Professor Sir Alan Wilson, best known to us for his pioneering work on spatial interaction methods and dynamical systems theory in transportation and urban modelling joins CASA from 1st August as Professor of Urban and Regional Systems. Drill down for details.
Alan Wilson joins CASA to continue his research in urban and regional modelling. He was trained originally a mathematician but converted in the 1960s from theoretical physics to the social sciences through research on the mathematical modelling of cities and this has been his research field ever since! He had research posts in Oxford and London before being appointed as Professor of Urban and Regional Geography in the University of Leeds in 1970. He was Vice-Chancellor in Leeds from 1991 to 2004. From 2004-2006, he was Director-General for Higher Education in the Department for Education and Skills and in the 2006-7, he was Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of both the Britrish Academy and the Royal Society.
He has authored or co-authored sixteen books and over two hundred papers. He was the Founder Editor of the monthly Environment and Planning A from 1969 to 1991, and is now Honorary Editor. His research interests are concerned with many aspects of mathematical modelling and planning in relation to all aspects of cities and regions - including demography, economic input-output modelling, transport and locational structures. The use of the concept of entropy was summarised in Entropy in urban and regional modelling. These models have been widely used in areas such as transport planning. He rigorously deployed accounts’ concepts in demography and economic modelling – the former documented in Spatial demographic analysis (jointly with Philip Rees). In recent years he has been particularly concerned with applications of dynamical systems theory in relation to the task of modelling the evolution of urban structure – initially described in Catastrophe theory and bifurcation: applications to urban and regional systems. This led to the laying of the foundations of a comprehensive theory of urban dynamics described in his most recent book Complex spatial systems.
His recent work concerns general and comprehensive urban models in a dynamic framework, links between urban and ecological systems, and various developments of informationn theory within spatial interaction modelling.