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.

Smart Mobility Connection Seminar Series Features Stan Caldwell and Rick Grahn

January 24, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 24, 2020

The first Smart Mobility Connection session of spring semester was held today featuring Mobility21 Executive Director, Stan Caldwell and CMU PhD student, Rick Grahn.  They provided an overview and took questions about the project, Research Results and Technology Trends to Inform Policies for Smart Mobility of People and Goods.  Everyone in attendance was also provided with a hard copy of the “Recommended Policies for the 21st Century Trends in US Mobility” policy guide.  Watch the full SMC video here.

Mobility21 UTC at the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting

January 16, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 14, 2020

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation booth at the 2020 Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting, Mobility21 Executive Director Stan Caldwell, Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer and Postdoctoral Research Associate Wei Ma staffed an demo and talked with attendees about the Mobility 21 research project “Data-driven real-time traffic prediction and management.”

CMU Student Lijin Yu Presents at International Workshop on Big Data for Intelligent Transportation Systems

January 16, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

December 13, 2019

Lijun Yu, a first-year research master student in Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Prof. Alexander G. Hauptmann presented their recent work at the International Workshop on Big Data for Intelligent Transportation Systems (BITS 2019) at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Los Angeles. On behalf of the authors Lijun Yu, Peng Chen, Wenhe Liu, Guoliang Kang, and Alexander G. Hauptmann, he presented the paper entitled “Training-free Monocular 3D Event Detection System for Traffic Surveillance.”

CMU Student Poster Wins Best in Session at TRB

January 16, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 16, 2020

Rick Grahn, a PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University displayed his poster on “Are travelers substituting between Uber and public buses? A case study in Pittsburgh, PA” at the TRB Annual Meeting this week. The poster won “Best in Session.” The poster session was a part of the ‘Standing Committee on Public Transportation Planning and Development’.

Mobility21 Goes to Transportation Camp

January 15, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 11, 2020

Dominick Fiorentino, Heinz College student and Lisa Kay Schweyer, Mobility21 UTC Program Manager participated in Transportation Camp today in Washington DC.  “Transportation Camp is an unconference bringing together transportation professionals, technologists, and others interested in the intersection of urban transportation and technology.”

Mobility21 Diversity Fellow, Allanté Whitmore, presented at the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting

January 14, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 14, 2020

Mobility21 Diversity Fellow, Allanté Whitmore, presented at the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting.  She shared her research on the role of engineering ethics in decision making for automated mobility.

CMU’s Matt Battifarano Named Student of the Year

January 11, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

January 11, 2020

Matt Battifarano was honored tonight as a “Student of the Year” at the Council of University Transportation Centers awards banquet held during the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Annually the United States Department of Transportation honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation Center for his/her achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field. Students of the year are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership.

Meet the 2019 Mobility21 winner:

Matt Battifarano grew up on the buses and subways of New York City and never stopped thinking about transportation. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Chicago, Matt worked for three years as a Data Matt BattifaranoScientist and Software Engineer for Bridj, a smart mobility start up. Matt is currently a PhD student in the Mobility Data Analytics Center at Carnegie Mellon University where he studies network modeling of ride-hailing systems and connected and autonomous vehicles. Over the summer, Matt interned on the Strategy Team at Uber’s Advanced Technology Group, building a simulator to model Uber’s autonomous vehicles. In 2018 Matt was selected as a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Research Fellow. 
His nominator, CMU Associate Professor Sean Qian said “Matt’s research interest and strength well match the UTC’s goal on improving mobility and what I envision the future of transportation infrastructure, data-driven decision making for mobility systems….Discussing research with him is always inspiring. I found his attention to details and intent to understand the material and investigate further depth is excellent. He has taken advantage of every opportunity to gain knowledge, experience and participate in problem solving. He offers in-depth understanding for the machine learning model, and was able to apply it to the transportation problem quickly and thoroughly.”

Educating, recruiting and training new workers is critical to managing our country’s infrastructure safely and efficiently.  Mobility21 UTC strives to help develop a transportation workforce capable of designing and maintaining the complex transportation systems of tomorrow. Help us congratulate our 2019 UTC Student of the Year!

