures extensively to business and government agencies and has served as an expert witness. Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, has called Dr. Savage’s book and software, Decision Making with Insight, “a Must Read.”
In 2006, Dr. Savage founded ProbabilityManagement.org with colleagues Stefan Scholtes of Cambridge and Daniel Zweidler of Shell, to promote a unified approach to enterprise wide risk modeling. Dr. Savage is also founder and president of AnalyCorp Inc., a firm that develops executive education programs and software for improving business analysis. Dr. Savage’s book on The Flaw of Averages was published by John Wiley & Sons in June of 2009.