|Ross Miller 1954-2013|
photo credit: Mark Schmidt-UAlbany
A pioneer in the fields of experimental economics, artificial intelligence, and computer-aided financial analysis, he worked in both industry and academia, winning awards for his innovative teaching and financial research inventions from Boston University, General Electric R&D, and the University at Albany. Since 2004, he has been Clinical Professor of Finance at UAlbany, where he taught students in the MBA and Financial Analyst Honors programs. Fascinated by the inner workings of financial markets from an early age, he investigated financial frauds and deceptive practices and analyzed alternative market trading rules to avoid speculative bubbles and financial disasters.
His book What Went Wrong at Enron spent months on the New York Times business paperback best seller list in 2002. Other books, Computer-Aided Financial Analysis and Paving Wall Street: Experimental Economics and the Quest for the Perfect Market received praise from both academics and industry practitioners, and have been translated into Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, and Korean. His research articles since 2005 have shined a light on excessive hidden fees charged by financial institutions. The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, CNBC, and the New York Times have highlighted his work, which has contributed to some industry reforms.
Born January 6, 1954 in Greenville, South Carolina, Ross was the son of the late Rabbi Milton Gerald ("Jerry") and Sara Stein Miller. Following a few years in Greenville and in Memphis, Tennessee, where his father was active in the civil rights movement, the family moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey. After graduating from Elizabeth public schools, he studied math, computer science, and economics at Caltech and Harvard, working with many distinguished scholars, especially Charles Plott and Vernon Smith, his lifelong mentors and collaborators in his seminal undergraduate research project. While at Harvard, he met his future wife, with whom he founded a consulting side business, Miller Risk Advisors, which they ran together.
Throughout his 59 years, he was a lover of learning and a creative and tenacious problem solver with a wonderful sense of humor, filling the family home with joy and laughter. His gift for cheerleading and inspiring others to believe in themselves and not to give up in the face of daunting challenges--whether his students, his wife, or their two homeschooled daughters--has left a remarkable legacy.
Memorial Celebrations will be held in July. Memorial contributions can be made to the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving or to the YWCA of Northeastern NY More information will be shared at RossMillerMemorial.blogspot.com.
What is written above is the obituary that appeared in the print editions of the Albany Times Union and Daily Gazette on June 3. I am trying to preserve and piece together as many memories as possible, by going through photos and documents left behind and reading some of his prolific writings, especially his occasional commentary series, which you can find at this link.
I am writing a series of essays with photos about his life. There is a draft of a first one about his early years in this post. There will be more on later years on this blog. I am grateful for anyone who would like share memories. You can comment on this blog or reach me to share privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ross was the love of my life. We met in September 1975, at the beginning of graduate school, both of us age 21. We married in July 1979. We were not just husband and wife, but partners in virtually everything we did together. I miss him more than words can say.