[ View menu ]

October 2, 2018

Lucky streaks put into perspective

Filed in Ideas
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


Click to enlarge

The twitter account Maths Ed Ideas took one of our old posts and put it into perspective.

We love it!

Note: Since it’s now after Sept 29, you’re even more than 99% likely 🙂

September 26, 2018

Professorship in Behavioral Science at University of Chicago’s business school

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is seeking to appoint outstanding scholars to the tenure-track position of Assistant or Associate Professor of Behavioral Science beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. We will consider candidates with interests in the areas of decision-making, negotiations, social psychology and organizations, all broadly defined. Candidates must have earned a PhD (or equivalent) or expect to receive a doctorate in the near future.

We are looking for candidates with strong disciplinary training in any of the social sciences who can use that discipline background to conduct research on aspects of behavior relevant to management in organizations and to introduce MBA students to behavioral science principles. This position is part of the Behavioral Science area, whose members are responsible for teaching courses such as Managing in Organizations, Managerial Decision Making, Power and Influence, and Negotiations. Candidates should be qualified to teach at least one of these courses plus another MBA elective. The group maintains two well-equipped laboratories for experimental research.

The deadline for applications is March 31, 2019. However, we will begin formally reviewing applications on October 17, 2019 and strongly encourage applicants to submit a complete set of materials by this time. To apply, please submit a research and teaching statement, a vita, a written sample of your present work, and two letters of reference at:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law.

For additional information, please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination at https://www.uchicago.edu/about/non_discrimination_statement/. Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-5286 or email hr@lists.chicagobooth.edu with their request.

September 19, 2018

Job: Division Director, Social and Economic Sciences at the NSF (US National Science Foundation)

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)



Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. For over 70 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.

Serves as a member of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate leadership team and as a principal spokesperson in social and economic sciences for the Foundation. Provides leadership and direction to the NSF Division responsible for funding research and education activities, both nationally and internationally, to develop and advance scientific knowledge and methods focusing on our understanding of individuals, social and organizational behavior by creating and sustaining social science infrastructure, and by supporting disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that advances knowledge in the social and economic sciences. The incumbent has managerial and oversight responsibilities for the effective use of division staff and resources in meeting organizational goals and objectives (e.g., broadening participation). Assesses needs and trends involving the social and economic sciences, implements overall strategic planning and policy setting for the Division, provides leadership and guidance to Division staff members, determines funding requirements, prepares and justifies budget estimates, balances program needs, allocates resources, oversees the evaluation of proposals and recommendations for awards and declinations, and represents NSF to relevant external groups. Supervises and provides leadership and guidance to senior staff (Deputy Division Director), program officers, administrative and support personnel. Fosters partnerships with other Divisions, Directorates, Federal agencies, scientific organizations, and the academic community.

September 12, 2018

Professorship in Cognitive Psychology at Syracuse

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


The Department of Psychology at Syracuse University invites applications for a full time tenure-track position in Cognitive Psychology to join the Cognition, Brain, & Behavior (CBB) area. The successful candidate is expected to pursue an exceptional program of research driven by a strong theoretical foundation to understand human cognition, broadly construed. The successful candidate will have a research program that uses rigorous computational and/or mathematical modeling methods. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who use computational models to study human cognition in the context of interactions with artificial intelligence systems or computer-mediated social networks.

Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the growing cognitive science community at Syracuse University. The Department of Psychology anticipates several hires in the areas of cognitive and information sciences, broadly defined, as part of a multi-year plan to enhance multi-disciplinary research collaborations. These hires will add depth and breadth to Syracuse University’s strong research emphasis in the domains of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. We anticipate novel collaborations to emerge from participants, including faculty and new hires in Psychology, the School of Information Studies, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Departments of Earth Sciences, Geography and Public Administration.

Applicants for the position should have a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Science, or a related field. Successful candidates will show evidence of (1) high quality scholarship and the potential to build a vigorous program of funded research (2) teaching promise at the undergraduate and graduate levels and (3) promise of excellence in engaging graduate and undergraduate students in research. Responsibilities include maintaining an active program of research, teaching and advising at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and service to the university. Information about the department may be found at http://psychology.syr.edu/.

