Welcoming New Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Maggie Harger

July 30, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

July 30, 2021

Mobility21 UTC welcomes Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow for 2021-2023, Maggie Harger.

Maggie is pursuing her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management with an interest in transportation policy. Prior to her time at Carnegie Mellon, she completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and worked as a mobility coordinator for the North King County region near Seattle. This role involved working with city planners, local human service providers, elected officials, and regional transit agencies to identify transportation challenges for populations with unique mobility needs, including older adults, people with disabilities, and low income individuals.

Maggie hopes to continue learning about the intersection of efficient transportation, environmental sustainability, and economic advancement during her time as the Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow. In her spare time, Maggie can be found exploring the many bike paths of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about the Mobility21 student leaders here: https://mobility21.cmu.edu/about/leadership/student-leadership/.

————–

The Traffic21 Women in Transportation fellowship provides financial support to an incoming student who is entering either the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College MSPPM (Public Policy and Management) or MISM (Information Systems Management) degree programs.  Students who have demonstrated an interest and commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems are eligible to apply for the fellowship.  The fellow’s work supports the Mobility21 University Transportation Center’s activities.

RISS Program Hosts Exploring Robotics & Technology Lunch and Learn

June 22, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

June 22, 2021

The Robotics Institute Summer Scholars program of Carnegie Mellon University hosted “Materials & Career Paths in Robotics & Tech” in conjunction with the Technology & Engineering Education Association (TEEAP) to prepare students for 21st century careers in technology.

Mobility21 welcomes Rayna Hata to 2021 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Program

June 15, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

June 15, 2021

Mobility21 is pleased to welcome and support Rayna Hata, a participant in the 2021 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) Program.

At Mobility21, we view research and education as two sides of the same coin. We cannot educate for future generations without exposing them to research, development and deployment. On the other hand, we cannot do successful research, development and deployment without the input of future generations.

RISS Logo“The Carnegie Mellon University RISS Program is an intensive summer research program for talented undergraduate students. Summer Scholars have the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art research projects, interact with a diverse research team, and to be mentored by leading faculty and technical staff. The program introduces aspiring students to dynamic research resources and methods, RI graduate education programs and research projects. The Summer Scholars program lasts 11 weeks.”

“RISS connects students from across the country and world to contribute to robotics research alongside top CMU researchers. There were over 700 applicati

Map Showing Home Countries ofRISS Students

ons to the RISS 2021 program from more than 40 countries and over 300 institutions worldwide. With 58 scholars from 13 countries and 43 home universities, the 2021 RISS cohort is the largest cohort since the inception of the program in 2006. Fifty percent of the participating scholars are from communities underrepresented in STEM…The RI scholars’ research experience is guided by outstanding research mentors that represent the incredibly diverse robotics research from across the Institute.”

More from Mobility21 RISS Summer Scholar, Rayna Hata

“Hi, my name is Rayna Hata, and I am a rising junior at Colby College in Maine studying computer science. I am interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in robotics at an institution where innovation through collaborations is fostered and encouraged. This summer, I am thrilled to be working under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Issac Isukapati in their Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory where I will be working on their PedPal app, an app designed to assist pedestrians with disabilities and/or mobility challenges to safely cross signalized intersections. Specifically, I will be working on getting better localization of the pedestrian’s location in relation the crosswalk that they are approaching or on. In my previous experience with robotics, I focused on how to make robots that can make carrying large loads easier for those with injuries and disabilities. I am excited to gain research experience in robotics and make connections with the other cohort members! I would like to thank Dr. Stephen Smith, Dr. Issac Isukapati, Mobility21, and the RISS sponsors and partners for making this opportunity possible.”

Rayna continues “After selecting my research project, I looked at different types of distance sensors and beacons that may work for the PedPal app and the pedestrian traffic signals. I am very excited to keep going and further my knowledge about accurate localization. I am thrilled to be a part of this program, make connections with the other members of the cohort, and grow my skills at becoming a researcher in robotics.”

“Real-World Data Driven Characterization of Urban Human Mobility Patterns” Thesis Defense Presentation by CMU ECE Ph.D. Candidate

May 12, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

May 12, 2021

Abhinav Jauhri, CMU ECE Ph.D. Candidate presented his thesis defense on Real-World Data Driven Characterization of Urban Human Mobility Patterns. Mobility21 Program Manager Lisa Kay Schweyer attended his defense. Abhinav’s work was conducted as part of the Mobility21 UTC project, “Real Time Traffic Congestion Prediction and Mitigation at the City Scale. UTC Researcher John Paul Shen, was Abhinav’s advisor and his committee included Anupam Datta, Jason Hong, and another UTC researcher Sean Qian.

