Welcome to the web site for Jack Baker's research group. Our work focuses on the development and use of probabilistic and statistical tools for managing risk due to extreme loads on the built environment. We have investigated seismic loads on spatially distributed systems, characterization of earthquake ground motions, performance of damaged infrastructure systems, and probabilistic risk assessments of a number of types of structures.

Dr. Baker joined the Stanford University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where he was a visiting researcher in the Department of Structural Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University in 2005, where he also earned M.S. degrees in Statistics and Structural Engineering. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics/Physics from Whitman College. He has industry experience in seismic hazard assessment, ground motion selection, probabilistic risk assessment, and modeling of catastrophe losses for insurance and reinsurance companies. His awards include the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Achievement Research Award from the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability and the Eugene L. Grant Award for excellence in teaching from Stanford.

Recent news:

7/3/2014: Congratulations to Lynne Burks for completing her PhD dissertation, Ground Motion Simulations: Validation and Application for Civil Engineering Problems. Dr. Burks will join Sandia National Laboratories as a Senior Systems Research Analyst.

7/3/2014: Congratulations to Mahalia Miller for completing her PhD dissertation, Seismic Risk Assessment of Complex Transportation Networks. Dr. Miller will join Google as an Associate Product Manager on the Knowledge team.

7/1/2014: The Baker Research group will be presenting eight papers at the upcoming National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Preprints of the papers are available on the Publications page.

6/18/2014: Mahalia Miller was interviewed on the Goggles Optional podcast regarding her thesis research and her project using Tweets about earthquakes.

5/7/2014: Jack Baker gave a talk, "Ground motion selection for performance-based engineering, and the Conditional Mean Spectrum as a selection tool," at the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California's May Mini-Seminar in San Francisco.

5/2/2014: Mahalia Miller gave a talk, "Coupling mode-destination accessibility with a quantitative seismic-risk assessment to identify at-risk populations for earthquake-related transportation network damage in the San Francisco Bay Area," at the Stanford The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) Sustainable Transportation Spring Seminar Series.

4/8/2014: We are excited to report that Dover Publications has reprinted the classic Benjamin and Cornell book " Probability, Statistics, and Decision for Civil Engineers " The book will be available this July and is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com. This book is highly recommended for anyone working in the field of probabilistic modeling for engineering, and the price is excellent for a 700 page book.

2/14/2014: This page provides a new paper, software tools and a tutorial video describing approaches for fitting fragility functions to structural analysis data. This paper describes statistical procedures for estimating parameters of fragility functions using a variety of nonlinear dynamic structural analysis results, and uses those procedures to identify effective strategies for performing dynamic structural analysis to estimate fragility functions.

1/15/2014: A Postdoctoral or Ph.D. position in Visualization of Distributed Infrastructure Performance is available. Candidates will explore novel data sets related to performance of complex infrastructure systems, and will develop visualizations and related analyses to provide insight into how these systems perform when disrupted. Candidates must possess experience with GIS or other software tools for visualizing large data sets. Interested applicants should e-mail Prof. Baker with the subject “Visualization Position,” and should provide examples of past visualizations, copies of relevant publications, and a curriculum vitae.

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Jack Baker