Instructor: Chairperson/Associate Professor Benjamin Bartlett Kennedy
Department: Mathematics - Sciences
Why do traffic jams on the highway seem to appear and disappear for no reason? How well do we understand traffic flow? Can technology and policy improve traffic congestion? This seminar is an introduction to automobile traffic flow modeling. Using a combination of mathematical analysis and computer simulation, we study three modeling problems: traffic jam formation on highways, the late merge, and optimal traffic light control. We explore how modeling can suggest solutions to traffic flow problems, and along the way draw connections to economics (congestion pricing, the cost of congestion), psychology (road rage and distracted driving), and policy (the formulation of traffic regulations).