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects

May 6, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

May 6, 2021

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair.  The projects featured today included the following transportation related projects:

    • Team US Ignite/Colorado Springs: Reducing Traffic Congestion at Fort Carson Army Base
    • Team Port Authority of Allegheny County: Parking Management Scenario Planning for the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC)
    • Department of Labor & Industry: Online Platforms in the PA Trucking and Construction Sectors: Measurement Challenges and Policy Implications 
    • Beneficial State Foundation: Projecting the Future Growth of the Used Clean Vehicle Market in California
    • Allies for Children: School Bus Optimization for Meal Delivery in the Age of COVID-19

Heinz College Student Capstone Project Evaluates Transit Park and Ride Lots

May 5, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

May 5, 2021

Heinz College MPPM students Aly Caito, Ali Iftikhar, Erika Montana, Sanjay Renduchintala, and Shirish Verma, presented their Systems Synthesis class project “Parking Management Scenario Planning for the Port Authority of Allegheny County.”  The course was advised by Professor Stan Caldwell and the client was Heinz College Alum Amy Silbermann, Director of Planning and Service Development at the Port Authority of Allegheny County.  View the report here.

CMU Student Transportation Club Hosts Career Panel

May 5, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

April 30, 2021

The CMU Student Transportation Club hosted their annual career panel to provide students with real-world insight from individuals who work in the transportation field.  Panelists were volunteers from the Pittsburgh Chapter of WTS :

CMU Student Capstone Course Focuses on Electric Vehicle Adoption

May 4, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

May 4, 2021

Stan Caldwell served on the advisory panel and attended the final presentation of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy‘s undergraduate capstone project course on the local and national implications of vehicle electrification.  The semester long project course was taught by Professor Erica Fuchs and the question posed to the students was: What are the implications of vehicle electrification for national security, geopolitical and other supply chain risks, economic prosperity (including jobs), and social welfare (including the environment and equity)?

Student Debate on EV Policy with Professor Jeremy Michalek

April 26, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

April 26, 2021

Professor Jeremy Michalek, a Mobility21 UTC researcher, hosted a student debate on electric vehicle policy for his course “Electric Vehicles: Technology, Economics, Environment and Policy,” which also featured an expert panel that included:

  • Alan Jenn is a CMU EPP alumnus who is now an Assistant Professional Researcher at the Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle group of the Institution of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.
  • David Rapson is an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Davis Energy Economics Program at the University of California, Davis.
  • Costa Samaras is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Lisa Snapp is the Director of the Climate Analysis and Strategies Center in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Transportation and Climate Division.

Solving the Problems of Traffic with Twitter Information

April 22, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

April 22, 2021

Working with Ph.D. student Weiran Yao, Mobility21 UTC research Sean Qian has extracted information from tweets to provide accuracy in predicting morning traffic patterns.  Read the full story here.

 

Engineering and Public Policy Course on Vehicle Electrification

March 16, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

March 16, 2021

Mobility21 UTC supported CMU’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy’s undergraduate capstone project course on Local and National Implications of Vehicle Electrification.  Stan Caldwell serves on the project team’s advisory board and provided feedback and UTC research insights for the students’ mid-term research project presentation.

CMU Student Attends TRB Annual Meeting

January 29, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

January 21-29, 2021

CMU student Kartik Narula participated in the 2021 Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting.  He was able to network with professionals, participate in the career fair, and get an overview of similar research happening in the transportation world.  Kartik said:  “I am currently working as a research assistant … creating microsimulation models for traffic in Athens using the Pineuma dataset. There were several poster sessions where people had used the same dataset for their research. It was insightful to learn how the dataset can be used for different analyses.” 

The 8th IEEE Workshop on Spoken Language Technology

January 21, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

January 21, 2021

Mobility21 UTC researcher Maxine Eskenazi’s student, Yulan Feng, presented the paper “Towards Automatic Route Description Unification in Spoken Dialog Systems,” which describes the construction of a pipeline to automate the route description unification process in spoken dialog systems during the Spoken Language Workshop today.  Her 15-minute presentation introduced the technical details of the pipeline, the overall GetGoing system, and the collaboration her team had with UPMC.

