Saturday, January 9, 2010

Symposium on Transportation Network Design and Economics

On January 29, 2010, the Symposium on Transportation Network Design and Economics will take place at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. This symposium has been organized by Professors David E. Boyce and Hani S. Mahmassani to honor and celebrate the visit of Professor Martin Beckmann to Northwestern. The symposium program is now available.

Professor Beckmann is the only living author of the classic book, Studies in the Economics of Transportation, published in 1956 by Yale University Press, and co-authored with Bart McGuire and Chris Winsten. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of this classic book, in 2005, we organized several sessions at the San Francisco INFORMS meeting and both Beckmann, and McGuire (who died two months after), came to the sessions and took part in the festivities. Please click here for those talks and many photos as well as for a link to the classic book, which is now available online.

Professor Beckmann was on my doctoral dissertation committee at Brown University, which was chaired by Professor Stella Dafermos, and I remember so well the question that he asked after my defense plus the party that I gave in Barus and Holley (that well-known engineering and physics building at Brown) afterwards. Beckmann, a true cosmopolitan and lover of travel and terrific food, especially enjoyed the European tortes that I had prepared for the occasion (although we were quite poor grad students at that time and did not have all the right utensils for slicing). He took advantage of a plastic spatula to do the job.

Professor Beckmann, I hear, will be traveling by train to Northwestern, from Providence, Rhode Island, and the day before the symposium, will be speaking on his reflections of the classic book (BMW).

Boyce, Mahmassani, and I wrote a journal article on the impacts of BMW, which was published in Papers in Regional Science in 2005 .

At Northwestern, I will be speaking on some of my latest work and will be delivering the paper, Supply Chain Network Design Under Profit Maximization and Oligopolistic Competition.

I am very much looking forward to this symposium, which will honor the work of a truly great scholar and human being.

For those who would like to see additional photos of Professor Beckmann, who, as Professor Boyce, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Transportation Science, please click here. These photos were taken in various locations around the globe, including Australia and Sweden.