EPP Faculty :: Paul S. Fischbeck

Paul S. Fischbeck

Department of Social and Decision Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Porter Hall 208F
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Email:pf12@andrew.cmu.edu
Phone: (412) 268-3240

Professor, Social and Decision Sciences / Engineering and Public Policy

Decision theory and risk analysis, risk communication, geographic information systems (GIS), decision support systems

Education

  • Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management) 1991, Stanford University.
  • M.S. (Operations Research) 1981, Naval Postgraduate School
  • B.S. (Architecture) 1974, University of Virginia

Positions Held

  • Carnegie Mellon 1990-

Research Interests

Professor Fischbeck applies the tools of decision analysis and behavioral social science to policy problems, paying particular attention to the quantification and communication of uncertainty. This work covers both theoretical improvements to decision analysis and numerous applied real world problems.

Using a systems approach, Professor Fischbeck has studied a variety of topical problems. Working closely with graduate students, he has quantified the pollution caused by international shipping and is investigating several engineering and economic solutions. He is Director of the Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation and has an active research program in understanding and improving risk communication and the design of effective decision support systems.

Recently, he has studied the actual and perceived risks of mine subsidence in Western Pennsylvania, insurance-buying behavior in the United States and Japan, warning labels on paint strippers, and the health and environmental concerns of citizens in the Pittsburgh area. Other work includes an investigation of organizational reliability from a probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) perspective. A PRA study is often used to understand the reliability of a technical system (like the space shuttle), but it is only by including the organizational features that a true understanding of the risk and failure modes can be modeled.

Other work includes an investigation of organizational reliability from a probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) perspective. A PRA study is often used to understand the reliability of a technical system (like the space shuttle), but it is only by including the organizational features that a true understanding of the risk and failure modes can be modeled. This more global perspective allows for the establishment of priorities for the allocation of a wide range of scarce resources including money, time, supervisory personnel, and test equipment.

Selected Publications

  1. M.J. Small and P.S. Fischbeck, "False Precision in Bayesian Updating with Incomplete Models," Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment,vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 291-304.
  2. J. J. Corbett and P. S. Fischbeck, "Emissions from Ships," Science, vol. 278, no. 31, pp. 823-824, October 1997.
  3. M. E. Pate-Cornell and P. S. Fischbeck, "Risk Management for the Tiles of the Space Shuttle," Interfaces, vol. 24, no. 1, January 1994.