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Friday, 20 September 2019

Mathematicians win best paper at conference

OUTSTANDING: Thomas Farrar, a Senior Lecturer in the Maths and Physics Department, receives the award for Best Paper at this year’s annual Southern African Transport Conference. OUTSTANDING: Thomas Farrar, a Senior Lecturer in the Maths and Physics Department, receives the award for Best Paper at this year’s annual Southern African Transport Conference. Photo: Vilnard Studios

A research paper on levels of satisfaction among Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) customers, prepared by lecturers in the Maths and Physics Department, was awarded Best Paper at the recent Southern African Transport Conference (SATC).

The award was presented at a cocktail function on the first evening of the conference which was held at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria in July. The winning paper was co-authored by lecturers Thomas Farrar, Gbenga Abiodun and Departmental Head John Farmer under the title, A 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey with Users of a Subsidised Private Bus Service in Cape Town.

Farrar, a Senior Lecturer in Statistics, said the initiative is a longstanding contract research project with the bus company. The department’s second-year students conducted a customer satisfaction survey involving 2 500 commuters at different terminals across Cape Town.

“In 2018, we did a survey and produced a report as well as used the data for research purposes.”

A research paper was then submitted to the SATC 2019 by the department, and Farrar presented it at the conference. “I’m very happy about the achievement, in a way it helps to put the department on the map,” said Farrar.

“[The award] improves the department’s profile in the university as well as that of the university in industry,” he added.

The survey revealed that GABS customers are generally satisfied but suggested areas of improvement such as recommendations around safety concerns due to crime.

The annual conference is Southern Africa’s premier transport conference, bringing together over 700 transport professionals to discuss, debate and learn about relevant topics relating to the exciting world of transport.

This year’s theme was Disruptive Transport Technologies - Is South and southern Africa ready?

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.