1201 Larimer Street

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Date & Time: Monday November 7th 2022, from 12:30pm to 1:00pm


Mode: Seminar is hybrid. So Zoom + in person is OK. Speaker will be in-person.


In-person attendance: Student Commons Building, Room 4017


Remote attendance: Contact mathstats-staff@ucdenver.edu for Zoom information


Speaker: Dr. Emily Speakman


Affiliation: Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver


Note: Dr. Troy Butler will give a presentation right after from 1:00pm to 1:30pm. Attendees are encouraged to attend both presentations. (Same Zoom link, same in-person room.)


Title: Optimizing for Equity in Urban Planning


Abstract: In the environmental justice literature, the Kolm-Pollak Equally Distributed Equivalent (EDE) is the preferred metric for quantifying the experience of a population. The metric incorporates both the center and the spread of the distribution of the individual experiences, and therefore, captures the experience of an “average” individual more accurately than the population mean. In particular, the mean is unable to measure the equity of a distribution, while the Kolm-Pollak EDE is designed to penalize for inequity. In this talk, we explore the problem of finding an optimal distribution from various alternatives using the Kolm-Pollak EDE to quantify optimal. Unfortunately, optimizing over the Kolm-Pollak EDE in a mathematical programming model is not trivial because of the nonlinearity of the function. We discuss methods to overcome this difficulty and present computational results for practical applications. Our results demonstrate that optimizing over the Kolm-Pollak EDE in a standard facility location model has the same computational burden as optimizing over the population mean. Moreover, it often results in solutions that are significantly more equitable while having little impact on the mean of the distribution, versus optimizing over the mean directly.


Joint work with Drew Horton, Tom Logan, and Daphne Skipper

Event Details

  • Regovic, Sarah

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