Richard R. Batsell

Associate Professor of Marketing and Psychology

Richard R. Batsell is an Associate Professor of Marketing with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychology. He earned a B. A. in Mathematics and a B. B. A. in Statistics and Operations Research (with honors) from U. T. Austin. He began his working career writing Fortran and Cobol software for Financial Accounting packages, got bored with that and moved on to the analysis of data for fun and profit, decided he wanted to do research and analyze his own data, and returned to U. T. for a Ph.D. in Marketing. His first full-time academic appointment was at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which he enjoyed immensely, but he was homesick for Texas and received an offer from Rice’s newly-formed Master’s Program in Business. He often comments that “Returning to Texas and joining Rice was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”
He loves teaching, he enjoys his research, and he benefits from consulting. When, as a teacher, you are responsible for students seeing an area perfectly clearly for the first time there are few more rewarding moments. When, as a researcher, you discover something new, or create a new model with meaningful practical applications in business there are few greater pleasures. And when, as a consultant, you help a company answer an important question, the intrinsic rewards are well beyond the consulting fee.

Dr. Batsell’s primary research area is in the development and application of Mathematical Models of Choice Behavior. Collaborating with Len Lodish, John Polking, Michael Wolf and, more recently, Amit Pazgal, in this area represent the highlights of his research career. Companies such as Schlumberger, AT&T, Exxon and General Foods have used applications of his research in brand strategy, new product development, and pricing strategy.
Two secondary research areas include the analysis of health-care cost data (Texas Children’s Health Care Plan) and Multivariate Modeling of Production from oil and gas wells using geologic and completion variables (Anadarko Petroleum and Marathon Oil Company).
Hands-on projects in Batsell’s Business Analytics class allow students to work with data in an area or industry of their choice. Because they are fully employed, many of his EMBA students actually bring data from work and some discover results worth more to their company than both years of tuition combined. "When I teach, I'm interested in both the cognitive and affective aspects of learning. It's important that my students learn the material and be able to apply what they've learned competently," said Batsell. "But, at the same time, I want them to really enjoy the subject matter and become motivated to look for other applications of data analysis when they go to work." In addition to his success at teaching Business Analytics to EMBA’s at Rice he has had the pleasure to teach in EMBA Programs at Fudan Univesity in Shanghai, China as well as at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India.

Personal Interests:
-Spending time with his wife and his four sons
-Watching his two older boy become quite successful
-Water skiing, snow skiing, hunting, fishing, traveling, cooking, designing and building houses, making money.

Teaching Interests: 

-Business Analytics
-Data Analysis

Research Interests: 

-Mathematical Models of Choice Behavior
-Multivariate Modeling of Production from Oil and Gas Wells -Creating Analytical Methods To Help Solve Business Problems