Kathryn Laskey


Professor, Systems Engineering and Operations Research, George Mason University Associate Director, GMU's Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4I Center)


Faculty webpagehttp://seor.gmu.edu/~klaskey/
SEOR website: http://seor.gmu.edu/
C$I Center: http://c4i.gmu.edu/

Email: klaskey@gmu.edu
Phone: (703) 993-1644
Address: Room 2214 Nguyen Engineering Building
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030 USA


BS in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh
Masters in Mathematics from the University of Michigan
PhD in Statistics and Public Affairs from Carnegie Mellon University.

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Program

My broad research interest is the use of information technology to support better inference and decision making. Within this broad area, I have worked on the application of decision theory to intelligent decision and inference support systems. I have worked on understanding the proper role of normative, behavioral, and computational theories in the modeling and support of decision making. My main areas of interest include:

  • Knowledge representations for reasoning about uncertain phenomena
  • Construction of problem-specific probability and decision models from a generic knowledge base
  • Development of a large knowledge base for reasoning about the behavior of military units using background knowledge and incoming intelligence reports
  • Methods for combining expert knowledge and data to learn both structure and parameters of probability models

Role as an Educator

I teach courses in systems engineering, decision theory, and decision support systems. Education is a lifelong process of bringing out an individual’s unique potential. Although the ultimate responsibility and the ultimate reward lie with the student , a teacher can do much to facilitate or to repress a student’s joy in learning and willingness to stretch beyond the horizons of his or her current knowledge and worldview. My primary objective in teaching is to spark in students the excitement I feel a bout the subject matter. I aim to give students the basic knowledge and the confidence they need to be able to follow their curiousity where it leads them. Information about courses I teach is available online.


These are courses I currently teach on a regular basis.  SYST 210 (formerly SYST 301) is offered every Fall semester. I am the regular teacher.  SYST 542 is offered most years during Fall or Spring, and occasionally during the Summer, depending on demand and faculty availability.  I teach it regularly. It is not being offered in Academic Year 2007/08, but is planned for Academic Year 2008/09.  SYST / STAT 664 is offered every other Spring semester.  The next planned offering is Spring 2009.  OR/STAT 719 is usually offered every other Fall semester. This year, it  is being offered in Spring 2008.  I also teach other courses on an occasional basis.  OR 680 is the capstone project course for the MS degree in Operations Research.  SYST 798 is the capstone project course for the MS degree in Systems Engineering.  The capstone project courses are offered every semester.  I am teaching these courses in Spring 2008.

SYST210: System Design

SYST 542:  Decision Support Systems Engineering

SYST/STAT 664: Bayesian Inference and Decision Theory

OR/STAT 719: Graphical Models for Inference and Decision Making

OR 680 / SYST 798: Applications Seminar / Research Project


Journal Papers

Book chapters

Conference Proceedings – Conferences Ranked A by CORE

Other Refereed Conference and Workshop Papers

Edited Volumes

Selected Other Publications and Presentations

  • Goldsmith, J. and Laskey, K.B. Introduction to the special issue on Bayesian model views. International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, 51(2): 165-166, 2010.
  • Wang, P. Laskey, K. and Domeniconi, C. Nonparametric Bayesian Methods for Relational Clustering, The Learning Workshop, Cliff Lodge, Snowbird, Utah, April 6-9, 2010.
  • Laskey, K.J., Laskey, K.B., Costa, P.C.G., Kokar, M.M., Martin, T., and Lukasiewicz, T. Uncertainty Reasoning for the World Wide Web: Report of the Incubator Group, 31 March 2008.
  • Laskey, K.B. and Laskey, K.J. Service Oriented Architecture. Invited focus article, WIRE�s Computational Statistics, John Wiley and Sons, 2007.
  • Dybowski, R., Laskey, K.B. and Myers, J. Introduction to the Special Issue of Fusion of Domain Knowledge with Data for Decision Support. Journal of Machine Learning Research 4, 2004.
  • Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph, National Research Council. The Polygraph and Lie Detection. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2003.
  • Laskey, K.B. and Levitt, T.S., Multisource Fusion for Probabilistic Detection and Opportunistic Assessment of Terrorist Threats, Aerosense 2002.
  • Laskey, K. and Levitt, T, Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence. Invited entry, Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2002.
  • Laskey, K.B., Bayesian Decision Theory, Subjective Probability and Utility. Invited entry, Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, S. Gass and C. Harris (eds), 1998, revised 2000.
  • Cohen, M.L., Rolph, J.E., and Steffey, D.L. (eds) and the Panel on Statistical Methods for Testing and Evaluating Defense Systems, National Research Council. Statistics, Testing and Defense Acquisition. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1998.
  • Lehner, P.E. and Laskey, K.B., An Introduction to Issues in Higher Order Uncertaity, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics 24(11), 1994.
  • Meyer, M.M. and Fienberg, S. (eds) and the Panel to Review Evaluation Studies of Bilingual Education, Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council. Assessing Evaluation Studies: The Case of Bilingual Education Strategies. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1992.

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