Applicants must complete a brief online faculty application at https://www.sujobopps.com/postings/76729 to which they will attach electronic copies of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a research statement, a teaching statement, a diversity statement, and a single representative paper. Candidates will be asked to provide the names of 3 references who might be asked to submit a letter of recommendation. Detailed instructions for uploading their confidential recommendation letter into the system will be sent to the references identified in the application. Review of applications will begin November 1.

Syracuse University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to equality of opportunity and a diverse work force. The university and department have a strong commitment to diversity within its faculty and staff, and strives to foster and sustain an inclusive climate. The Department of Psychology and broader Syracuse community provides a rich and supportive environment for inclusive research involving ethnically and economically diverse populations.

Syracuse is located in beautiful Upstate New York. The city and surrounding areas offer outstanding school systems, a modest cost of living, proximity to nature (Adirondack Mountains, Thousand Islands, Lake Ontario, and the Finger Lakes) and easy access to major eastern cities. Several major medical centers, including SUNY Upstate Medical Center and the Syracuse VA Medical Center, are in close proximity to Syracuse University and offer opportunities for interdisciplinary research.


September 5, 2018

Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences is offering fellowships

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)



Apply for a CASBS Fellowship

Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) offers a residential fellowship program for scholars working in a diverse range of disciplines that contribute to advancing research and thinking in social science. Fellows represent the core social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology) but also the humanities, education, linguistics, communications, and the biological, natural, health, and computer sciences. They are pleased to partner with several entities to provide funding for some residential fellowships whose research projects focus on certain topics. Our newest partner fellowship program is the Chinese University of Hong Kong fellowship, which joins the Berggruen, National University of Singapore, Presence-CASBS, and Stanford-Taiwan Social Science fellowships offered through CASBS.

CASBS is a collaborative environment that fosters the serendipity arising from unexpected intellectual encounters. We believe that cross-disciplinary interactions lead to beneficial transformations in thinking and research. We seek fellows who will be influential with, and open to influence by, their colleagues in the diverse multidisciplinary cohort we assemble for a given year.

Applications for the 2019-20 fellowship year are now open. Click here to apply.

The application deadline is November 2, 2018. Applicants will be notified of decisions via email in February 2019.

August 28, 2018

Professorship in Management at UC San Diego

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


Decision Science News is a fan of the management group at UCSD and encourages readers to apply for this position.

Job posting link

Recruitment Period
Open date: September 13th, 2018
Next review date: October 15th, 2018. Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: May 31st, 2019. Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The Rady School of Management (http://rady.ucsd.edu) at UC San Diego is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body. The Rady School invites applications for one or more open-rank faculty positions at the assistant professor level (tenure-track) in the area of Management. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or be working toward completion of a Ph.D. by the start date of the new academic year (July 2019). Preference will be given to candidates whose research interests include judgment and decision-making, social psychology, organizational behavior, or people analytics. The School seeks candidates whose research, teaching, and/or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Salary and appointment level are dependent on experience and based on University of California pay scales. The position is expected to have a start date of July 1, 2019.
Applicants are asked to submit a detailed vita, statement of research, statement on diversity, relevant research papers, and 3-5 reference letters via our on-line submission web site: https://apol-recruit.ucsd.edu/apply/JPF01861.

The application should include: a detailed curriculum vita, a statement of research with relevant publications, and a diversity statement summarizing their contribution, or potential for contribution, to diversity and leadership. The diversity statement should summarize past experience in activities that promote diversity and inclusion and/or plans to make future contributions. Further information about the required diversity statement can be found at http://facultyexcellence.ucsd.edu/c2d/index.html.

Review of applications begins October 15, 2018, and continues until position(s) are filled. For applicants interested in spousal/partner employment, please visit the UCSD Partner Opportunities Program web site: https://aps.ucsd.edu/services/pop/index.html. UCSD is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence and diversity (http://diversity.ucsd.edu).

