James S. Dyer

May 7, 1943

Brief Biography

Dyer Fellow Portrait

James S. Dyer is an influential decision theorist who has made significant contributions to risk analysis and investment science. He received both his bachelors and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught since 1979. Prior to joining the faculty of his alma mater, Dyer was on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1972, Dyer published an article in Management Science on interactive goal programming. In it, he discussed the use of goal programming for the solution of the multiple criteria decision problem, presented in the form of an algorithm which requires interaction with the relevant decision-maker in order to obtain certain information on his utility function defined over the permissible values of the criteria. This paper would become one of many influential articles on the topic that Dyer has since published in Management Scienceand elsewhere.

Throughout his career, Dyer has published papers with a number of leading decision scientists, including Peter C. Fishburn and Stanley Zionts, and has consulted with a number of companies regarding the application of decision and risk analysis tools to a variety of problems, including those in energy and national security. These organizations have included the RAND Corporation, Unocal, Schlumberger, and the United States Department of Energy. Much of this work has involved the instruction of executive education courses for these firms and others across the globe. At the University of Texas at Austin, Dyer continues to hold executive education sessions in strategic business decisions, strategic decision making, and risk analysis in hydrocarbon exploration and production.

In 2004, Dyer was part of a team that included members from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Institute for Physics and Power Engineering in Russia, Ohio State University, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The group evaluated American and Russian Plutonium Disposition Options in a Post-Cold War world with multiattribute utility theory. The project and its team members were named a Finalist for that year’s Franz Edelman Prize.

Dyer is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and a recipient of the Frank P. Ramsey Medal of the society’s Decision Analysis Society (DAS) which recognized his lifetime contributions to decision analysis were recognized by the DAS. More recently, the International Society of Multiple Criteria Decision Making bestowed the MCDM Edgeworth-Pareto Award upon Dyer for his established record of creativity to the extent that the field of multiple decision criteria making would not exist in its current form without it. 

Other Biographies

University Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Executive Education Faculty: James Dyer. Accessed May 28, 2015. (link


University of Texas, BA 1965

University of Texas, PhD 1969 


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • RAND Corporation
  • BellTower Technologies
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Schlumberger
  • United States Department of Energy

Key Interests in OR/MS

  • Multiple Criteria Decision Making
Application Areas

Memoirs and Autobiographies


Awards and Honors

Frank P. Ramsey Medal 2002

Franz Edelman Award Finalist 2004

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2006

MCDM Society Edgeworth-Pareto Award for Lifetime Achievement 2006

Selected Publications

Dyer J. S. (1972) Interactive goal programming. Management Science, 19(1): 62-70.

Dyer J. S., Feinberg A., & Geoffrion A. M. (1972) An interactive approach for multi-criterion optimization, with an application to the operation of an academic department. Management Science, 19(4a): 357-368.

Dyer J. S. & Sarin R. K. (1979) Measurable multiattribute value functions. Operations Research, 27(4): 810-822.

Dyer J. S. & Sarin R. K. (1982) Relative risk aversion. Management Science, 28(8): 875-886.

Dyer J. S. (1990) Remarks on the analytic hierarchy process. Management Science, 36(3): 249-258. 

Dyer J. S., Fishburn P. C., Steuer R. E., Wallenius J., & Zionts S. (1992) Multiple criteria decision making, multiattribute utility theory: the next ten years. Management Science, 38(5): 645-654.

Dyer J. S., Inman J. J., & Jia, J. (1997) A generalized utility model of disappointment and regret effects on post-choice valuation. Marketing Science, 16(2): 97-111.

Dyer J. S. & Jia J. (1996) A standard measure of risk and risk-value models. Management Science, 42(12): 1691-1705.

Brandão L. E., Dyer J. S., & Hahn W. J. (2005) Using binomial decision trees to solve real-option valuation problems. Decision Analysis, 2(2): 69-88.

Butler J. C., Chebeskov A. N., Dyer J. S., Edmunds T. A., Jia J., & Oussanov V. I. (2005) The United States and Russia evaluate plutonimum disposition options with multiattribute utility theory. Interfaces, 35(1): 88-101.

Deb K., Dyer J. S., Fishburn P. C., Steuer R. E., Wallenius J., & Zionts S. (2008) Multiple criteria decision making, multiattribute utility theory: Recent accomplishments and what lies ahead. Management Science, 54(7): 1336-1349.

Additional Resources

University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Staff Directory: Jim Dyer. Accessed May 28, 2015. (link