Using System Dynamics Models to Make Better Decisions

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Ellen Czaika, SDM ’08


Ellen Czaika, PhD, Head of R&D, Gamaya; SDM Alumna

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Slides available here.

About the Presentation

Models are often used to analyze the long-term behavior of complex systems. Many professionals find that models based on system dynamics can be particularly useful when employed in conjunction with—or even instead of—fact-based briefings.

In this webinar, SDM alumna Dr. Ellen Czaika, head of R&D at Gamaya, will discuss her doctoral research into whether decision-makers who use a model reach better outcomes than those who hear only fact-based briefings. Drawing on her work on the advantages of using system dynamics models in sustainability negotiations and decisions—specifically regarding the “3Es” (environment, economy, and social equity)—she will:

  • explain how system dynamics models are designed to address complex challenges;
  • outline the benefits of such models, including how using them can highlight win-win elements to aid decision-making; and
  • provide thoughts on lessons learned that can be applied in a wide range of industries.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. We invite you to join us!

About the Speaker

Dr. Ellen Czaika applies her interest in data-driven decision-making as the head of R&D for Gamaya. Gamaya is a precision agriculture startup that uses machine learning on hyperspectral imagery to help farmers increase their yield while reducing their use of agrochemicals. She holds a PhD from MIT and two master’s degrees: one in engineering and management received as a graduate of MIT System Design & Management (SDM) and one in applied statistics from the University of Oxford.

About the Series

Sponsored by the System Design & Management (SDM) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges. Recordings and slides from prior SDM webinars can be accessed here.