Areas of Expertise
- Behavioral Decision Making
- Decision Analysis
- Risk Analysis
Rakesh Sarin has been a member of the UCLA Anderson faculty since 1979. He was promoted to associate professor in 1981, to full professor in 1985, and he was awarded the Paine Chair in Management in 1990. He has also held appointments on the faculties of the Indian Institute of Management, Purdue University and Duke University.
His theoretical interests include preference theory, decisions under uncertainty and equity and fairness in decision-making. He has developed models that have found applications in project evaluation, new product development decisions, and analyzing risks to human health and the environment. His recent research has focused on identifying laws that govern happiness.
Sarin is currently serving as the editor-in-chief of Decision Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of INFORMS that bridges the gap between theory and practice and facilitates active communication and exchange of knowledge among decision analysts in academia, business, industry and government. He has also served as a consultant to several private and public organizations.
He enjoys teaching the MBA and Executive MBA program students, the latter of which he says bring new challenges. “EMBA students are more engaged on conceptual issues, even though they have to balance work and study,” says Sarin. “Their primary goal is learning to enhance their careers, which really changes the nature of discussions in class.”
Apart from his focus on decision sciences, risk analysis and decision-making, Sarin has been conducting research with Manel Baucells at Universitat Pompeu Fabra to determine whether the “key to happiness” can be identified through a mathematical formula. Based on 10 years of research examining worldwide data from surveys, ancient literature and pearls of wisdom from various religions and spiritual practices, Sarin and Baucells have determined that the laws of happiness rest with one fundamental equation: Happiness = Reality – Shifting Expectations. Their findings have been published in their book Engineering Happiness. In it they integrate their research with the latest thinking in the behavioral and social sciences — including management science, psychology and economics — and offer a new approach to the puzzle of happiness.
Ph.D. Operations Management, 1975, UCLA
MBA 1971, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
B.E. Mechanical Engineering, 1969, M.R. Engineering College, Jaipur
Sarin, R.K., “Measuring Equity in Public Risk,” Operations Research, 33, 1, 210-217, January-February 1985. [ PDF ]
Kahn, B.E. and Sarin, R.K., “Modeling Ambiguity in Decisions Under Uncertainty,” Journal of Consumer Research, 15, 265-272, September 1988. [ PDF ]
Hum, S.H. and Sarin, R.K., “Simultaneous Product-Mix Planning, Lot Sizing and Scheduling at Bottleneck Facilities,” Operations Research, 39, 2, 296-307, March-April 1991. [ PDF ]
Kahneman, D., Wakker, P.P. and Sarin, R.K., “Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 375-405, May 1997. [ PDF ]