Seminar with Prof. Scott Matthews

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The Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech are sponsoring a seminar with H. Scott Matthews, Ph.D., Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University.  A flyer is attached.

Title:  Data Driven Analysis for Improved Society, Engineered Systems, and Policy

Time:  May 3rd, 11 a.m.

Place:  Georgia Tech, Mason Building, Room 5143

Abstract:  As society advances to expect deeper understanding of human, natural and engineered systems, the methods needed to support public decisions also must advance. While systems engineering and analysis methods have flourished for years, emerging tools for managing, analyzing, and visualizing data and uncertainty are changing the way we understand and manage systems.

In this talk, I demonstrate several examples of systems that had a “known" outcome based on unstated methods, but through further exploration and acquisition of additional data, the underlying uncertainty in the system becomes clear. In each case, the analysis leads to broader findings, and forms the basis of models for decision making under uncertainty. The examples chosen relate to the study of environmental performance of multinational companies, environmental life cycle assessment, and safety inspection failure rates of automobiles.

As public agencies are increasingly held to high standards of cost-effective program management, open data initiatives will lead to increased access to data.  As such, the bar must be raised in terms of how government decision makers understand the data life cycle and the treatment and analysis of uncertainty in the social systems they manage.

Biography:  Scott Matthews is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  He is also a member of the Green Design Institute, an interdisciplinary research consortium focused on modeling energy and environmental problems as systems, building decision support tools, and supporting robust policy decisions under uncertainty.  His research and teaching focuses on valuing the socioeconomic implications of environmental systems, sustainable engineering, and industrial ecology.  His work facilitates policy-relevant decision-making via large datasets, computation, and visualization methods.  He has contributed to the development of tools for environmental and energy life-cycle assessment of products and processes (such as the EIO-LCA model), estimating and tracking environmental effects across global supply chains (such as carbon footprinting), and the sustainability of infrastructure systems.  Dr. Matthews has served as chair of the Committee on Sustainable Systems and Technology with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, on the Executive Committee for the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, and is a member of the NRC Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.


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