Slides of the plenary presentation, please click here
Department of Statistics and Operations Research
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Analytics and the art of modeling
This lecture could have as subtitle “Was Johannes Kepler a precursor of Analytics? Models constitute a key tool to achieve a deep understanding on how complex systems behave, models have been central to building the body of knowledge that we understand as “Science”. Since its origins Operations Research has claimed to be considered a scientific discipline and, as such, rooted in the model building process. A process that epistemologically is schematically represented by the methodological chain: facts→laws→theories. Kepler’s quest for an interpretation of Brahe’s astronomical observations in terms of a model, his laws of the orbital motion of planets, is a well known example of the paradigm of modern science. Since then we have learned that reality is more complex than we thought, it is uncertain and dynamic in both, probabilistic and chaotic terms. The technological evolution is supplying quality data in unprecedented amounts, and this has forced us to develop the appropriate methods to deal with them, but this only means that the methodological chain of knowledge discovering is now richer with respect to our capabilities of analyzing the facts, and therefore opens the door to deeper chances of finding laws and formulating explanatory theories. The search for Higgs Boson, frequently presented as an archetype of Analytics process, is essentially supported by the same epistemological principles that Kepler’s work. I would like to devote my lecture to make some remarks on these similarities and, in doing this, highlight the relationships in the frameworks of the theme of this conference: The Art of Modeling.
About the Speaker
Doctor in Physical Sciences by the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (1974), since 1986 is full professor of the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), specializes in the application of optimization and simulation techniques to traffic and transportation planning systems. Since 2007 is the Scientific Director of Transport and ICT projects at inLabFIB (http://inlab.fib.upc.edu) at UPC. Co-founder in 1997 and Scientific Director of TSS-Traffic Simulation Systems until 2007, the spin-off company of UPC set up to commercialize, maintain and provide technical support to the microscopic traffic simulator Aimsun, developed at UPC under his direction. Aimsun is currently used by more than 2500 users in 65 countries around the world. 1996-2005 was Associated Editor of the Journal of Computational Optimization and Applications, 2000-2002 was Associated Editor of the Transportation Section of the Journal of Operations Research and 2005-2007 Associated Editor of Transportation Research Part C-Emerging Technologies. Since 2000 is Associated Editor of Transportation Science. Member of INFORMS, 1996-98 was Director at Large (non US resident). In 1997 was awarded the Narcís Monturiol Medal of the Catalan Government for Technological Innovation, in 2001 received the Honor Mention of the Prize City of Barcelona for Technological Innovation and in 2013 nominated Professor Honoris Causa of the Rostov State University of Civil Engineering