Carnegie Mellon University

Paul Fischbeck

Paul Fischbeck

Professor of Social and Decision Science, Social and Decision Sciences




Ph.D.: Stanford University


My research focuses on 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, I have studied a variety of topical problems. Working closely with graduate students, he has quantified the pollution caused by international shipping and proposed several engineering and economic solutions. I am a co-director of the Brownfields Center at Carnegie Mellon University and have developed RISES (Regional Industrial Site Evaluation Systems), a geographic information system (GIS) designed to evaluate the environmental risk and economic potential of abandoned industrial sites. I am currently studying performance-based regulations and how they can be used to improve fire-safety systems and oil-tanker design.

I also have an active research program in understanding and improving risk communication and the design of effective decision support systems. I have studied the actual and perceived risks of mine subsidence in western Pennsylvania, insurance-buying behavior in US and Japan, warning labels on paint strippers, and the health and environmental concerns of citizens in the Pittsburgh area. I am currently studying how farmers make crop-insurance purchase decision and perceptions of risk and diversification in financial markets and the power-generation industry.


Corbett, J.J., and P.S. Fischbeck, (2000)"Emissions from Waterborne Commerce Vessels in United States Continental and Inland Waterways," Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 34, No. 15, August.

Hayakawa, H., P. S. Fischbeck, & B. Fischhoff, (2000) "The Japanese Automobile Insurance Industry - Regulation, Market Structure and Possible Impacts of Deregulation," Journal of Insurance Regulation, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 385-403.

Small, M. J. & P. S. Fischbeck, (1999) "False Precision in Bayesian Updating with Incomplete Models." Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 291-304.

Corbett, J. J. & P. S. Fischbeck, (1997) "Emissions from Ships." Science Vol. 278, pp. 823-824, 31 October.

PatE-Cornell, M. E. & P. S. Fischbeck, "Risk Management for the Tiles of the Space Shuttle." Interfaces, Vol. 24, No.1, January 1994.