He is joined on the board of the non-profit by Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, and the organization has received funding from Chevron, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Wells Fargo and others.
Sam received a PhD in the area of computational complexity from Yale University in 1973 and spent a year at General Motors Research Laboratory before joining the Management Science faculty of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Here he quickly realized that an algebraic curtain separated management from Management Science, and he abandoned what he considered to be a moribund field for a decade.
After abandoning Management Science but before the emergence of the spreadsheet, Sam tried unsuccessfully to be a folksinger in Chicago. There were two things that dissuaded him from a career in music. First, there were a lot of people who were a lot better than he was, and second, they weren't making it either. Nonetheless, during this period he recorded several original songs and instrumentals with his stepbrother John Pearce, which have been preserved for posterity. He then designed and marketed a puzzle, inspired by the artwork of MC Escher.
At last with the advent of the personal computer and electronic spreadsheet, the algebraic curtain began to lift, and Sam was reborn as a management scientist. In 1985, he collaborated on the first widely marketed spreadsheet optimization package, What'sBest!®, which won PC Magazine's Technical Excellence Award. In 1990 Sam came to Stanford, where he continues to teach and develop management science tools in an algebra - free environment.
His primary research focus is on enterprise wide communication and management of uncertainty and risk. In 2006, in collaboration with Stefan Scholtes (of Cambridge University) and Daniel Zweidler (then of Shell and now a Fellow at Wharton), Dr. Savage formalized the concept of Probability Management.
Recently he led the development of the open SIPmath™ standard which enables interactive simulation in native Microsoft Excel.
He has published in both refereed journals and the popular press, with articles in the Harvard Business Review, The Journal of Portfolio Management, Washington Post, and ORMS Today. Sam also consults and lectures extensively to business and government agencies and has served as an expert witness through AnalyCorp Inc., his consulting firm.