Fall 2007

Decisions and Uncertainty


Frank H. Westhoff (Section 01)


This course will explore the processes individuals and institutions use to make decisions. Particular emphasis will be given to the role that uncertainty plays in these decisions. The mathematics of probability provides a framework that allows us to understand better the nature of uncertainty. We shall observe how we use probability implicitly and explicitly in our everyday lives. Through case studies of political, economic and social issues in such areas as law, medicine and regulation, the usefulness of probability in making decisions will be demonstrated. The course explores, through common sense approaches, how probability helps us understand today's complex and uncertain world. First semester. Professor Westhoff.