To view the Student of the Year program booklet click here: Booklet.

 

Mobility21 UTC at the Consumer Electronics Show

January 8, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation booth at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, Mobility21 Executive Director Stan Caldwell and Postdoctoral Research Associate Wei Ma staffed an demo and talked with attendees about the Mobility 21 research project “Data-driven real-time traffic prediction and management.”

CMU Postdoctoral Research Associate Participates on 2 Panels at the Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference

December 13, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

December 13, 2019

Wei Ma, Postdoctoral Research Associate from Carnegie Mellon University served on 2 panels during the Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference in State College, PA.  He presented on his work Estimating Multi-class Dynamic Origin-Destination Demand through a Forward-Backward Algorithm on Computational Graphs, and Data-Driven Traffic Prediction and Management: Case Studies of Cranberry Township and Philadelphia Region.

Mobility21 UTC researcher and student team won the Best Demonstration honorable mention award

December 10, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

December 8, 2019

Mobility21 UTC researcher Rahul Mangharam and his student team won the Best Demonstration honorable mention award at #neurips2019 for their F1/10 demo!  “They  illustrated a platform for distributed #RL, sim to real transfer, and self supervised online learning of a vision based obstacle avoidance/racing policy. Plus, they wrapped this all in the intuitive #OpenAI Gym API to turn the Racecar hardware into its own reinforcement learning environment. Look out for github.com/f1tenth for more updates on the paper and code.”

CMU Students Share Capstone Project Results, Day 2

December 5, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

December 5, 2019

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 the final day of the poster fair.  The projects featured today included 3 transportation related projects:

    • A Public Transportation Accessibility Index for Allegheny County
    • Selection Standards Analysis for Subsidized Public Housing
    • Bringing Employers “On Board” to Reduce SOVs in Downtown Pittsburgh– Mobility21 Program Manager Lisa Kay Schweyer was the adjunct instructor for this project

 

 

 

 

CMU Students Share Capstone Project Results, Day 1

December 5, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

December 4, 2019

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 3 transportation related projects:

    • Qualified Municipal Infrastructure Bonds:  Improving Infrastructure Finance in the US – Traffic21 Director Chris Hendrickson served as an advisor for this project
    • Optimization of Security Checkpoints through Wait Time Forecasting
    • Unsupervised Auto Insurance Fraud Detection

Students with Poster

 

 

 

The Ohio State University – CAR Researchers Tackle Extreme Fast Charging of Electric Vehicles

December 4, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

December 4, 2019

An exploratory research program at the Mobility21 UTC academic partner, the Ohio State University, through its Center for Automotive Research  aims to evaluate the feasibility of Extreme Fast Charging (XFC) which would allow electric vehicles to be recharged as fast as conventional vehicles are refueled. XFC promises to accelerate the adoption of battery electric vehicles by designing high-performance, cost-effective, safe and affordable energy-storage systems.  Learn more here.

UPenn Intro to Transportation Class Gives Feedback on SEPTA’s Rail Extension

October 16, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

October 16, 2019

Leslie Roche, Planning Manager at AECOM, and Ryan Judge, Senior Long Range Planner at SEPTA, walk Erick Guerra’s Introduction to Transportation Planning class through a role-playing exercise to identify key factors in selecting a locally preferred alternative for SEPTA’s proposed rail extension to King of Prussia, PA.

RISS Program Participant to CMU Employee

September 30, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

In June, the Mobility21 UTC welcomed Tessa Guengerich as part of the CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) program. By the end of August, she was offered a job as a Robotics Engineer and began working for Carnegie Mellon University at the National Robotics Engineering Center.

During the spring, Tessa was an undergraduate student at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.  She graduated with her bachelor’s in chemical engineering in May and arrived in Pittsburgh for the summer program hoping to learn more about machine learning, programming and the implementation of robots outside of academia. Tessa was a part of the 2018 RISS cohort and said she was excited to return to Pittsburgh. She was eager to learn more about things she wasn’t exposed to before (computational statistics and machine learning) and was also excited to be surrounded by other students from around the world.

