ISSISSIPPI Announces 2016 Thales Award Winner

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Groundbreaking data analysis technique simplifies Lean Six Sigma projects

Gao's Histogram

By creating a single-bin histogram, all data distributions are reduced to a single parameter, called ‘n’, which drastically simplifies the analysis.

The world leader in process improvement and advanced analytics, ISSISSIPPI, has announced the winner of the 2016 Thales Award for Excellence in Statistical Analysis. The 2016 award honors the groundbreaking work of Alan Gao, a statistician and developer at, for the creation of “Gao’s Histogram”, a game-changing approach to the graphical analysis of complex data sets.

The prestigious Thales Award was named after the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Thales of Miletus, considered to be one of the Seven Sages and an early father of statistical analysis. The Thales trophy honors significant achievement in the science of data analysis and the advancement of data visualization. It has been awarded every year since 2016.

Zoltan Minsky, President of ISSISSIPPI, discussed the importance of Gao’s discovery in a recent interview: “Gao’s new histogram is truly revolutionary. Mr. Gao’s brilliance lies in the insight that the central problem in the comparative analysis of data sets which are very different is the degree of difference. By creating a single-bin histogram, all data distributions are reduced to a single parameter, called ‘n’, which drastically simplifies the analysis. This is the type of focused analysis that really resonates with business leaders looking for simple solutions to complex problems. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Here is an illustration of the brilliant simplicity of Gao’s Histogram: Envision standard histograms of two data sets that have very different shapes, which dramatically complicates any comparison. By applying Gao’s algorithm, each of the histograms is reduced to a single “bin”, such that the height of the bar is the only comparative element. See an example of this technique in the full article on the website.

Upon receiving the award, Gao was speechless for several minutes. He commented: “I’ve been working on the concept of a ‘statistical singularity’ ever since my first statistics class. The singularity is a point where all analysis becomes self-evident, in a break from the paradox of Skrivanek’s Inevitability; i.e., every level of analysis leads to a deeper and even more inscrutable level of analysis in a never ending cycle of despair. Until now, the singularity was only a theoretical prediction of the standard model of statistics. Now we have evidence that we can move beyond the event horizon toward that singularity. My mom will be so happy.”

When asked “What’s next?” after reaching the pinnacle of theoretical statistics, Mr. Gao shed some light on his plans for the future: “I’m working on a book using my discovery as a theme. It will be an action-adventure novel. And if I get it right, I think I can reduce it to a single page.”

(pronounced “Eye-Ess-Ess-Eye-Ess-Ess-Eye-Pea-Pea-Eye” like Mississippi without the M)

The International Six Sigma Institute and Secret Society for Imperious Professionals of Process Improvement (ISSISSIPPI) was founded on April 1, 2008 by Zoltan Minsky. Minsky’s vision is to harness the power of science to provide reliable objective skill assessments using advanced methods which entail little or no time, trouble, or cost. In doing so, he has zeroed in on becoming the ultimate source of Lean Six Sigma professional credentials and process improvement tools. Additional innovative products launched by the Institute include: Lean Six Sigma belt certification by brain scan, Constrix process shapewear, and the really Big Data Tool.

About is the leading global provider of online Lean Six Sigma training and Blended Learning technology, serving over 2,500 corporate clients and over 50% of the Fortune 500 with a full suite of Lean Six Sigma e-Learning courses, including content available in German, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish. MoreSteam recommends and provides EngineRoom® data analysis software, TRACtion® online lean six sigma project tracking software, Crucible® online testing, and SigmaSim® online DMAIC simulations and games. Launched in the year 2000, MoreSteam has now trained over 500,000 Lean Six Sigma professionals.

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Ellen Milnes