Michael D. Maltz (born 1938) is an American electrical engineer, criminologist and Emeritus Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago in criminal justice, and adjunct professor and researcher at Ohio State University.
Michael Maltz was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 18, 1938. He attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City, graduating in 1955, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering in 1959. In 1963, Maltz earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
In 1967, his son David Maltz was born.
Maltz was a professor (1972–2002) at University of Illinois at Chicago in criminal justice and in Information and Decision Sciences, and is currently an adjunct professor of sociology and researcher at Ohio State University. He was also the editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology from 1996 to 2000. In addition he was a visiting fellow for research and policy studies at the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 1995 to 2000.
In 1985 Maltz was awarded the prestigious Lanchester Prize by the Operations Research Society of America, recognizing his book Recidivism as that year's "best contribution to operations research and the management sciences published in English". This book also won the Leslie T. Wilkins Award for the Outstanding Book in the Fields of Criminology and Criminal Justice. In 1996 Maltz had a Fulbright Scholarship at El Colegio de Michoacán in Mexico.
Michael Maltz's research focuses on the application of operations research and data visualization to the field of criminology. In addition to authoring books on recidivism and crime mapping, he has been a strong advocate of ensuring that inferences made from data are not attributable to biases in the data used, nor to the way they were collected, nor to the methods used to analyze them. This interest has surfaced most publicly in his critique of John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime (see "A Note on the Use of County-Level Crime Data" and "Measurement and Other Errors in County-Level UCR Data: A reply to Lott and Whitley" below) based primarily on a detailed analysis of the validity of the Uniform Crime Reports data set that Lott used to draw his conclusions. A further critique, of the way Lott responded to his analysis, was contained in a blog entry.
He led an effort to clean the FBI-collected Uniform Crime Reports crime data, which is available in a zip file on the web from the Historical Violence Database, housed at Ohio State University.
A particularly lucid explanation of the pitfalls of improper use of statistics in social science (and, in particular, criminology) is contained in his article "Deviating from the Mean: The Declining Significance of Significance".
Maltz has published numerous books and articles on techniques for making valid and useful inferences from data. Among his books are two which are available on his academia.edu website (see below):
Articles and book chapters, a selection:
These and other papers can be found on his academia.edu website.