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TR News profiles Mokhtarian

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Transportation Research Board’s bimonthly magazine TR News features a profile of Professor Patricia Mokhtarian in its new issue released November 9.

The publication, with a subscriber base around 11,000, typically features two such features in each issue, so Mokhtarian said it’s an honor to be selected.

In the piece, Mokhtarian talks about why she studies transportation networks through the lens of human travel behaviors:

“Many an invention and policy have foundered because of the failure to predict the public’s reaction to it. Conversely, we have been surprised by trends that we failed to see coming. The better we can understand the factors that influence behavior, the better we will be able to predict societal trends, the adoption of new technologies, and responses to policies, and the better we will be able to design practical policies and socially responsible technologies.”

Mohktarian also explains how she got interested in transportation research after earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics:

“While earning my master’s degree and Ph.D. in operations research at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois — living in a big city for the first time and getting along reasonably well without a car — I became interested in urban transportation planning and modeling.”