Gregory T. Bradley, PhD
Dean of the Graduate School
"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stone, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house, and a collection of facts is not necessarily science." - Jules Henri Poincaré
Dr. Greg Bradley readily admits: “I’m a fairly linear guy; yes, I am a self-admitted nerd.” But Bradley’s case, this means using his mathematical background in very interesting ways, including working with the gaming industry to research how “freebies” or “comps” affect people’s behavior.
Dr. Bradley explains that in a suppressed economy, perceptions about value become critical, especially for businesses like casinos where people tend to migrate quickly through the rationalization process. It’s really all about believing that you’re getting more than you’re giving. In mathematical terms, it’s simply perceived quality divided by perceived price. In the context of business, if the quotient is greater than one, there is a positive perception of value. In a casino setting, managers are keenly interested in the degree of loyalty and what drives that loyalty attitude.” Bradley found that if customers perceived that they were receiving value, they’d be more likely to recommend family and friends – or return. In marketing 101 terms, it’s much more efficient and cost effective to market to a loyal customer than trying to obtain a NEW customer. The difficulty lies in marketing to customers in which most do not win in the long-term when participating in the core product. Hence, the paradigm of perceptions about quality and price must be modified in the gaming industry.
Dr. Bradley is a sports fanatic and he actually played college baseball at Southern Mississippi. When the critically acclaimed movie MONEYBALL hit the theaters, based on Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s (who Bradley actually watched play minor league baseball in Jackson, Mississippi) successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing a computer-generated analysis to draft his players, Bradley just had to see it! “It really showcased how the power of mathematics could be used to identify unconventional correlates of success that were not readily acceptable at the time. Essentially, mathematics extracts personal bias from certain components of the decision making process. This doesn't replace experience and intuition, but can significantly reduce the amount of risk in making a particular decision.”
Dr. Bradley and his wife Donna are both natives of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and reside in Gulfport, Mississippi. Bradley was recently tapped by the state to be a part of a special academic team investigating the economic impact of the BP oil spill on his beloved Gulf Coast. Bradley lives in an area highly dependent on tourism, and he studied the impact of the disaster on Gulf Coast tourism feeder markets, attempting to determine how it changed people’s visitation behavior and the temporal magnitude of the change. “The bad news is that we’ve been hit with three consecutive negative events in Hurricane Katrina, the recession, and now, the BP oil spill. The good news is that the people of the Gulf Coast region are exceedingly resilient, and we’re on our way to recovery. Our objective in this particular study is to identify the magnitude and scope of the impact now, and forecast the future impact, so that we can appropriately plan and execute the recovery.”
In his spare time, Bradley enjoys competitive ultrarunning, all sports, reading, and international travel. Speaking of ultrarunning, Dr. Bradley recently completed the Pike’s Peak Marathon in Colorado, which is actually a marathon to the summit of Pikes Peak, which is 14,115 feet! “I’m an adrenaline junkie and, for me, I enjoy the rigor and discipline it takes to train and compete in the sport. I’m also able to solve a lot of my work-related challenges while I run.” Bradley currently has his sights set on three well-known races: 1) The Antarctica Ice Marathon; 2) The Comrades Marathon in South Africa; and 3) The Western States 100 in California. A linear guy indeed – Greg is currently on the road, running to his next adventure…