August 21, 2018

Job Posting: Director of University of Arizona’s Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


Application Link

Position Summary
The University of Arizona (UA) seeks an energetic, visionary and entrepreneurial leader to be the next director of the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences (http://cals.arizona.edu/fcs/). Reporting to the director, the school has three academic degree programs: Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD), Personal and Family Financial Planning (PFFP), and Retailing and Consumer Sciences (RCSC) with nearly 1,000 undergraduate pre-majors/majors; and three multidisciplinary research, outreach, and corporate engagement units: the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families; the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing; and the Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research; as well as FCS Cooperative Extension. These supporting units play key roles in translating research into practice while also attracting financial and strategic partners and resources to the University.

The Norton School’s mission is to conduct transformational research, teaching and outreach that helps to solve social problems, improve the lives of individuals and families, and strengthen communities and the marketplace. Our approach is applied and interdisciplinary, grounded in the science of human behavior. Faculty and students routinely collaborate with both internal colleagues (interdisciplinary, across campus) and external community and industry partners. Community engagement is a core strength that builds our knowledge base and guides translation of research insights into solutions for practical problems, especially through Cooperative Extension and the school’s center/institutes.

The Norton School aspires to national and international recognition as a thought leader for both scholarship (generation of new knowledge) and application of research knowledge to strengthen individuals, families, communities and the marketplace to improve quality of life. The Norton School Director must also share the faculty’s aspiration to national prominence for their transformational degree programs that infuse research into the classroom and utilize experiential learning to train students for leadership roles in their fields.

The University of Arizona is a leading public university, with regional roots and global impact. As the state’s land-grant institution, the University of Arizona is a student-centered Research I institution. The University of Arizona provides a comprehensive, high quality education that engages our students in discovery through interdisciplinary research and broad-based scholarship, serving the diverse citizens of Arizona and beyond. We empower our graduates to lead in solving complex societal problems. To its 43,000 students the UA offers more than 300 graduate and undergraduate degrees. The campus is located in Tucson, a city of nearly 1 million people (100 miles south of Phoenix and 50 miles north of Mexico). The UA has been designated an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the only public university in the state with this designation. The local culture reflects the region’s Native American, Mexican, and pioneer heritage, and every year the city hosts a variety of cultural events in a revitalized urban center. Ringed by mountains and set in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, Tucson is a year-round resort destination, and the beautiful natural environment and mild climate promotes a casual lifestyle and many outdoor recreational activities, including golf, tennis, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding (http://www.visittucson.org/about/).

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and World at Work and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs.

Duties and Responsibilities
The Director is the senior appointed academic administrative officer of the Norton School. The Director reports to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and will work collaboratively with four Associate Deans, three other school directors, six academic department heads, and other support unit heads within CALS to ensure the Norton School contributes its share toward meeting the college and university strategic goals, as well as the Arizona Board of Regents performance metrics. Familiarity with the evolving UA strategic plan will be essential for developing, articulating and executing the Director’s vision and leadership of the School. In accordance with university policies, the Director will oversee all School activities, including but not limited to the promotion of undergraduate and graduate education, research activities, support of student and faculty, staff and appointed personnel development/recruitment, management of all departmental budgets, assignment of teaching, and faculty evaluation. The Director is responsible for developing and strengthening the relationships with existing partner institutions in the public and private sector; greatly expanding the Norton School’s donor base and corporate connections. The Director must be an effective strategist, entrepreneur, brand manager and implementer as well as being an excellent personnel manager. The Director will decide how best to maintain their own active research and/or teaching and/or extension programs.

Minimum Qualifications
Ph.D., or other qualifications and record, consistent with the Norton School faculty recommending tenure at the rank of full professor.
We welcome applicants with academic qualifications and who bring knowledge, skills and talents in addition to those often considered sufficient in academia.

The next School director must have a solid understanding of the public land-grant university mission, Cooperative Extension and the history and evolution of family and consumer sciences programs (and their predecessors) within the land-grant system.

