Policy Modeling refers to the application of operations research, statistics, and other quantitative methods to model policy problems. Recognizing that analyses of all sorts often exhibit diminishing returns in insight to effort, the hope is to capture key features of various policy issues with relatively simple “first-strike” models. Problem selection and formulation thus compete with the mathematics of solution methods in determining successful applications: where do good problems come from? How can analysts tell if a particular issue is worth pursuing? In addressing these questions, Dr. Kaplan will review some personal adventures in policy modeling selected from public housing, HIV/AIDS prevention, bioterror preparedness, suicide bombings and counterterrorism, in vitro fertilization, predicting presidential elections, and sports.
Dr. Edward H. Kaplan is the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Operations Research, Public Health, and Engineering at Yale. An elected member of both the National Academies of Engineering and Medicine, his research in HIV prevention and counterterrorism has been recognized with the Lanchester Prize, the Edelman Award, and numerous other awards in operations research and public health. Dr. Kaplan was the President of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) during 2016, where he preferred the title “Member in Chief.”