Carnegie Mellon’s RISS Program is an eleven-week summer (June 1 to mid-August) undergraduate research program that immerses a diverse cohort of scholars in cutting-edge robotics projects that drive innovation and have real-world impact. Launched in 2006, RISS is among the best and most comprehensive robotics research programs for undergraduates in the world.

As she explains, “On the Mat Sinking project with RISS mentor Isaac Isukapati, Project Scientist, at CMU’s NREC: National Robotics Engineering Center, I’m learning a lot about computational statistics and algorithms, and I’m coding in C++ for the first time. I’ve faced a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a challenge I’ve been able to face thus far. The overall project is to write a scheduling program for robotic arms performing specific tasks — for example, given X robotic arms and Y objects, what’s the best course of action for the robotic arms to move those objects safely and efficiently? My contribution to the project is to write a statistical simulator to test the performance of the scheduler with a specific set of parameters, to see where the scheduler performs well and where it fails.”

By the end of the summer RISS experience, she had been encouraged to apply for a job at the National Robotics Engineering Center. She was hired on as a full-time Robotics Engineer and is now continuing her work on the Mat Sinking Project.

Before beginning her summer RISS program Tessa was unsure what her next steps would be. She says she is thrilled to be in Pittsburgh. She loves the people in Pittsburgh, noting everyone is super friendly. Tessa said everyone at her new job has been supportive and helping her get acclimated.

Mobility21 UTC Team Tours UTC Faculty Member Ding Zhao’s Safe AI Lab

September 23, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

September 23, 2019

Mobility21 UTC Faculty member Ding Zhao, welcomed Mobility21 UTC Executive Director Stan Caldwell, Program Manager Lisa Kay Schweyer, Senior Administrative Coordinator Chelsea Cavlovic and Metro21 Executive Director Karen Lightman for a tour of his Safe AI Lab.  Zhao, along with 4 of his students, provided an overview of their research, demonstrated how their autonomous vehicles “see and react” to pedestrians and vehicles and more.

CMU Transportation Club Kicks off Fall 2019 Semester

September 20, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

September 20, 2019

The CMU Transportation Club held its first meeting of the new academic year today.  Mobility21 UTC Women in Transportation Fellow, Bonnie Fan co-facilitated the meeting.  Attendees included students from across the university  studying policy, infrastructure, architecture, and data.  The agenda included a review of data projects, a traffic management site visit, and the development of a mentorship program with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Women in Transportation Seminar.  In addition, Mobility21 UTC Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer provided an overview of the UTC and ways students could be involved.   CMU students interested in joining the club should complete this form: https://tinyurl.com/cmu-transpo-19.

Leveraging Computer Vision to Better Detect the Risk of Landslides: RISS Alumni Presents at the Tapia Conference

September 18, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

“Each fall, computer science researchers gather across the nation in celebration of diversity in STEM, the Tapia Conference. For two consecutive years, Hameed Abdul (Robotics Institute Summer Scholar ’18 working with Dr. Christoph Mertz) has presented his undergraduate research results and shared his journey as an increasingly accomplished STEM scholar.”   Learn more here.   Mobility21 UTC sponsored Hameed’s Robotics Institute Summer Scholar experience.

 

Public Policy and International Affairs Students Learn About Smart Transportation

August 15, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

August 15, 2019

Mobility21 Executive Director, Stan Caldwell, led a class entitled “Smart Transportation: Issues of Equity” for the The Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) students during Summer 2019. The classes featured UTC researchers who presented on different topics of intelligent transportation systems (ITS).  The class was able to develop hands on experience of ITS concepts by applying them to a group project with the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

Mobility21 UTC’s Robotics Institute Summer Scholar Participated in Poster Showcase

August 14, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

August 14, 2019

Today, Tessa Guengerich, Mobility21 UTC’s Robotics Institute Summer Scholar participated in the end of session poster showcase. Her poster highlighted the work she did on project:  Statistical Simulation for Multi-Agent Scheduling Under Uncertainty.

Update from Tessa Guengerich, CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholar

July 29, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

July 29, 2019

In June, Mobility21 welcomed Tessa Guengerich as part of this year’s  CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) program. Currently an undergraduate student at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, she arrived in Pittsburgh hoping to learn more about machine learning and programming and learn more about the implementation of robots outside of academia. Tessa said she was excited to learn about things she wasn’t exposed to before (computational statistics and machine learning) and was also excited to be surrounded by other students from around the world.