We are looking for an entrepreneurial leader who can articulate and promote an expanded vision for the School and its collaborative partnerships with the College and University. The successful candidate will have demonstrated excellence in:
a. Developing and sustaining external partnerships, outreach programs, grant funding, corporate partnerships, and private philanthropic support
b. Administration, personnel management, and building/managing complex budgets
c. Leading diversified teams to maximize performance
d. Harnessing the power of diversity as a key driver of innovation and success
e. Recruiting and cultivating advisory board members and other external stakeholder groups to increase organizational reach and impact
f. Leveraging technology, including social media, to stimulate innovation, expand the engaged community, and promote programs and brand.

August 15, 2018

It’s not the heat, it’s the heat index

Filed in Encyclopedia ,Ideas ,R
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


Click to enlarge

(We got a request for a Celsius version of this post and since we are a full service website we created one and put it here).

So, we were wondering, what’s this heat index we hear about? We went to the Wikipedia article on it. It is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity to convert a (hot) temperature into something like perceived temperature, how hot it feels. It formalizes the adage “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

The equation to get heat index from temperature and relative humidity is big:

Click to enlarge

This heat index chart is also complicated, but it allows one to look up the heat index rather easily.

Click to enlarge

We wanted a better way to see what the heat index is doing. So we made this plot:

Click to enlarge

When it’s 90 degrees outside with 90% relative humidity, it feels 30 degrees hotter. That’s a lot of degrees.

It turns out there is another heat index formula. This one’s even more complicated.

Click to enlarge

We wanted to see how it compared to the first, so we plotted both together:

Click to enlarge

We like averaging, so we plotted the average of the two outputs:

Click to enlarge

We thought it looks not so far from linear so we fit a regression model to the average and plotted that:

Click to enlarge

Then we couldn’t resist coming up with a simple heuristic (shown in dots):

Click to enlarge

The heuristic comes pretty close to the regression model.

Click to enlarge

The error (mean absolute deviation) of the heuristic to the average model is about 3 degrees. The error of the regression model to the average model is about 2 degrees, so it’s not bad, considering that the two different heat index formulae can differ by over 5 degrees.

So what’s the heuristic?

  • Relative Humidity of 50%: Add 10 degrees for every 10 degrees above 80
  • Relative Humidity of 70%: Add 20 degrees for every 10 degrees above 80
  • Relative Humidity of 90%: Add 30 degrees for every 10 degrees above 80 + 5

It’s quite a bit simpler than the 9 and 16 term equations above and should be good enough for everyday use.

For those who want it

August 8, 2018

Professorship in Operations, Information and Decisions (OID), Wharton, University of Pennsylvania

Filed in Jobs
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)



The Operations, Information and Decisions Department at the Wharton School is home to faculty with a diverse set of interests in behavioral economics, decision-making, information technology, information-based strategy, operations management, and operations research.

We are seeking applicants for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position at any level: Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor. Applicants must have a Ph.D. (expected completion by June 2019 is preferred but by June 30, 2020 is acceptable) from an accredited institution and have an outstanding research record or potential in the OID Department’s areas of research. The appointment is expected to begin July 1, 2019.

More information about the Department is available at:

Interested individuals should complete and submit an online application via our secure website, and must include:
* A curriculum vitae
* A job market paper
* (Applicants for an Assistant Professor position) Three letters of recommendation submitted by references

To apply, please visit this web site: https://oid.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/faculty-positions/

Further materials, including (additional) papers and letters of recommendation, will be requested as needed. To ensure full consideration, materials should be received by October 21st , 2018.

OID Department
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
3730 Walnut Street
500 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340

The University of Pennsylvania is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

August 3, 2018

The 18 cent piece

Filed in Encyclopedia ,Ideas
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)


We draw your attention to the cleverly-titled article What This Country Needs is an 18 Cent Piece. It’s a piece of recreational mathematics that asks the question “what set of coins minimizes the average number of coins needed to make change”?

It’s fun, but I’m sure my marketing colleagues will bristle at the assumption “we assume that every amount of change between 0 and 99 is equally likely.” That said, the author does acknowledge nines pricing and Benford’s law in a footnote.

We also imagine this to be the kind of article that when dangled before our serial co-author Preston McAfee, would cause him to engage in a few hours of recreational mathematics himself.

Shallit, J. The Mathematical Intelligencer (2003) 25: 20. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02984830