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A New (and old) Decision Making Conference

Filed in Conferences
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Photo by Jim Shanteau

Ward Edwards, one of the main founders of the field of behavioral decision making, hosted the Bayesian Research Conference annually since 1961. For many years the conference was held in Studio City, CA, near Ward’s home. It is now hosted by Michael Birnbaum and Jie Weiss, JDM members from Cal State Fullerton, and has been moved to their campus. With the passing of Ward in 2005, we are honoring him and flattering ourselves by henceforth attaching his name to the conference.

The conference will take place January 12-13, 2006 in Fullerton, California

Features of the Edwards Bayesian Research Conference:

1) An intimate, friendly two-day meeting with no parallel sessions, lots of time for informal discussion, and low registration fee ($50). Sessions meet on the campus of Cal State Fullerton; excellent rates ($89 including breakfast and a Jacuzzi in every room) are available at the nearby Chase Suites.

2) An eclectic program. The label “Bayesian” was actually more narrow that the conference. Although there have always been talks about Bayesian analysis and reasoning, the talks in recent years have covered a wide variety of topics in both theoretical and applied aspects of decision making. Ward was very open-minded, and we will follow that tradition. Ward always asked for people to bring new ideas, even if not fully baked, for him to mull over. Two particular traditions of the Conference are that paper titles will be “improved” to be humorous and that time is allocated for discussion after every presentation.

3) The Conference is held prior to the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, with paper sessions Thursday and Friday. There will also be a reception Wednesday evening in the hotel and a party Friday evening (another of Ward’s traditions) at the nearby home of David and Jie Weiss.

4) It’s usually warm and sunny in Southern California in January (but there is non-zero utility attached to the umbrella at the bottom of the suitcase). On the Saturday following the conference, there will be a (no-cost) tennis session for those who dare.

5) The Cal State Fullerton campus is easily reached using Super Shuttle or Prime Time Shuttle. The closest four commercial airports are (in order of proximity):

Long Beach (LGB)
John Wayne-Orange County (SNA)
Ontario International (ONT)
Los Angeles International (LAX)

If you are interesting in attending, please see the conference website for further information (http://psych.fullerton.edu/mbirnbaum/bayes/) and a registration form. Please register before December 7, 2005.

Editors note: DSN has been to this conference twice and both times left having made meaningful acquaintances. Call it the small conference advantage.