Decision Making with Insight: With Insight.Xla 2.0 / Edition 2

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Overview

Dr. Sam Savage, who's recognized as a leading innovator in management science education, provides the most hands-on , practical introduction to methods of decision making. This book and accompanying suite of Excel add-ins for quantitative analysis covers Monte Carlo simulation, decision trees, queuing simulations, optimization, Markov chains, and forecasting. The Insight add-ins have been developed over several years by the author.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534386399
  • Publisher: South Western Educational Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: Book & CDRom
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 598,683
  • Product dimensions: 7.51 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Savage
Dr. Savage received his Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University in 1973. He spent a year at General Motors Research Laboratory, then joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he taught regular classes until 1990. He then moved to Stanford University where he currently teaches courses on Analytical Modeling in Spreadsheets and directs an Industry/University relations program. In 1985, Dr. Savage led the development of What'sBest!, linking linear programming to spreadsheets. This popular package won PC Magazine's Technical Excellence Award. In 1990 he developed a successful series of seminars on analytical modeling in spreadsheets, of which "Practical Risk Modeling in Spreadsheets" is the latest. Dr. Savage is founder and president of AnalyCorp Inc., through which he consults and lectures extensively to business and government agencies.

Biography

Sam Savage grew up in a small town in South Carolina in the '40s and '50s. Then he went north, first to Boston and New York, and later to France and Germany. He studied at the University of Heidelberg and at Yale, eventually acquiring a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale. He taught there, briefly and unhappily. It was a period when many had become convinced that there are no genuine philosophic problems, only genuine linguistic puzzles. This discovery did not leave any "career options" for Savage, since the only puzzle that interested him at that time was himself. In 1980 he went back south, to McClellanville, South Carolina (pop. 400), where he spent the next twenty-three years. He worked as a carpenter, a commercial fisherman, and a letterpress printer. He lived, however, mainly on a diminishing pile of inherited money and the labors of his wife, while he attempted to write, pretended to write, and often really did write. Most of the things he wrote have not survived. In 2003, he moved north again, this time to Madison, Wisconsin, where he now lives.

Savage has proved to be the most persistant and annoying of the Old Rat's fictions.

Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Savage:

"Two years before starting Firmin, I wrote a long story in a ragged verse form I like to call high doggerel. I persuaded my sister, the artist Virginia Beverley, to illustrate it, and we posted the whole thing on the web as The Criminal Life of Effie O. It is now available as a paperback book. Effie O was the first thing I wrote after I had learned not to give a damn. I wrote it for my sister, to whom I would read chapters over the phone as I finished them, and my wife, Nora, who I knew would like it, and for the joy of it."

"As for the inspiration for my writing, I don't plan a novel, don't start off with an idea or plot, such as 'a story about a literate rat in a Boston bookstore.' When I began writing Firmin I didn't even know Firmin was a rat, I didn't know he was in Boston, I didn't know it was a novel. If I am not working on a story, I sit at the typewriter (or now the computer) and just type without any leading idea, the writing equivalent I suppose of an aimless walk. Most of the time nothing comes of it, but not always. I rewrite a paragraph several times before I go on to next one. I try not to think about where it's all going, out of fear that of forcing the story in a preconceived direction rather than letting the direction emerge from the writing."

"As for jobs, I have probably had a greater variety than most people, but I have spent much more time sitting in armchairs doing what some have described unkindly as 'staring into space.' The riches this activity (and it was an activity) brought in, however, have not been convertible to cash. Among jobs I got paid for doing my favorite was working a crab boat along the coast of South Carolina, where I had returned after leaving the university. For six or seven hours a day I was alone in a boat in the marsh creeks, often not seeing another human from the time I left the dock to the time I returned. When I shut off the engine to cull my catch, the only sounds were birds, wind, and water. I thought, and still think, I was in those moments the luckiest person on earth."

"These days my pleasures are small and local. I walk by the lakes. I watch movies on video. I go out once or twice a week for lunch in some little restaurant. I read. My dislikes are large and universal. I have an aversion to jargon. Especially academic jargon. I dream that one morning all the cars in the city will fail to start. I anguish over war and famine. I read the news obsessively. I fume. I think I rant."

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 9, 1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Camden, South Carolina
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Philosophy, Yale, 1968; University of Heidelberg (2 years), Ph.D. in Philosophy, Yale, 1979
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Fundamental Concepts
Exercises
Tutorials
Road Map
Overview of Decision Making with Insight and INSIGHT.xla 2.0
Application Matrix
1 Analytical Modeling in Spreadsheets 1
2 The Building Blocks of Uncertainty: Random Variables 19
3 The Buildings of Uncertainty: Functions of Random Variables 56
4 Uncertainties That Evolve Over Time 111
5 Forecasting 154
6 Decision Trees 183
7 Overview of Optimization 222
8 Extensions of Optimization 254
App. A Queuing Equations: QUEUE.xla and Q├ÂNET.xla 301
App. B Two-Parameter Exponential Smoothing for Estimating Trends 305
App. C Software Command Reference 308
References 351
Index 353
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