Upper Peninsula Local Section

of the American Chemical Society


Dr. William Carroll - Former ACS President and Board Chair - to Present at UPLS 2016 SRS

Posted by Joe Sabol on March 3, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Dr. William Carroll will be the guest speaker for the 2016 Student Research Symposium (SRS) on April 2nd in Marquette, Michigan!  

Dr. Carroll was the 2005 ACS president, served as the Board's Chair from 2012-2014, and is a Fellow of the AAAS and the Royal Society of Chemistry.  

Bill has chaired numerous committees for industry associations, and served on expert groups commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme, the US Environmental Protection Agency and three states--most recently the California Green Ribbon Science Panel.

 Bill has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both Indiana and DePauw as well as the Harry and Carol Mosher Award from the ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, The Public Affairs Award from the Chicago Section, The Howard and Sally Peters Award from the Chemistry and the Law Division, the Henry Hill Award, sponsored by the ACS Division of Professional Relations, and the Michael Shea Award from the Division of Chemical Technicians.

He holds two patents, and has over seventy-five publications in the fields of organic electrochemistry, polymer chemistry, combustion chemistry, incineration, plastics recycling—and popular music history.

His presentation titled, "Statistics and the Shirelles: How Physical Sciences Thinking Informs Popular Music Analytics", will be presented following the poster presentation event at the annual Student Research Sympossium on the Northern Michigan University campus on April 2nd.  


Yes, that’s right. It’s Moneyball for popular music.

People love lists, especially lists of the “Best of All Time.” But very seldom can direct comparisons be made between things that happened in different times—whether football teams, home run hitters, boxers or even songs. So how might you get to a list of the “Best” records of all time? Is that only a subjective determination—“It’s what I like”—or are there objective measures that could be used?

This talk starts that analysis by comparing Billboard chart histories of records popular between 1958 and 1989, including the methodology for creating the charts and how it varied with time. Then various schemes for determining the strongest charting songs are compared.

Oh yes—and there will be some audio lists including the 20 strongest charting records of those 32 years. And some surprises: the strongest charting songs are not evenly distributed across that time span. The reasons are kind of surprising.

In the end we’ll learn how various data, analysis, handling and thinking techniques used in the physical sciences help with the analysis of other kinds of data--like music popularity charts, and how a number of different approaches can be brought to consensus by these techniques.


Categories: UPLS Meetings

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