Fox School professor receives Microsoft’s MVP Award

A professor from Temple University Singapore’s Fox School of Business has been named a Microsoft MVP.

Professor of Statistics Dr. Isaac Gottlieb, whose passion for teaching students the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel, earned distinction as one of Microsoft’s 2015 Most Valuable Professionals. This marks the second straight year Gottlieb has been so recognized.

Microsoft’s MVP Award is presented to exceptional community leaders who are committed to sharing their technical expertise and real world knowledge of Microsoft products within their community and with Microsoft.

It all started with a simplified idea, Gottlieb said. After teaching separate software methods to students studying varying subjects, he said he sought out to find a “one-stop shop” to make learning easier for students. Microsoft Excel was his portal, and he’s come to perfect the system.

“I discovered that every subject that you teach, whether it’s statistics, operations management or analytics, has different software,” Gottlieb said. “It takes almost half a semester to master that software and, by the time you know the software, you don’t have time to practice the subject.”

Gottlieb said he started to apply statistics, operations management and analytics into Excel and began teaching his method.

“So that’s how I became an expert. It took me two years to perfect it,” he said.

According to Gottlieb, Excel has not changed much within the last 12 years, except perhaps the interface. Microsoft did recently add Business Intelligence in the last two years, he said.

“Once you master it, it’s like playing the piano,” Gottlieb said. “After a while, you just learn new music.”

Gottlieb was presented with Microsoft’s MVP Award in January. As a recipient, he has had the opportunity to meet with other Microsoft professionals from around the world. In November 2014, he attended the MVP Summit at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Although there are more than 1,800 MVPs, very few are masters in Excel, Gottlieb said. Because of his expertise, Microsoft’s professionals have asked Gottlieb to hold a workshop at one of its Excel centers in Singapore.

While in Singapore, he said, “(Microsoft’s) development team contacted me and asked for my analytic ideas for its upcoming version of Excel.”

There’s no denying that Excel is Gottlieb’s forte. He has published a book on the subject, titled, Next Generation Excel: Modeling In Excel For Analysts and MBAs (For MS Windows and Mac OS), (Wiley 2013). He also has an Excel-Tip-Of-The–Month newsletter that is distributed to more than 50,000 subscribers.

Gottlieb teaches more than 1,500 students annually at the Fox School, and all incoming Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), Master’s of Science (MS) and Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) students are required to complete his online Excel workshop during their respective programs.

“After you teach so many people for so many years, (Excel) becomes natural,” he said.

(To subscribe to Gottlieb’s newsletter, email isaacg@temple.edu. Read past Excel Tip of the Month.)

Discover the Power