The SLT Workshop is a biennial flagship event of IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee. The main theme for SLT 2021 was “Spoken language technologies: deep learning and beyond” (as deep learning has witnessed great success in spoken language technologies over the last decade).

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects – Day 3

December 10, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

December 10, 2020

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair.  The projects featured today included the following transportation related project:

    • Team Sensez9: Integrating Technology with 2-1-1 Services – Last-Mile Public Services Delivery During a Pandemic

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects – Day 1

December 8, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

December 8, 2020

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair (the fair continues tomorrow).  The projects featured today included the following transportation related project:

    • Team Port Authority: Changes in Transportation During COVID-19 in Allegheny County

Intern Helping to Create Access to STEM for Rural Western Pennsylvania

November 3, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

November 3, 2020

Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Carlee Benhart Kukula started as a communications and policy intern for Robowitz in June of 2020, but found the work so exciting that she stayed on through the fall semester. “Equity in western Pennsylvania is extremely important to me,” said Carlee. “I grew up in a rural county and knew that issues of rural access and equity were close to my heart. Before this summer, I never saw myself necessarily working to help support education, but I was so excited to see how Robowitz  stepped up to create ‘The Robot Doctor’ program to address gaps in STEM education during the pandemic that I immediately knew I was working with the right people.”  Carlee is helping to partner with schools and other organizations which serve students who are underrepresented in STEM.  Carlee presented at the Pennsylvania TRIO conference and is scheduled to present at TEEAP, and to Intermediate Units.   Contact Carlee on LinkedIn for more information.

CMU Student Interns with the American Public Transportation Association

October 30, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

October 30, 2020

Dominick Fiorentino, Carnegie Mellon University Master of Science in Public Policy and Management Candidate is interning this academic year (2020 – 2021) with the American Public Transportation Association.  His internship in the Policy Department involves work on various transit issues including mobility innovation, public-private partnerships, and mobility recovery and restoration in context of the COVID-19 pandemic (looking at each of these areas from a sustainability and equity lens).  Dominick was an active member of the CMU Transportation Club during 2019 – 2020 and through his involvement with Mobility21, was introduced to APTA (a Mobility21 UTC Deployment Partner) and secured this internship.

WTS Grants Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholarship to CMU Student Kathryn Schlesinger

August 18, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

August 18, 2020

The Women in Transportation Seminar, Pittsburgh Chapter awarded the Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholarship to CMU student Kathryn Schlesinger.

“Although originally hailing from sunny, south Florida, Ms. Schlesinger considers Pittsburgh to be her second home after living here for nearly ten years. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a dual B.A. and GIS Certificate, Ms. Schlesinger accepted an AmeriCorps Fellowship position at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a nonprofit membership based organization, where she served for close to four years as the Transit Research and Policy Fellow, and later went on to become the Policy Coordinator. Over her time at PCRG, Ms. Schlesinger earned her LEED Green Associate accreditation and began the Master of Public Management program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in January 2018. She will be graduating in December 2020.”

The published award profile further explains that “After transitioning to a new role at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in fall 2018, Ms. Schlesinger now works on the Mobility Team as the Mobility Project Manager. In this role, she has had the opportunity to work on and lead a variety of mobility and public realm improvement projects to enhance the vibrancy and character of Downtown Pittsburgh. Among many other projects currently underway, her team is leading a process to develop a Mobility Plan designed to improve the Downtown experience for all users and identify ways to improve the pedestrian, transit, biking, vehicle, and delivery realms. Outside of work and school, Ms. Schlesinger enjoys living in Squirrel Hill with her longtime partner, Josh, and their two cats, Pluto and Ezio. “

Welcoming New Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow – Hajra Shahab

July 30, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

July 30, 2020

Mobility21 UTC welcomes Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow for 2020-2022, Hajra Shahab.

Hajra Shahab grew up in Karachi [Pakistan], one of the largest and most populated cities in the world. Growing up, she witnessed complex deep-rooted problems in the city such as weak institutional capacity, absence of public transit system and marginalization of vulnerable groups. During her undergraduate studies as an Economics major at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), she was able to apply economics and public policy frameworks to real-world issues. However, it was not until she got selected to attend an exchange semester at Waseda University, Japan, her interest in transportation and mobility solidified. Intrigued by a robust and efficient public transit system, Tokyo became a living laboratory for her urban planning interests and helped her trace factors that make cities sustainable and resilient in the long-run.

