As a pioneer and “founding father” of decision science, Howard Raiffa’s work and contributions to the field are honored through the Howard Raiffa Fund. Established in 1996, the Fund supports decision science scholars-in-training through grants for projects focusing on education and “real-world” applications. CHDS administers the Fund and ensures its commitment to Howard’s ideals.
Following Raiffa’s model of engaged mentorship, awardees work closely with a CHDS faculty member in planning and implementing projects of their own design. Health policy doctoral students Zach Ward and Kate Lofgren were awardees in 2017: Ward’s project developed teaching resources for “spillovers” in economic evaluation—the effects of a patient’s illness on family members and caregivers—supervised by CHDS’s Senior Research Scientist Eve Wittenberg. Lofgren developed supplementary lectures for HSPH’s introductory decision science course, to expand students’ understanding of some of the more complex and nuanced aspects of the field. Lofgren was supervised by Assistant Professor Ankur Pandya.
2018 awardees are Zach Ward, selected for a second year of funding, and Jinyi Zhu, both health policy doctoral students. Ward will be designing and pilot testing tutorials and case studies to accompany the open-source decision analytic software he developed. Zhu will be developing application cases and visualization tools to complement teaching in the HSPH decision science curriculum. Ward is working with Dr. Wittenberg and Zhu with Dr. Pandya.