Courses Related to Decision Science


HLS 90250-31 Behavioral Law and Economics Seminar
Analyses of legal processes often assume that people adhere to certain assumptions regarding rational behavior. A considerable emerging literature tests these assumptions using empirical evidence on actual performance of litigants and the courts, as well as experimental evidence on decision-making by judges and jurors. This seminar will explore a broad range of these issues, focusing particularly on how they relate to the determination of liability and setting of damages. 

ENG SCI 201 Decision Theory
Mathematical analysis of decision making. Bayesian inference and risk. Maximum likelihood and nonparametric methods. Algorithmic methods for decision rules: perceptrons, neural nets, and back propagation. Hidden Markov models, Blum-Welch, principal and independent components.

ECON 1059 (formerly Theories of Decisionmaking in Economics) Decision Theory
An introduction to formal models of decision making in economics, including both classical and psychologically-motivated approaches. Topics include risk, uncertainty, ambiguity, and temptation. 

EPI 501 Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
This course covers the basic concepts of infectious disease dynamics within human populations. Focus will be on transmission of infectious agents and the effect of biological, ecological, social, political, economic forces on the spread of infections. We will emphasize the impact of vaccination programs and other interventions. The dynamics of host-parasite interaction are illustrated using basic mathematical modeling techniques. 

MIT 14.128 Dynamic Optimization/Economic Applications
The unifying theme of this course is best captured by the title of our main reference book: "Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics". We start by covering deterministic and stochastic dynamic optimization using dynamic programming analysis. We then study the properties of the resulting dynamic systems. Finally, we will go over a recursive method for repeated games that has proven useful in contract theory and macroeconomics. We shall stress applications and examples of all these techniques throughout the course. 

GHP 525 Econometrics for Health Policy I
This is a course in applied econometrics for doctoral and advanced master level students. The course has two primary objectives: (1) to develop skills in linking economic behavioral models and quantitative analysis, in a way that students can use in their own research; (2) to develop students' abilities to understand and evaluate critically other peoples' econometric studies. 

ECON 1052 Introduction to Game Theory
Introduction to game theory and its applications to economics at a high level of rigor. Topics include extensive form and strategic form games, Nash’s equilibrium and existence theorem, subgame-perfect equilibrium, Bayesian equilibrium, and applications to repeated games, auctions, and bargaining. 

MLD 221 A, B, C & D Introduction to Negotiation Analysis
These courses will develop a set of conceptual frameworks that should help students analyze future negotiation situations and prepare more effectively. Through participation in negotiation simulations, students will have the opportunity to exercise powers of communication and persuasion and to experiment with a variety of negotiation tactics and strategies. Introduces students to the theory and practice of negotiation. The ability to successfully negotiate rests on a combination of analytical and interpersonal skills. Analysis is important because negotiators cannot develop promising strategies without a deep understanding of the context of the situation, the interests of the other parties, and the range of possible moves and countermoves. 

EPI 260 Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases
This course will cover selected topics and techniques in the use of dynamical models to study the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. Techniques will include design and construction of appropriate differential equation models, equilibrium and stability analysis, parameter estimation from epidemiological data, determination and interpretation of the basic reprodutive number of an infection, techniques for sensitivity analysis, and critique of model assumptions. 

ENG SCI 210 Mathematical Programming
Introduction to basic optimization techniques. Linear programming: the simplex method and related algorithms, duality theory, interior-point methods. Unconstrained optimization, nonlinear programming, convexity. 

HPM 530 Measuring and Analyzing the Outcomes of Health Care
This course emphasizes introductory concepts, methods, and practical procedures for measuring and analyzing patients' health status, quality of life, satisfaction and cost-effectiveness for health outcomes research. The course reviews the fundamentals of health outcomes research methods necessary for 1) demonstrating improvement in patient outcomes, 2) controlling costs and allocating resources, 3) implementing disease management programs and 4) making effective public health, health technology and clinical decisions. 

EPI 241 Measuring Health Status
Examines methodologic issues related to measures of health and disease status encountered in clinical research. Topics to be covered include instrument development, scaling, space assessment of reliability, validity and responsiveness to change; principal component analysis and factor analysis; diagnostic test evaluation.

MIT 15.053 Optimization Methods in Management Science
Introduces students to the theory, algorithms, and applications of optimization. Optimization methodologies include linear programming, network optimization, integer programming, decision trees, and dynamic programming. The methods have applications to logistics, manufacturing, transportation, marketing, project management, and finance.

HPM 212 Program Evaluation in Health Policy
Course provides a one-semester overview of evaluation for those likely to participate in the design or implementation of evaluations in private organizations or government agencies. Topics include establishing the scope for an evaluation, evaluation design, data and measurement issues, issues in inference (appropriate controls, changing program design and unique local circumstances), and problems of assuring the accuracy, relevance and credibility of findings. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are addressed.

API 208 Program Evaluation: Estimating Program Effectiveness with Empirical Analysis
Program evaluation comprises a set of statistical tools for assessing the impact of public interventions. This methodological course will develop students’ skills in quantitative program evaluation. Students will study a variety of evaluation designs (from random assignment to quasi-experimental evaluation methods) and analyze data from actual evaluations, such as the national Job Training Partnership Act Study.

ECON 1030 Psychology and Economics
Psychological concepts include social preferences, impulsivity, bounded rationality, loss-aversion, over-confidence, self-serving biases, hedonics, and neuroscience. Economic concepts include arbitrage, equilibrium, rational choice, utility maximization, Bayesian beliefs, game theory. Integrates these psychological and economic concepts to understand behavioral phenomena such as portfolio choice, saving, procrastination, addiction, asset pricing, auction bidding, labor supply, cooperation, persuasion.

RDS 500 Risk Assessment
Introduces the framework of risk assessment, considers its relationship with cost-benefit, decision analysis and other tools for improving environmental decisions.

ID 292 Justice and Resource Allocation
This course explores the ethical issues, especially issues of distributive justice, raised by health and health care resource allocation methodologies and decisions.