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April 23, 2015

Keisler is first UMass Boston professor to be named distinguished Fulbright Chair

  • Boston
Professor of management systems will do research in Finland.

Professor of Management Systems Jeffrey Keisler has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair position for the 2015-2016 academic year. The College of Management professor will research methods for technology and other technology decisions at Finland’s premier science and technology institute, Aalto University.

“It’s important because we’re creating better modeling methods to allow for richer incorporation of scientific and economic knowledge. This can lead to better allocation of our resources toward technology improvements that benefit the world,” Keisler said.

According to Vice Provost and Director of the Office of Global Programs Schuyler Korban, Keisler is the first UMass Boston professor to earn such an honor. Only 40 scholars are chosen for the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program each year, making it one of the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program, which awards a total of 8,000 grants each year.

“This award recognizes Professor Keisler’s innovative research as well as his distinguished career as a prolific scholar and leader in our profession,” said Jorge Haddock, dean of the College of Management.

Distinguished chairs focus their work in one of four areas: the human-oriented living environment, the service economy, digitalization, or the energy and sustainable use of natural resources.

Keisler is an expert in decision analysis, a discipline using concepts from statistics, economics, psychology, and logic to find desirable paths forward.

In making investments in energy technology, decision makers face great uncertainty and complex demands and constraints. Keisler’s research applies decision analysis to managing project portfolios, estimating the value of information that can be acquired to improve decisions, and characterizing the interactions between related decisions and their outcomes.

Collaborating with researchers at Aalto, Keisler plans to develop and test new techniques for supporting Finland's technology development. Keisler will also co-teach two graduate short courses on portfolio decision analysis. He will be in Finland from January through June.

Keisler joined the UMass Boston faculty in 2000. He is the past president of the Decision Analysis Society, and winner of its 2013 award for best publication.