Carnegie Mellon University

Paul Fischbeck

Paul Fischbeck

Professor, Department of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy


Research: 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.