Late Professor Bhimasankaram Pochiraju passed away on 1 April, 2018. He was a Clinical Professor of Statistics, Executive Director at the Applied Statistics and Computing Lab (ASCL) and the Faculty Director for the Certificate programme in Business Analytics at the Indian School of Business (ISB). Professor Bhim, as he was affectionately called, had held faculty positions in leading institutes like the Indian Statistical Institute in the field of statistics, for more than three decades before coming to ISB.
A teacher and guide who will forever hold a very special place in his students’ hearts: that is how Reema Gupta, Head of the Centre for Learning and Management Practice, describes him. As she writes,
Professor Bhim was a “teacher” in the truest sense of the term. His only concern was that his students truly learn and understand concepts. For him, everyone was a student and everyone could improve and add to their current knowledge, be it a five year old or a 40 year old programme manager. Time did not matter to him and he would take many extra sessions for students till they all agreed that they had understood the concepts.
The other quality I greatly admired about Professor Bhim was that he saw immense potential in each one of us. During my days of working closely with him, I noticed that he motivated every person he was working with and pushed them towards their next goal. Not a day would go by when he did not ask me when I was filing for my PhD. As a boss, Professor Bhim was ideal. I have never seen him lose his cool, notwithstanding the work pressure. With such accomplishments and deep knowledge, I have never seen a humbler person. Yet, just when you thought he was only a gentle person, you would find an iron fist under the velvet glove.
Professor Bhim also served as a Guest Lecturer at the University of California, Washington University, St Louis and University of Waterloo, among others. A widely published author in Statistics, his academic interests spanned Business Analytics, causal inference, panel data models and Linear Algebra. Professor Bhim completed much of his schooling in Telugu-medium schools before going on to complete his PhD at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).