Our Team

Jeff Deal

Vice President of Operations

Jeff Deal leads the operations at Elder Research including oversight of finances, contracting, regulatory and legal issues, and human resources. At Elder Research Jeff helps guide expansion as the company continues to grow and open additional offices to support our clients. Jeff has worked with dozens of clients to understand their business needs and organizational goals and, in the process, has gained insight into organizational obstacles to successful data mining engagements. His talk on the Top 10 Data Mining Business Mistakes has been well received at analytic conferences.

In 2016, Jeff and the Elder Research President & CEO, Gerhard Pilcher, published, Mining Your Own Business: A Primer for Executives on Understanding and Employing Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. Mr. Deal is also the Chair for the Predictive Analytics World – Healthcare conference which has been held each year since 2014. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in business operations, planning, and government relations, primarily in the health care industry.

Prior to Elder Research, he was the President of a health planning consulting business that assisted hospitals and physicians with operational analysis, forecasting, and navigating through complex regulatory processes. Jeff has a Master of Health Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary where he was a member of the wrestling team.

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John F. Elder IV, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board

20 years ago, John Elder founded Elder Research, America’s largest and most experienced analytics consultancy. With offices in Charlottesville VA, Baltimore MD, Raleigh, NC and Washington DC, they’ve solved hundreds of challenges for commercial and government clients by extracting actionable knowledge from all types of data. Dr. Elder co-authored three books -- on practical data mining, ensembles, and text mining -- two of which won “book of the year” awards. John has created data mining tools, was a discoverer of ensemble methods, chairs international conferences, and is a popular workshop and keynote speaker.

Dr. Elder earned Engineering degrees from Rice and UVA, where he’s an Adjunct Professor. He was named by President Bush to serve 5 years on a panel to guide technology for national security. Lastly, John is grateful to be a follower of Christ and the father of five.

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Andrew Fast, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist

Andrew Fast directs the research and development of new tools and algorithms for mining data, text, and networks. Dr. Fast earned his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in algorithms for causal data mining, and for analyzing complex relational data such as social networks.

Andrew has published on an array of applications including detecting securities fraud using the social network among brokers, understanding the structure and behavior of criminal and violent groups, modeling peer-to-peer music file sharing networks, understanding how collective classification works, and predicting playoff success of NFL head coaches (featured on ESPN.com). Written with Dr. John Elder and four others, his Practical Text Mining book won the PROSE Award for top book in the field of Computing and Information Sciences in 2012.

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Miriam Friedel, PhD

Director of Commercial Analytics

Dr. Miriam Friedel has over a decade of experience with scientific modeling, predictive analytics, and software engineering in fields spanning theoretical physics, transportation, neuroscience, and telecommunications.  Her unique background enables her to bridge the gap between complex concepts and understandable, actionable results. Dr. Friedel has built and deployed models to predict customer churn and user segmentation, has mined survey responses for a major non-profit, and has wide experience analyzing complex scientific data in physics and biology. Miriam leads the Product Usage Analytics Program at Elder Research, and works closely with the Chief Scientist to provide guidance and leadership to the entire Commercial Data Science Team.

Prior to joining Elder Research, Miriam worked as a management consultant, helping clients to build and deploy software solutions with wide-ranging organizational impact; and as a research scientist in a neuroimaging lab, developing scientific software and performing advanced statistical analysis. Miriam has a B.S. in Physics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a co-author on over fifteen peer-reviewed journal articles. When she is not at work, you can find her practicing yoga, reading, and spending time with her family.

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Robert Han

Director and Program Manager

Robert Han is an experienced technology and management consultant overseeing the application and integration of predictive analytics, data mining, and software engineering technologies that address the specific challenges within government program integrity, oversight, compliance, and fraud, waste, and abuse detection. He works closely with client partners to develop organizational strategies and tactical plans to drive successful and data mining and analytics initiatives, including the deployment of multiple production data mining models and data visualization tools.

Prior to joining Elder Research, Robert worked for a global consulting firm as a technology and management consultant, with most of his experience coming from enterprise and supply chain COTS products implementations. Most recently, Robert came from a small software firm as a technology and professional services practitioner. He worked closely with clients across various industries (technology, software, education, finance, government, human resources) and gained experience in cloud software implementations, enterprise technology architectures, agile software development practices, business intelligence and reporting across multiple platforms, change and risk management, and product and project management.

Robert holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and is a certified Project Management Professional.

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Carl D. Hoover, Ph.D.

Director and Senior Scientist

Dr. Carl Hoover leads Elder Research's analytics team in our Baltimore office. Dr. Hoover primarily focuses on developing sophisticated, data-driven counterintelligence, security and threat control systems. Other areas of interest are time-series data mining, event-based risk assessment, risk aggregation techniques, and the merging of controls engineering with data mining. Dr. Hoover rejoined Elder Research after graduating from Clarkson University with Doctor of Philosophy and Masters of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering. His doctoral research on control algorithms for a bionic above-knee prosthetic limb is the subject of several peer-reviewed publications and on-going research in the rehabilitation robotics field.

Prior to graduate study, Carl received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, worked in the avionics industry as a Test Engineer, and served with Elder Research as a Research Scientist. Carl's diverse expertise in data mining and engineering enables him to develop solutions that help clients make real-time decisions in a complex information environment. Carl’s data mining background includes experience in insider threat, fraud, marketing, pharmaceutical, and financial applications. His engineering background includes experience in dynamic systems, control systems, mechatronics, machine design, musculoskeletal modeling, biomechanical testing, aero-elasticity, avionics production, and process control. Dr. Hoover is a Member of ASME.

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J. Dustin Hux

Vice President and Senior Scientist

Dustin Hux has 15 years of applied statistical modeling and data mining experience. He has led teams solving problems in the commercial, financial, and scientific domains including fraud detection, cross-selling, customer profiling, product bundling, direct marketing, biometric identification, stock selection, market timing, text mining, and atmospheric modeling. Dustin is particularly honored to be a part of projects that apply data mining and advanced analytics to challenges facing the intelligence community. Mr. Hux is expert with leading data mining software tools and advises vendors on enhancements. For KDD, he was on the 2004 Data Mining Standards, Services, and Platforms Program Committee and was 2006 Sponsorship Committee Co-chair. Dustin earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Economics from Emory and Henry College.

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Gerhard Pilcher

Chief Executive Officer

Gerhard enjoys predictive analytics and data mining, especially related to the areas of Fraud Detection, Financial Risk Management, and Health Care outcomes using various analytical methods, working with people, leading change, and timely management of complex projects. His work experience spans both private and government sectors including international experience.

Gerhard teaches at Georgetown University as an adjunct faculty member in the Math and Statistics Masters degree program. He also is an instructor for the three day SAS Business Knowledge Series course "Data Mining: Principles and Best Practices" and been invited to teach at international conferences.

Gerhard currently serves on the Institute for Advanced Analytics Advisory Board and George Washington University Masters in Science in Business Analytics Advisory Board.

Gerhard has extensive industry experience in government oversight, financial, construction and telecommunication industries both as a business owner and executive. He is a recognized expert in three dimensional roadway modeling and automated machine guidance using Global Positioning Satellite systems and has presented to various agencies including the Transportation Research Board. In his role as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering for Pulse Communications, Gerhard directed the design of early digital subscriber line systems (internet over the telephone line) and was a member of the international forum defining the standards for DSL implementation. Prior to Pulse Communications he was Director of Operations for Bell Northern Research leading the design and delivery of hardware and software for large scale telephony switching and fiber optic systems.

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