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International Year of Statistics 2013 Distinguished Lecture: "Fragility, Robustness & Antifragility"

Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan

January 25, 2013 2:00 PM  to 
January 25, 2013 4:00 PM
Room 375

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ABSTRACT: Everything in life has nonlinear responses, from medical treatments to project management, for both benefits and harm (medical and economic iatrogenics). The talk introduces the concept of fragility and antifragility and maps them to nonlinearities in life and decision making. We propose methods of detection of fragility and antifragility based on either a) the convexity of the response, b) the shape of the probability distribution of outcomes (asymmetry between gains and harm). The presentation is adapted from Taleb's recent book Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder.

Please note: audience members who are not NSF employees should contact Gabor Szekely (information below) in advance for a visitor pass.

Meeting Type

Gabor Szekely, (703) 292-8869, email:

NSF Related Organizations
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences