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Transportation issues in the spotlight

Transportation issues in the spotlight

Transportation issues, including Auckland’s traffic woes, will be the focus of a workshop to be held at The University of Auckland next week.

Entitled “Mathematical Models for Optimizing Transportation Services”, the workshop is being jointly hosted by the Faculty of Engineering’s Operations Research Group and the New Zealand Institute of Mathematics and its Applications from April 19 to 22.

The workshop will bring together leading international experts, industry representatives and local researchers who will focus on transportation issues that are strategically important to the country.

Head of Engineering Science and workshop organiser Professor Andy Philpott says among the topics to be discussed is the collection of milk from thousands of dairy farmers around the country in a cost effective way when farm yields and other factors are uncertain.

Other topics of interest are traffic planning and managing ticket prices (for example of airlines or buses) to maximise revenue.

A key aspect of the workshop is the use of mathematical models to solve practical transportation problems in transportation planning, design of transportation systems and pricing and revenue management. The workshop will also include a special session on the use of modelling, simulation and other mathematical tools for improving the efficiency of emergency services - police, ambulance and fire.

“It is important that people in New Zealand, especially those making commercial or public policy decisions in the transport sector, are aware of the availability of sophisticated mathematical modelling tools, which can help them in making these decisions,” says Professor Philpott.

Key speakers include:

Professor Michael Florian from the University of Montreal - an expert in traffic modelling. Professor Florian is available to talk about strategies for solving urban traffic problems.

Professor Gilbert Laporte from HEC Montreal - an expert in the areas of vehicle routing, location and timetabling. He will be available to talk about vehicle scheduling.

Professor Garret van Ryzin from Columbia University - an expert in pricing and revenue management and supply chain management. He will be available to talk about models for optimal pricing of airline tickets.

The workshop is funded by the New Zealand Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (one of the seven government-funded Centres of Research Excellence) and has received support from Fonterra, Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Air New Zealand and the Operational Research Society of New Zealand.


Topic: Mathematical Models for Optimizing Transportation Services

Date: April 19 –22, 2005

Venue: The Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland, 20 Symonds St, Auckland

Media are welcome to attend the workshop, please RSVP to Professor Andy Philpott phone (09) 373 7599 ext. 88394 or email

For a detailed programme and full list of speakers please visit:


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