TOMNET Grand Finale

TOMNET Grand Finale Extravaganza

We are excited to share that TOMNET University Transportation Center hosted its Grand Finale Event, celebrating the significant achievements and contributions of TOMNET to the field of transportation. This milestone event took place on May 23-24, 2024, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, GA.

Over the course of two days, the event brought together experts from the U.S. Department of Transportation, academia, and industry to discuss the latest advancements and the future of transportation modeling and demand forecasting. The agenda was filled with presentations and panel discussions designed to showcase the Center’s impactful research, education, and outreach activities, as well as innovative data, models, and software, illustrating advancements in understanding and predicting transportation trends and behaviors.

We were also overjoyed to have a legendary figure in discrete choice modeling, Professor Frank Koppelman, participate in the event. Dr. Koppelman, an Emeritus Professor from Northwestern University, was the PhD advisor of TOMNET Associate Director Patricia Mokhtarian.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the participants and sponsors who made this event a resounding success.

Prior to the main event, a pre-event organized by the TBD National Center, titled “A Short Course on Multivariate and Multiple Discrete-Continuous Choice Modeling Methods,” took place on May 22, 2024. For more details about the pre-event, please visit this link.


Detailed Annotated Agenda

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time Session
10:00 AM A USDOT-UTC Welcome
10:15 AM A Georgia Tech Welcome
10:30 AM Top Secret Agenda Item
10:45 AM

The Raison D’Etre of Transportation Models – a USDOT Perspective

Brief presentation on emerging needs, challenges, issues, and approaches to transport modeling and demand forecasting, with a focus on recent developments, activities and accomplishments. What needs and challenges remain to be addressed and what are USDOT priorities and policy questions that are driving modeling innovations and enhancements?

11:00 AM

Highlights of TOMNET – The Good, The Great, and The Grand

Overview of TOMNET activities, achievements, and accomplishments across the domains of research, education, technology transfer, and workforce development, with additional insights on the administrative and financial aspects of the center.  

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Everybody Has an Attitude… Does It Matter and Why Should We Care? 

The genesis of TOMNET may be traced to the desire to explore the feasibility and value of incorporating and accounting for attitudinal variables and constructs in transportation demand forecasting models. How do we measure and predict attitudes, and how can attitudinal constructs be incorporated in model specifications? How much do they add to a model specification and why does their inclusion matter? What have we accomplished to date, what have we learned, and where do we go from here in terms of reflecting the influence of attitudes and accounting for self-selection effects/biases arising from personal preferences and perceptions in our models? 

Moderator: Tom Rossi, Cambridge Systematics


12:30 PM
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Understanding Human Adaptation in Response to Disruptions that Disrupt Mobility, Modes, and Modalities…

The past several years have been characterized by a rapid evolution of the transportation landscape, including the advent of new mobility options and technologies such as micromobility, ridehailing services and automation, the rapid rise of work from home and ICT substitution for activity engagement and accessing goods/services, and the disruptive impacts of a pandemic and extreme events (e.g., flooding, extreme heat). How have activity-mobility patterns changed, how do communities adapt and leverage social networks/capital/resources to build resilience, and how should model structures and specifications (and the data that drive them) evolve to capture these behavioral dynamics and community adaptability? 

Moderator: Michael Hunter, Georgia Institute of Technology


        2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

        Some Cool Products of TOMNET: Data, Models, and Tools

        Over the course of the life of TOMNET, several cool products have been developed and released. These include, for example, the Mobility Analysis Workflow (MAW) by Chen and Team, the COVID Future Survey by Salon and Team, the T4 Survey and the T3 Dashboard by Batur and Team, and Open Source Planning Models by Zhou and Team. This session will feature brief presentations about these significant products and the impacts that they have had and could potentially have on planning and modeling practice. This session speaks to the “technology transfer” mission of TOMNET. 

        Moderator: Alex Malokin, Avenue One


              4:00 PM – 5:00 PM


              TOMNET Superbowl

              Test your knowledge of transportation planning and modeling trivia, TOMNET facts and figures, travel behavior and demand, and surveys and data. Compete with fellow transportationists for fabulous prizes and giveaways!

              6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

              GALA RECEPTION

              Rowdy Tiger Rooftop
              Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel
              866 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308.


              Friday, May 24, 2024

              Time Session
              8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
              Light Breakfast
              9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

              The Coolest “Products” of TOMNET: In Conversation with Awesome Students and Alumni

              While TOMNET has undoubtedly generated a number of research publications and data products, the real pride and joy of TOMNET is the many students and scholars whose tireless dedication and contributions helped transform the TOMNET vision into a tangible reality, and created an ecosystem where ideas flourished and futures were forged. This session speaks to the “Workforce Development” mission of TOMNET.

              Moderator: Denise Dunn


                    10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

                    How Useful (Useless) is Academic Research for Advancing Transport Planning and Modeling Practice?

                    Over the past 30+ years, the University Transportation Centers (UTC) program has represented a very significant investment by USDOT in academic research and discovery. How has academic research contributed to advancing transport planning and modeling practice, AND, how have advances in practice helped inform university-based research efforts? How can we elevate multi-way collaborative partnerships to ensure that academic research in activity-travel behavior analysis is useful and valuable?  

                    Moderator: Giovanni Circella, Ghent University & University of California at Davis


                    11:30 AM – 12:45 PM

                    What Remains TBD About TBD? A Peek Into the Future…  

                    What remains “To Be Determined (TBD)” about “Travel Behavior and Demand (TBD)”? The inspiration for the new National University Transportation Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand stems from the realization that, while much has been learnt about trends in time use, travel behavior, and transport demand, there is much yet “to be determined” in an era of rapid technological and socio-economic change.  This session is intended to unravel the known knowns, the known unknowns, and unknown unknowns that will guide the work of the team in the years ahead. An additional 15 minutes has been allocated for a presentation on a special initiative by Pat Mokhtarian and Brian Lee to collect attitudinal data in future household surveys.

                    Moderator: Steve Polzin, Arizona State University


                          12:45 PM – 1:30 PM CONCLUDING REMARKS AND LUNCH