The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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UMass Graduate Receives Milton Pikarsky Dissertation Award

Dr. Mahyar Amirgholy

Recent UMass Amherst graduate Mahyar Amirgholy was awarded the Milton Pikarsky Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Science and Technology for his dissertation entitled “Modeling Choice Problems with Heterogeneous User Preferences in the Transportation Network.” The Pikarsky Award is given annually for the best Ph.D. dissertation in the field of science and technology in transportation studies, and the pool of nominees represents graduates from leading institutions across the United States.  The award was sponsored by AECOM and presented at the Council of University Transportation Centers Annual Awards Banquet on January 7, 2017, at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.  The award receives national recognition among state and federal officials, industry leaders, and transportation faculty, many of whom attended the banquet.

Mahyar completed his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UMass in February 2016. His dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Eric Gonzales and included Dr. Song Gao and Dr. Anna Nagurney. Mahyar’s research focused on understanding the equilibrium outcomes for transportation networks in which travelers have diverse preferences when making travel decisions. An important contribution of his research is that is allows for analytical solution of complex equilibrium problems in cases that the preferences of users are represented by a distribution.  His dissertation research has been published in leading transportation journals including Transportation Research Part B and Transportmetrica B. Mahyar is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Transportation and System Engineering group at Cornell University.

Congratulations to Mahyar for this achievement!