After finishing her undergraduate in 2018, Hajra worked briefly at a trading company before pursuing her research interests. She was able to take her research forward through a grant received from the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative (SWGI) at LUMS. Her team assessed women mobility patterns which got her interested in exploring multiple dimensions of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) such as real-time information about bus delays or seat availability making women less vulnerable to harassment. In 2019, Hajra joined Technology for People Initiative (TPI), a research lab jointly funded by Google and the World Bank, as a Research Associate to work on child protection with UNICEF. As the project team lead, she helped in the design and implementation of a novel Information Management System (IMS) to be deployed in 4 provinces of Pakistan. Hajra carried out fieldwork in Balochistan, one of the most marginalized provinces in the country, and assessed existing digital infrastructure of the public offices, mapped possible system integrations and generated user requirements. Designing a bespoke system for people with low levels of digital literacy and different perspectives helped her understand the importance of context in policy design. She wants to further explore child-centric community planning such as transport connectivity especially in hotspot areas of child abuse that can mitigate the odds of school dropouts due to long commute; an issue that currently stands at 53% in Pakistan for females.

Her budding interest in data-driven policymaking also stems from her work on Pakistan’s 1st open data portal at the National Center in Big Data and Cloud Computing (NCBC) at LUMS in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC). She supervised a group of researchers on large datasets, including crime, education, and financial inclusion. She strongly believes making data accessible to the public can also help in developing more democratic and participatory planning processes, empower people and help in meaningful civic engagement.

During her time at Heinz, she would like to continue to understand how users interact with cities and transportation systems, specifically. She believes Carnegie Mellon University’s MSPPM program will provide her with an opportunity to master her data and policy skillset, engage with interdisciplinary groups, and explore technological breakthroughs to develop smarter, and well-connected mobility networks in cities.

Hajra says, “It is an honor to have earned the Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellowship. I strongly believe that this fellowship has brought me a step closer to my career aspirations in transportation and mobility. Traffic21 is steering discussion around transportation in the 21st century, and I believe this futuristic approach will provide me with unparalleled exposure to cutting edge research, mentoring, and technological advancements.”

Learn more about all the Mobility21 student leaders here: https://mobility21.cmu.edu/about/leadership/student-leadership/.

————–

The Traffic21 Women in Transportation fellowship provides financial support to an incoming student who is entering either the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College MSPPM (Public Policy and Management) or MISM (Information Systems Management) degree programs.  Students who have demonstrated an interest and commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems are eligible to apply for the fellowship.  The fellow’s work supports the Mobility21 University Transportation Center’s activities.

Traffic21 Students Present Rural Mobility Policy Study to PennDOT Secretary

July 29, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

July 29, 2020

Graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University recently met with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian and members of her executive team, to present a comprehensive policy study titled “Mobility, Accessibility, and Connectivity: Assessments and Recommendations Concerning Rural Transportation Equity in Pennsylvania.”

Included in the report was a review of key national findings, an analysis of rural equity as a systemic concern in Pennsylvania, strategies and practices from around the U.S., and the students’ recommendations to implement a rural transportation council.  As a first–of-its-kind rural transportation model, the council would identify research and information needs, as well as recommend and advocate for policy and program initiatives to enhance the mobility, connectivity, and accessibility of Pennsylvania’s rural communities and become a model for other states.

Roger Cohen, PennDOT’s Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary and the client for this project shared: “At a time when new technologies are dramatically redefining transportation and citizens are demanding greater accountability and responsiveness on the part of government, the student team from Carnegie Mellon looked at rural transportation services and found that there are disparities that can begin to be addressed by giving rural Pennsylvanians a greater voice in shaping the future of their communities.”

Under the guidance of Traffic21’s Executive Director and Heinz College Adjunct Associate Professor Stan Caldwell and Heinz College Distinguished Service Professor Rick Stafford, CMU graduate students Blair Chen, Erick Shiring, and Marcus Robinson of Heinz College and Ziyu Dai of the College of Engineering were able to apply their knowledge and experiences to inspire real world policy change for future progress.

