Associate Research Professor, UCDenver Dept of Mathematics
Director, UCDenver Statistical Consulting Service
Honorary position: Conferencista, Colegio de Altos Estudios Estratégicos, El Salvador
Award: Medalla de Oro, Escuela de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Bolivia
Academic history: Curriculum Vitae
Consulting business: Ætheling International Consultants
Mathematical ancestry: Academic Lineage
Research interests
 Spatial simulations of social response to extreme stress, including pandemic disease outbreaks (see animation at right), public health emergencies, refugee problems, population flows, economic collapse, ethnic cleansing, governmental dysfunction, and civil war. Since 1994 my simulation models in this area have supported annual international civilmilitarypolice exercises in UN peacekeeping, complex humanitarian emergencies, natural disaster relief operations, and national strategic planning.
 Geometry of Statistics, including statistics on differentiable manifolds, the geometry of exponential families, and statistics in infinitedimensional Hilbert and Banach spaces.
 Bayesian data assimilation for nonlinear dynamical systems with a special focus on adapting the ensemble Kalman filter to spatial tracking problems in epidemiology, climate science, and the social sciences. My NIHfunded research in this area seeks to find better ways of detecting epidemic diseases that may emerge from the tropical areas of the world.
 Statistical estimation and inference for nonlinear dynamical systems, especially those that have multiple attractors whose number, location, and type change as the parameters are varied. The graph at right shows an example, the equilibrium surface of a cusp catastrophe model. The underlying statistical model is a family of probability density functions which can have either one or three modes, depending on the parameters.
Selected papers
 Mandel,
Cobb, & Beezley (2011) “On the
convergence of the ensemble Kalman filter”
Applications of Mathematics, vol
56, #6, pp 533–541 (doi:
10.1007/s1049201100312).
 Cobb (2011) “Mathematics of the Cold War” Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.
 Cobb (2011) “The impact of social theory on model development” in Human, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling, edited by Michael Baranick. Washington DC: NDU Press.
 Ghorbani, Khatibi, Sivakumar, and Cobb (2010) “Study of discontinuities in hydrological data using catastrophe theory,” Hydrological Sciences Journal, vol. 55, #7, 1137–1151, (doi: 10.1080/02626667.2010.513477).
 Mandel,
J, Beezley, J, Cobb, L, and Krishnamurthy, A
(2010) “Data
driven computing by the morphing fast
Fourier transform ensemble Kalman filter
in epidemic spread simulations,” Procedia
Computer Science, vol. 1, 1215–23.
 Cobb
& Gonzalez (2007) “Explicando
la corrupción como un sistema de ciclos
viciosos entrelazados: lecciones desde
NationLab,” Security and Defense
Studies Review, vol. 7, #1.
 Cobb (1999) “Stochastic differential equations for the social sciences (revised and extended),” originally published as a chapter in Mathematical Frontiers of the Social and Policy Sciences, edited by Loren Cobb and Robert M. Thrall, Westview Press, 1981.
 Cobb, Koppstein, & Chen (1983) “Estimation and moment recursion relations for multimodal distributions of the exponential family (revised),” originally published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, vol. 78, #381, 124–130.
 Cobb (1980) “Estimation theory for the cusp catastrophe model (revised),” Originally published in the 1980 Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research Methods, American Statistical Association, 772–776.
Recent
presentations

"NationBuilding
with Mathematics", keynote address to the
2012 Pikes Peak Region Undergraduate
Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Teaching
and mentoring
Note
for students: The word "research" in
my job title means that I teach very few
courses. Almost all of my time is occupied with
research in applied mathematics with funding
from external sources, but my contract with the
university permits me to remain engaged with
students at all levels. As a member of the
graduate faculty, I am allowed to sit on student
committees and guide graduate student
dissertation research. Over the years I have
helped scores of graduate students in a variety
of disciplines, including statistics, applied
mathematics, epidemiology, sociology, economics,
and psychology. Students are welcome to visit
during office hours, and to browse my collection
of available PhD dissertation topics, MS thesis
topics, and undergraduate honors projects.Recent
courses
 Math
4820/5320 Mathematical Statistics
(Spring 2013 — Syllabus)
 Math 6330 Workshop in Statistical Consulting (Spring 2013)
 Math 7826 Mathematical
Statistics III — Asymptotics (Fall
2012)
 Math
6384 Spatial Statistics (Fall 2011)
 Math 5060 Exploratory Data Analysis (Fall 2008)
 Biostatistics 6631 Statistical Theory I (Fall 2008 — School of Public Health)
Doctoral students
 Emma Louise Frazier (1988): "An Expert System for Designing Epidemiological Research"
 Calvin L. Williams (1987): "An Expert System for Complex Experimental Designs"
 Mary Beth Ferdon (1983): "Inference for Quadratic and Catastrophe Response Surfaces"
Postdoctoral students
 Dr Ashok Krishnamurthy, 2009–11.
 Dr
Yasufumi Kume, 1991–92.