Photo from UBTech competition
SCS, 190718B, UBTECH, Robotics Institute, July 18 2019.  Tessa on right.

Six weeks later, Tessa provided this update on her experience:

On my project with Isaac [Isukapati, Project Scientist, at CMU’s NREC: National Robotics Engineering Center], I’m learning a lot about computational statistics and algorithms, and I’m coding in C++ for the first time. I’ve faced a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a challenge I’ve been able to face thus far. The overall project is to write a scheduling program for robotic arms performing specific tasks — for example, given X robotic arms and Y objects, what’s the best course of action for the robotic arms to move those objects safely and efficiently? My contribution to the project is to write a statistical simulator to test the performance of the scheduler with a specific set of parameters, to see where the scheduler performs well and where it fails.

Photo from UBTech competition

Participating in RISS has also exposed me to other areas in robotics I’ve never seen before, like the DJI and UBTECH workshops. During the DJI workshop we had to set up the software development kit for a small drone, and then use that SDK to program the drone for a race of sorts. First of all–I’ve never worked with drones or been forced to think about their specific challenges, so working with my team to think about wind and tuning parameters was surprisingly fun to me. Second, I found it fun to work with four students from such different backgrounds to complete the challenge. Two of the students had experience with drones and were able to take the lead, helping and teaching along the way. It was new for me to be in the situation of getting help from a peer on a common goal (and not for individual assignments or school group projects, where most students have similar sets of skills.)

Photo from UBTech competition

For the UBTECH workshop, we were again placed in teams and tasked with programming a humanoid robot to complete a task of “rescuing” stuffed animals and placing them in “safe” zones. The challenge was two-fold. First, we were expected to connect to the humanoid robot via bluetooth and control it with a gaming controller. Then we needed to connect specific buttons on the controller to specific movements in the robot, and test that functionality. My contribution ended up being to set up the software development kit for the gaming controller to connect via bluetooth (which I had learned a lot about in the DJI workshop). I also helped my teammates to fine-tune the movements of the robot for walking to and grasping the animal. Again, all of this was pretty far out of my comfort zone, but I had a great team that managed to balance each other’s skill set.

Photo from UBTech competition

We’ve also had the privilege of hearing and seeing a lot of presentations from different faculty members at CMU about their research. That has also been an eye-opening experience. As a Chemical Engineering student, most of the talks were outside of my traditional curriculum, but that’s exactly what I’ve enjoyed most about RISS — learning about research I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise, and trying my hand at tasks that initially intimidated me.

Carnegie Mellon’s RISS Program is an eleven-week summer (June 1 to mid-August) undergraduate research program that immerses a diverse cohort of scholars in cutting-edge robotics projects that drive innovation and have real-world impact. Launched in 2006, RISS is among the best and most comprehensive robotics research programs for undergraduates in the world.

CMU Student Noel Lau Awarded APTA Scholarship

July 26, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

July 26, 2019

CMU Civil Engineering graduate student, Noel Lau was awarded an American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) scholarship. As part of the award, Noel will attend the national APTA conference in October, where she will have the opportunity to attend workshops and sessions as well as meet with industry professionals from across the country.

Students Present Research on Forbes Avenue Reconfiguration

July 26, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

July 26, 2019

Students advised by Chris Hendrickson, Director of Traffic21 and UTC Faculty, were featured in a poster session that highlighted the work the students have been doing on the Forbes Avenue reconfiguration. Their research included topics like air quality, bus ridership, speed and multi-vehicle detection.

Mobility21 Students Attend Automated Vehicle Symposium

July 15, 2019
Posted in What's Happening

July 15 – 18, 2019

Throughout the week in Orlando, Florida, more than 1,800 leading researchers, regulators, technologists and decision makers converged to discuss the future of automated vehicles. Keynote speakers included Carnegie Mellon alumni and Aurora founder, Dr. Chris Urmson. Also participating in the event were Mobility21 supported PhD students, Allante’ Whitmore and Jake Ward.  The students represented Mobility21 research and development as well as collaborated with industry leaders on the future of mobility.