USC Price School of Public Policy

Price, Viterbi partner to establish new Center for Interdisciplinary Decisions and Ethics

July 10, 2015
Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas

Dean Jack H. Knott of the Price School of Public Policy and Dean Yannis C. Yortsos of the Viterbi School of Engineering announced the creation of the new Center for Interdisciplinary Decisions and Ethics (DECIDE) at the two schools, effective Aug. 16.

The mission of the new center is to enhance the scholarship and education of decision analysis and to increase sensitivity towards ethical considerations in academia, industry, government and society at large. This mission will be accomplished through an integrated approach involving research, education and outreach in decision-making and ethics with an emphasis on large-scale societal problems and technological innovation. The center will include faculty affiliates from engineering and public policy, as well as leaders in the field of decision making and ethics.

Research will focus on: decision making in large-scale systems; understanding public decision making; ethical challenges to modern science and technology; crowd sourcing decision making; decision making with large datasets; and trade-offs in decisions between life, environment, and current and future consumption, as well as between security and privacy.

The center will also offer a number of executive education courses in decision making and decision analysis, webinars and research seminars, and a speaker series.

Dr. Ali Abbas – professor of industrial and systems engineering and public policy, and current director of the CREATE Homeland Security Center – will serve as the inaugural director of the center, starting Aug. 16.

Detlof von Winterfeldt

Detlof von Winterfeldt

Succeeding Dr. Abbas as the director of CREATE will be Dr. Detlof von Winterfeldt, professor of industrial and systems engineering and public policy.

Dr. von Winterfeldt has served CREATE previously, as its co-founding director from 2003 to 2008. From 2009 to 2012 he was on a leave of absence from USC as the director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. Concurrently with his term at IIASA, he was a centennial professor of management science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr. von Winterfeldt’s research interests are in the foundation and practice of decision and risk analysis applied to the areas of technology development, environmental risks, natural hazards and terrorism. He is the co-author of two books, two edited volumes, and author or co-author of over 120 refereed articles and chapters.

Dr. von Winterfeldt has served on numerous committees and panels of the U.S. National Academies and the U.S. National Science Foundation, including an appointment to the National Academies’ Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications. He is an elected fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and of the Society for Risk Analysis. In 2000, he received the Ramsey Medal for distinguished contributions to decision analysis from the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS. In 2009, he received the Gold Medal from the International Society for Multicriteria Decision Making for advancing the field and in 2012 he received the distinguished achievement award by the Society for Risk Analysis.