About the course
Making high-quality decisions is a challenging endeavor. Even the largest companies struggle with decision-making, often investing far too much on market research reports, marketing campaigns, or capital investments. Similarly, with personal decisions, we often find ourselves plagued with regret after purchasing an electronic device, an insurance policy, or perhaps even a home. Decision analysis is a field of engineering developed by mathematicians in the mid-20th century at Stanford and Harvard. It uses a mix of math, philosophy, and gut instinct to guide individuals and organizations toward making better decisions. This method is used in many large organizations such as Chevron, Pfizer, and the US military. When Chevron mulls over, “Should we drill for oil here or not?” or when Pfizer asks, “Should we invest in an advertising campaign?” they employ techniques of decision analysis to guide their analyses. This course will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use the wisdom of decision analysis to avoid the decision traps we commonly fall into. Students will learn mathematical and conceptual tools that, while relatively simple, are incredibly powerful. Topics we will explore will include influence diagrams, decision trees, value measures and functions, statistical interference, and sensitivity analysis. This course can be useful to anyone interested in strengthening their ability to make decisions of consequence, and works equally well in both business and personal applications.
WHAT MAKES OUR ONLINE COURSES UNIQUE:
Course sizes are limited.
You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 40 participants.
Frequent interaction with the instructor.
You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.
Study with a vibrant peer group.
Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.
Direct feedback from the instructor.
Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.
Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.
Richard Kim (B.S. in Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004; M.B.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011; M.S. in Systems Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, 2014; Ph.D. Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2018) has spent his professional caree...
Videos and materials
Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.