The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Dr Thomas Evans

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Jul 2014

Research summary

Main Themes: Agent-Based Modelling; Game Theory; Optimisation

Certain mathematical optimisation techniques offer a wealth of untapped potential for application to real world spatial problems. This potential can be unlocked through collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to identify and understand the key research challenges in other domains that could be addressed by adapting and extending such techniques.

In this spirit, my current research aims involve the application of game theoretic models to security scenarios with a spatial dimension (such as the optimal deployment of policing resources to protect public events) and of multi-objective optimisation techniques (based on linear and non-linear programming) to problems of land use planning. In spatial contexts, such deterministic optimisation methods can often be naturally combined with simulation-based agent-based modelling approaches to create rich and versatile models of real world systems, capable of representing complex realities that pure mathematical tools could not tackle effectively in isolation.

My research goals are, therefore, to develop new theoretical mathematical tools, building on existing optimisation techniques; to collaborate with experts in other disciplines to apply these tools in new contexts; and to advance the role of agent-based modelling as a companion to spatial optimisation models, to represent complex real world systems.

Teaching summary

I have been the lead lecturer for three modules at UCL: CASA0007 Quantitative Methods and CASA0011 Agent-Based Modelling for Spatial Systems, as part of the Masters programmes at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis; and BASC0003 Quantitative Methods and Mathematical Thinking, a core module in the undergraduate interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences department. I have also designed and taught an intensive programming module at Masters level: Introduction to Programming in Python. I have supervised numerous Masters and undergraduate dissertations, and I am currently responsible for the department’s PhD programme.

Before joining UCL, I worked as a secondary mathematics teacher in East London for two years, as a Teach First participant, and I have also run teacher training sessions for secondary teachers.


Thomas Oléron-Evans is a mathematician, who gained his PhD at UCL in 2015, under the supervision of Professors Steven Bishop and Frank Smith. The topics of his doctoral research were the mathematical foundations of agent-based modelling and the application of game theory to general models of search and patrol. He has worked on the EPSRC funded research project ENFOLD-ing and the EU funded projects 3cixty and HARMONY, and he has published research on the control of dengue-carrying mosquitoes with the sterile insect technique (SIT), modelling international trade through linking national input-output tables, and the optimisation of land use around Heathrow Airport using multi-objective linear programming. His career before joining UCL encompassed teaching experience in the UK, France, Kenya and Ghana, in various forms.