Faces in the Risk Analysis Crowd

About ten years ago, I went to my first software user’s conference.  It was directed at people working in risk analysis, and because it was held in a university business school, I was expecting to find a room full of techno-geeks with superb chops.  But it wasn’t that daunting.  Many of the users in that early crowd were people who were trying to learn about Monte Carlo software because their bosses had decided the outfit needed to be doing something called risk analysis, but there was one toxicologist who was frequently called upon to serve as an expert witness in the courtroom.  The classes all had titles like "Introduction to. . ." and " Basic Components of Decision. . . ."
 
Today, some of the old familiars sport a few more gray hairs and there are many new faces, but overall, their expertise and their titles have ramped up.  Their experiences working with colleagues on Six Sigma projects and decision analysis efforts and competing with other companies implementing Monte Carlo techniques and other decision support techniques have made them much more aware of the capabilities of statistical analysis techniques like genetic algorithm optimization and neural networks.  And by now, of course, Monte Carlo software is standard issue in their business sectors. 
 

Because of the tremendous savvy of people like you, my readers, I find I have to be very careful in my use of terminology, etc.  I often flee to Wikipedia.  Clearly it’s time for me to attend another user’s conference because I know for a fact the everybody in the crowd will have some truly daunting chops.  

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