NAE Professor to Speak on Creativity, Decision Making

Published: Mar 16, 2006 7:35:15 AM
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Thomas L. Saaty, who holds the chair of university professor in the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, will be speaking on Monday and Tuesday, March 20 and 21. His visit is sponsored by the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

On Monday, Saaty will be speaking on the decision making process in 202 Dunstan Hall. This talk will begin at 10 a.m. and will cover Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Analytic Network Process (ANP), software-based decision making programs designed by Saaty following his experiences with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during negotiations with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The talk will introduce practical ways of thinking about and solving decision making problems.

Tuesday morning's talk will cover Saaty's views on creativity. This discussion will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Governor's Room at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. The focus will be on the relationship between creativity and intelligence and methods for teaching and stimulating creativity. The university community is invited to attend both lectures and may find this one of particular interest.

Saaty, who served as a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, spent seven years at the State Department as part of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He holds a doctorate in mathematics from Yale University and did post-graduate work at the University of Paris. His main research interests include operations, decision sciences and artificial intelligence.

Saaty developed two separate decision making software programs, Decision Lens and Super Decision, both of which use AHP and ANP to aid in the decision making process. During his visit, Saaty will give a discussion on the use of these programs to students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. This presentation will be an invitation only event.

Saaty is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer. The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering counts three graduates as members: Philip Lett, a 1941 mechanical engineering graduate, Oliver Kingsley, a 1966 engineering physics graduate, and John Junkins, a 1965 aerospace engineering graduate.