Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Monograph Goes “Live” Today

Hello all,

At the risk of shameless self promotion, I think I should mention that my first monograph was published today.  It will take while to work its way though the distribution channels, but should be available at all major booksellers in a few weeks.  In the words of the press release:

CONTACT: Kevin Straight, 562-587-7700

AGSM Alumnus Publishes Monograph

Saarbrücken, Germany, September 3, 2014

AGSM Alumnus Kevin Straight’s début non-fiction book, Freight Forwarding Cost Estimation: an Analogy Based Approach (ISBN 978-3-659-58859-4) was released today by Lambert Academic Press. It should be available from all major booksellers within six weeks.

The book is based on Mr. Straight’s master’s thesis, which was the result of three months of field research in Dublin, Ireland during the summer of 2013. Straight studied thousands of international shipping records and used them to create a cost estimation system using modern machine learning and data mining techniques. Straight demonstrates, via a dynamic computer simulation, that his method is both accurate and more cost effective than traditional estimation techniques.

Mr Straight currently lives in Montrose, California, where he is doing research on how to adapt his estimation methodology to health care applications, such as blood sugar levels in type II diabetes patients.

High resolution images are available at:

Update on Life After College

It occurred to me this morning that I haven’t posted an update since before I graduated from business school, back in June.  I wouldn’t want the Internet to get the impression that I was resting on my laurels.  In fact, between moving and my various projects, I just haven’t had time to post.  I did think that a quick summary of what I have afoot would not be amiss, however.

After graduation, LAP invited me to reformat my MBA thesis so they could publish it as a monograph.  It should come out later this week under the title Freight Forwarding Cost Estimation:  An Analogy Based Approach (ISBN: 3659588598).  I am currently working on ways to apply the same techniques I used to predict international freight prices to new applications, including predicting blood sugar levels in diabetes patients.  Some of my preliminary work looks fairly promising, and I probably be ready to write a serious grant proposal in a few weeks. 

Although I remain committed to academic research in data science, I have recently been focusing more attention on popular nonfiction.  I have formed a production company, Creative Minority Productions, to serve as an umbrella for my various nonfiction writing and video projects.  As Creative Minority, I am currently producing two long format YouTube television programs.  Handyman Kevin is a how-to program that walks viewers through common home repair and woodworking projects using simple tools.  It is currently in post production, and will air on YouTube starting September 17.  Everybody’s Data Guide is also how-to and focuses on accomplishing everyday data science and statistical analysis tasks using free and open source software.  Both Handyman Kevin and Data Guide will be augmented with companion blogs and tons of supplemental online content.  The companion blogs will eventually form the basis for companion e-books for each channel.

Creative Minority is more than just a producer of YouTube content, however.  At least two major nonfiction writing projects are in the pipeline.  I’m personally excited, and wish I could give more details, but I can’t say more until all of the rights have been negotiated. 

And finally, lest you think that I have given up on writing fiction, I currently have finished manuscripts for two short stories and a novel, which I will keep submitting to publishers. 

Exciting times!  Business school was an incredible experience, and I feel like it substantially improved my teaching and editing skills.  However, it left very little time or working capital for my own creative projects.  Now I’m free to create content in which I am personally interested, and I plan to make the most of the opportunity.