Also involved in the project  was former Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Ngani Ndimbie, executive policy specialist for PennDOT.  Ngani was able to advise the students from a policy standpoint, as well as provide guidance from her experience as a Heinz College graduate.

This project was supported by the Mobility21 National University Transportation Center.

For more information and detail, you can read the full report here.

Mobility21 UTC Researcher and Team Advance to Phase 3 of CHARiOT Challenge

July 7, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

July 7, 2020

After winning Phase 2, Mobility21 UTC Researcher Yang Cai and his team at CMU have been advanced to Phase 3 of the CHARiOT Challenge, where researchers build augmented reality for first responders.  The goal is to significantly improve a first responder’s situational awareness allowing them to more effectively plan and respond during incidents.

Mobility21 Welcomes 2 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars

June 18, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

June 18, 2020

Mobility21 is pleased to welcome and support Beverley-Claire Okogwu and Fausto Vega as participants in the 2020 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) Program.

At Mobility21, we view research and education as two sides of the same coin. We cannot educate for future generations without exposing them to research, development and deployment. On the other hand, we cannot do successful research, development and deployment without the input of future generations.

“The Carnegie Mellon University RISS Program is an intensive summer research program for talented undergraduate students. Summer Scholars have the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art research projects, interact with a diverse research team, and to be mentored by leading faculty and technical staff. The program introduces aspiring students to dynamic research resources and methods, RI graduate education programs and research projects. The Summer Scholars program lasts 11 weeks.”

More about the Mobility21 RISS Summer Scholars, Beverley-Claire Okogwu and Fausto Vega

Photo of Beverley-Claire OkogwaBeverley-Claire Okogwu is a rising senior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania majoring in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics. This summer at the Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Program, she is working on developing and using Reinforcement Learning environments to experiment with and model autonomous vehicles and smart cities. Through the RISS program, Beverley-Claire hopes to fully comprehend the techniques and skills needed in writing and presenting research. In addition, she will also learn how to conduct fluid research (especially in the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) and have an idea of what graduate school would be like. Although she is mainly conducting remote research this year, she sees it as gaining an adaptability skill that will make her familiar with simulation environments.

Aside from research, she is also enjoying the various online platforms – Discord, Slack, zoom – that are being used in communication with her fellow scholars. She is learning so much about each member despite being in different parts of the world! Beverley-Claire is truly grateful to be given this opportunity at RISS.

FPhoto of Fausto Vegaausto Vega is an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He is part of the Honors College, majoring in mechanical engineering, and minoring in mathematics. He conducts research at the Drones and Autonomous Systems Laboratory at UNLV on several robotics concepts. He is excited to be participating in the Robotics Institute of Summer Scholars at Carnegie Mellon University. He hopes to learn efficient research methods from his mentors as well as gain more insight in drone and aerospace technologies. This experience will allow him to prepare for graduate school through the writing and professional development workshops. It will also allow him to expand his network with scholars, faculty, and professionals from around the world.

More about RISS
“RISS connects students from across the country and world to contribute to robotics research alongside top CMU researchers. With 42 scholars from 11 countries and 33 home universities, the 2020 RISS cohort is the largest cohort since the inception of the program in 2006. Forty percent of the participating scholars are from communities underrepresented in STEM…The RI scholars’ research experience is guided by outstanding research mentors that represent the incredibly diverse robotics research from across the Institute. This year 25 individuals and their teams are undertaking the challenge of navigating a remote experience. We welcome eight new mentors and thank returning mentors who have had a tremendous impact on the lives and careers of the scholars. Mentors guide, support, create new possibilities, and nurture students’ potential.”

https://riss.ri.cmu.edu/

CMU Students Share Capstone Project Results

April 29, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

April 29, 2020

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair including the transportation related project:  “Price Prediction Project with QL2 Software.”

CMU Transportation Club Kicks Off Spring Semester with Career Panel

January 29, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 28, 2020

The CMU Transportation Club kicked off spring semester today, with a career panel.  The panel included speakers from Bike Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Gridwise, Toole Design, and more.

Carnegie Mellon University Student Wins ARTBA Student Transportation Video Contest

January 27, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 27, 2020

Lijun Yu, research master student in Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University  produced a video for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s 9th Annual “Student Transportation Video Contest.” Yu won the post-secondary/college/graduate level in the Safety category of ARTBA’s 2019 Student Transportation Video Contest.  Watch the winning video here.