Each research project sponsored by TransInfo will be required to involve partners from the government and the private sector. Through their involvement in these projects, TransInfo-supported students would be given the opportunity to network through the organizations their project is partnering with. Besides this, TransInfo will sponsor additional activities aimed at better connecting the larger student body at its member institutions to potential employers. Among those activities are:
With funds from TransInfo, each school will host a bi-weekly transportation seminar series. The seminar series will be open to interested faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at each school, and will feature external speakers, speakers from the host institution, as well as local transportation practitioners. The overall theme of the series will be Big Data and Transportation Applications. TransInfo will provide the seed money to create these seminar series, which will serve as a focal point for building working relationships between students, faculty and local practitioners.
TransInfo will sponsor an Annual Workshop to be held at GMU, given its close proximity to Washington, D.C. The workshop timing will be made to piggy-back on the Annual TRB Meeting (e.g., workshop scheduled on the Friday after the TRB meeting), since a very large number of transportation researchers and practitioners typically participate in TRB activities. TransInfo Annual Workshop will be designed to facilitate interactions between the Center’s researchers and USDOT and FHWA personnel with interest in the topic of transportation informatics, and will have a tangible product at the end, in terms of an agenda for transportation informatics research along with a plan for how to translate the research findings and techniques into practice.
Besides the annual workshop, TransInfo will leverage its researchers’ membership in TRB committees and will work with the Data Section TRB committees in particular (e.g., the Committee on AI and Advanced Computing co-chaired by Prof. Sadek (UB) and the Statistical Methods Committee) to develop Sunday TRB workshops focused on the theme of Transportation Informatics and its applications in Transportation.
There is currently an urgent need, not only for educating future transportation professions, but for also training the current workforce on how to take advantage of Big Data to improve transportation system performance and support decision-making. TransInfo will work on developing a set of short or training courses on that topic, some of which may be based on the material of the Transportation Analytics class which Dr. He will be developing for TransInfo. Moreover, the courses will be designed as E-modules to extend their reach, and will target regional and local transportation engineers, planners and economists, especially those working for State DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Specifically, we envision developing the following 4 courses, which are well aligned with TransInfo research clusters: