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January 29 , 2011

Calculating Catastrophe


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Book Launch of Calculating Catastrophe

Calculating Catastrophe has been written to explain, to a general readership, the underlying philosophical ideas and scientific principles that govern catastrophic events, both natural and man-made. Knowledge of the broad range of catastrophes deepens understanding of individual modes of disaster. This book will be of interest to anyone aspiring to understand catastrophes better, but will be of particular value to those engaged in public and corporate policy, and the financial markets.

The author, Dr. Gordon Woo, was trained in mathematical physics at Cambridge, MIT and Harvard, and has made his career as a calculator of catastrophes. His diverse experience includes consulting for IAEA on the seismic safety of nuclear plants and for BP on offshore oil well drilling. As a catastrophist at Risk Management Solutions, he has advanced the insurance modelling of catastrophes, including designing a model for terrorism risk.

  • Natural Hazards:
    • Causation and Association
    • Extra-Terrestrial Hazards
    • Meteorological Hazards
    • Geological Hazards
    • Geomorphic Hazards
    • Hydrological Hazards
  • Societal Hazards:
    • Political Violence
    • Infectious Disease Pandemics
    • Industrial and Transportation Accidents
    • Fraud Catastrophe
  • A Sense of Scale:
    • Size Scales of Natural Hazards
    • Hazard Spatial Scales
    • The Human Disaster Toll
    • Models of a Fractal World
  • A Measure of Uncertainty:
    • The Concept of Probability
    • The Meaning of Uncertainty
    • Aleatory and Epistemic Uncertainty
    • Probability Ambiguity
    • The Weighing of Evidence
  • A Matter of Time:
    • Temporal Models of Hazards
    • Long-Term Data Records
    • Statistics of Extremes
  • Catastrophe Complexity:
    • Emergent Catastrophes
    • Financial Crashes
    • Ancillary Hazards
  • Terrorism:
    • A Thinking Man's Game
    • Defeating Terrorist Networks
    • Counter-Radicalization
  • Forecasting:
    • Earthquake Forecasting
    • Verification
    • River Flows and Sea Waves
    • Accelerating Approach to Criticality
    • Evidence-Based Diagnosis
  • Disaster Warning:
    • Decision in the Balance
    • Evacuation
    • The Wisdom of Experts
  • Disaster Scenarios:
    • Scenario Simulation
    • Footprints and Vulnerability
    • Fermi Problems
  • Catastrophe Cover:
    • Probable Maximum Loss
    • Coherent Risk Measures
    • The Samaritan's Dilemma
  • Catastrophe Risk Securitization:
    • Catastrophe Bonds
    • The Price of Innovation
  • Risk Horizons:
    • Ecological Catastrophe
    • Climate Change
    • War and Conflict Resolution

Readership: Applied mathematicians, earth and atmospheric scientists, civil engineers, geographers, economists and general public.
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