Anna Nagurney of UMass Amherst Receives Three NSF Grants to Study Telecommuting and Teleshopping

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Professor Anna Nagurney has received three grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) worth nearly $470,000 to conduct research on how travelers and consumers make decisions involving telecommuting and teleshopping. Nagurney will also look at decision-making in the information age and will explore transportation, and communications networks in the U.S., and develop a model for transportation and land use based on data from Sweden.

Nagurney, who is the John F. Smith Memorial Professor at UMass, says the three NSF grants are related and represent a unique set of interlocking collaborations. In one, she will be working with a faculty member at the State University of New York at Oswego, and a professor at the University of California at Davis. The second grant will involve Nagurney with researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), Sweden. In the third grant, she will be collaborating with a faculty member from the UMass campus and co-researcher from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Nagurney is the principal investigator on the first two grants and co-principal investigator on the third grant.

Nagurney says, "I am thrilled to be able to collaborate with such outstanding researchers and individuals across the ocean, across the country, and across campus. This represents an outstanding and very exciting opportunity for establishing collaborative networks across space and time through the use of information technology. The collaborations are already generating novel results and new ways for formalizing decision-making on complex networks which underlie our societies and economies today."

Under a three-year grant for $299,879, titled, "Decentralized Decision Making in Complex Network Systems," Nagurney, June Qiong Dong, a 1994 Ph.D. graduate of UMass and doctoral student of Nagurney who is now an associate professor at SUNY Oswego, and Patricia Mokhtarian, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Davis, are examining how telecommuting and teleshopping affect both transportation and communications networks.

The second three-year, $28,515 grant, "U.S. - Sweden Collaborative Research: Sustainable Transportation and Land Use in the Information Society," involves Nagurney and researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in developing a land use and transportation model based on data from Sweden with the goal of environmental sustainability.

A third one-year grant for $140,000, titled "Enterprise-Wide Simulation and Modeling of Comprehensive Freight Movements," and part of the Exploratory Transportation Initiative at NSF, will fund research led by Kathleen Hancock, of the UMass department of civil and environmental engineering, Nagurney, and Frank Southworth, of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. They will analyze how freight costs influence the movement of goods in the U.S. in the age of e-commerce and will synthesize the commodity flows with financial and information flows.

Nagurney has been at the University since 1983 and is an internationally known scholar whose work includes constructing computer network models of large-scale financial, transportation, and regional economic systems.

Last April, Nagurney delivered a Distinguished Faculty Lecture at UMass and was awarded the Chancellor''s Medal. In 1999, she was recipient of an Eisenhower Faculty Fellowship from the National Highway Institute.

In 1996, Nagurney received a seven-month appointment for a Distinguished Guest Professorship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where she taught and did research in transportation network theory. She also worked with the institute''s president, Janne Carlsson, to enhance female education and research in Sweden. In 1986, Nagurney was recognized as an outstanding young researcher by the University of Umea, also in Sweden, which presented her with the Erik Kempe prize, one of Sweden''s highest honors.

Nagurney received a $250,000 Faculty Award for Women from the National Science Foundation in 1991. In 1989, she was a recipient of a UMass Faculty Fellowship (since renamed a Conti Fellowship) and was one of 25 women in the U.S. to receive a Visiting Professorship for Women grant from the National Science Foundation in 1988. That $138,828 grant supported a year of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nagurney received a Distinguished Young Achiever Prize from the National Association of Women in 1987.