Strengthening the Information Technology Content

Given the complexity of future transportation systems, the data rich environment they currently operate in, and the pervasiveness of computing and cyber technologies in transportation and in everyday life, it is imperative that future transportation professionals be educated and trained in a way that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively function in that environment.  Specifically, they need to know how to make the best use of the available data resources in their mission to improve the efficiency, safety, sustainability and resiliency of our nation’s transportation system. It is toward achieving this goal that TransInfo educational activities will be directed.

At UB (the lead institution), five different departments from three different schools have either a transportation track or transportation components, and will be part of this grant.

  • The Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) department offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering. At the BS level, a transportation track has been recently launched and is currently attracting a significant portion of the undergraduate population. At the graduate level, students can declare transportation engineering as their focus area. The transportation graduate program integrates transportation research with research in intelligent systems, advanced computing, hazard mitigation, simulation, freight and econometric modeling. 
  • The Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees, and has a very strong interest in the field of data mining, machine learning and informatics.  Among faculty in CSE are world-leaders in machine learning and pattern recognition, and TransInfo plans to advantage of their knowledge in addressing the needs and challenges of the transportation profession.
  • The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) offers BS, MS, ME and PhD degree programs. Transportation-related research in ISE focuses on Operations Research and data mining applications in transportation, vehicle routing, adaptive logistics, network problems and transportation security.
  • The Department of Geography graduate degrees include the BA, MA, MS, and PhD degrees. The department is very strong in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) and is home to the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA). A number of faculty members in Geography are interested in transportation research and regularly collaborate with CSEE faculty.
  • The Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP) offers BA and MUP (Master of Urban Planning) degrees. The department also started a PhD program in February 2012. Several faculty members in URP have a strong interest in transportation-related research, particularly in the areas of transportation planning for resiliency and sustainability, as well as in transportation economics. 

At the three other participating universities (RPI, GMU and UPR-M), the main department participating in TransInfo activities will be the Civil Engineering department in the respective school.  Nevertheless, faculty members there plan to collaborate on research with their colleagues in other departments particularly from Computer Science and Industrial & Systems Engineering. Table 4 lists the number of degrees conferred annually during the past five years, and the number of full-time faculty, for each participating department. It is to be noted that the numbers reported are at the department-level, and that not all of those students specialize in transportation.