Probability Management – A Cure for the Flaw of Averages

SF Bay ACM Chapter
SF Bay ACM Chapter
Public group

Hilton San Jose

300 Almaden Blvd · San Jose, CA

How to find us

Parking: The hotel has valet and self park options. Also parking garages and street parking nearby. Market Room: Walking into the main entrance of the San Jose Hilton, to the right around the stairs and toward the back / across from the bar.

Location image of event venue


By Dr. Sam L. Savage, Exe. Director of
Meetup Hosted by Postgres Conference and Sponsored by AWS.


5:00 Conference Social Session, Hand passed Snacks & bar & Networking
6:00 Pizza and Salad, sponsored by Amazon
7:00 Presentation (in the Market Room)
7:10 Live Streaming on this link:

*** Market room is very close to where the cocktail hour will be. ***

Dr. Sam L. Savage, Executive Director of, Author of The Flaw of Averages: Why we Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty, Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University. The discipline of probability management leverages big data to let organizations estimate the chances of good and bad outcomes of all sorts, to cure the Flaw of Averages.

See for example how PG&E is applying it to roll up operational risk

The Flaw of Averages states that plans based “average”
assumptions are wrong on average. That is, the substitution of single number estimates for uncertainties leads to systematic correctable errors. Yet most plans are still crafted around average demands, prices, completion times, etc., rendering them often worse than useless. This is because quantification of uncertainty has required specialized technology and statistical training.

SIPs go a long way toward curing this affliction by providing unambiguous representations of uncertainties as arrays of simulated or historical data. 501(c)(3) nonprofit,, has developed the open SIPmath standard for communicating these arrays along with metadata. It is compatible with virtually any software platform including native Excel and has broad implications in risk management and regulation. Communities of SIPmath practice have grown up at Chevron, Lockheed Martin, PG&E, within the military and in government finance.

Dr. Savage will demonstrate live interactive models in numerous areas of application using Excel files available to all attendees. No prior understating of statistics is assumed, but for those with extensive training in the subject, this presentation will attempt to repair the damage.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Sam L. Savage is Executive Director of, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to the communication and calculation of uncertainty. The organization has received funding from Chevron, Lockheed Martin, PG&E, and other, and he is joined on the board by Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics. Dr. Savage is author of "The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty" (John WIley & Sons, 2009, 2012), and is an Adjunct Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University as well as a Fellow of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University. He is the inventor of the Stochastic Information Packet (SIP), an audit-able data array for uncertainty. Dr. Savage received his Ph.D. in computational complexity from Yale University.