Fall, 2015                                                                                                      Vol. 2  No. 1
In This Issue
TransInfo Research Centers
Funding for the Transportation Informatics Tier I University
Transportation Center has been generously provided 
by the United States Department of Transportation.
2015 TransInfo Symposium photos
University at Buffalo President, Dr. Satish Tripathi provides welcoming remarks
Symposium attendees
Dawn Tucker-Thomas, Grants Manager, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, United States Department of Transportation
TransInfo Director and University at Buffalo Professor, Dr. Adel Sadek
Symposium moderator, Joah Sapphire of Global Dynamic Group
TransInfo Symposium Organizing Committee
Letter from the Director
 
Dear colleagues,
 
It is my pleasure to report that, based on your feedback, the First Annual  Symposium on Transportation Informatics was an unmitigated success!  Both days of the symposium were teeming with informative lectures, discussions, and enlightening activities. The Symposium showcased not only the experience and innovative thinking of our speakers and guests, but TransInfo's ability to present Transportation Informatics in a way that was both stimulating and relevant. We look forward to continuing this new tradition going forward.

In other news, we continue to work through the proposals submitted to the Center. The Request for Proposal submission period has ended and our committee has begun assessing each with the goal of assisting new projects and supporting collaborative research. There are many exciting opportunities hidden in these submissions and we look forward to evaluating the merits of each idea.

As always, we invite you to visit our website to keep updated on TranInfo research and initiatives - and reach out with any ideas you may have. Thank you for your continued support!
 
Sincerely,
Adel Sadek, Director
TransINFO Tier I University Transportation Center
Transportation Informatics Tier I University Transportation Center Hosts Annual Symposium
Big Data Analytics Transforming Transportation Operations, Management and Safety

Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo, Dr. Liesl Folks welcomes Symposium participants
 
More than 100 transportation and big data professionals from academia, industry and government gathered for the First Annual Symposium on Transportation Informatics, an inaugural event hosted by Transportation Informatics Tier I University Transportation Center (TransInfo) at its lead institution, the University at Buffalo on August 13th and 14th, 2015.

The Symposium underscored the importance of continued innovative research and implementation of big data analytics to address critical transportation needs to transform transportation operations, management and safety. Nearly 30 distinguished speakers were featured including keynote addresses from Michael Pack, Director of the University of Maryland CATT Lab; Ram Pendyala, PhD, Frederick R. Dickerson Chair and Professor of Transportation Systems at Georgia Tech; and Barry Einsig, Global Transportation Executive at Cisco. Presentations, workshops and guided discussions covered a broad range of topics including Developing computer models to predict border crossing delays. Using unmanned aircraft systems to inspect bridges. How connected vehicles can improve transportation systems and Mining social media data to predict traffic. The symposium was graciously sponsored by:
     


Featured awards, honors, and activities
   
Dr. Didier Valdes, a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and researcher of the TransInfo Tier I University Center, was appointed Director of the Office of Graduate Studies of UPRM on August 1st, 2015. As the Director, Dr. Valdes is also Associate Dean of Student Affairs as well as the President of the Graduate Studies Council. Besides administrative tasks, Dr. Valdes is responsible for certifying that revisions of current programs, as well as proposed programs, are in compliance with the rules set by the Office of Graduate Studies. 

University at Buffalo Assistant Professor Jee Eun (Jamie) Kang,PhD and Professor Mark Karwan, PhD were awarded National Science Foundation funding for a three year project entitled Household-Level Use of Autonomous Vehicles: Modeling Framework, Traveler Adaptation, and Infrastructure to Mitigate Negative Effects.
 
Journal publications
  
Hess, Daniel B., Brian W. Conley, and Christina M. Farrell. 2014. "Enhancing Capacity for Emergency Evacuation through Resource Matching and Coordinated Volunteerism." International Journal of Transportation. vol. 2. no. 3. pp. 33-52.  [doi: 10.14257/ijt.2014.2.3.03]
  
Hess, Daniel B. and Christina M. Farrell. 2015. "Evacuation from Disaster Zones: Lessons from Recent Disasters in Australia and Japan"  Securing Transportation Systems. Simon Hakim and Yoram Shiftan, eds. London: John Wiley and Sons. pp.315-344. ISBN 978-1-118-97793-4
Research spotlight
                                                
Developing a P3 Projects Database to Support Transportation Planning and Policy Analysis

The gap between increasing demand of infrastructure and shrinking funds poses great challenges to government on different levels. More government entities are turning to the private sector to help build projects both large and small. It is suggested that private-public partnership (P3) projects can run more efficiently, be finished under budget and ahead of schedule and can have long term goals of maintaining and operating roads, tolls and bridges. However, many arguments in favor of P3 are anecdotal or based on limited number of case studies. Solid empirical studies and quantitative analysis is lacking in literature, mostly because of the lack of data. The analysis is further confounded by the diversity of projects in scale, time of completion, functional types, geographic distribution, financial sources, contract types, etc. Because of these challenges, there have been little consensus on the scale of benefits, if at all, related to P3 in literature. To address this challenge, this project will develop a P3 project database to support transportation planning practice and policy analysis. This project will review existing data in infrastructure finance and develop a data structure that provides a platform for projects of different size, financial sources, ownership, delivery methods, and age to be compared and analyzed. It will pool data collected from sources such as TIFIA, InfraAmerica, OECD, and others to build an initial database. The database will grow as more P3 projects are funded and built. The strength of this database will be demonstrated through case studies and pilot transportation planning and policy analysis. Efforts will be dedicated to explore how qualitative features associated with a project could be quantified and analyzed using latest data mining techniques. Findings from this project will inform future decision makings on infrastructure finance. Read more.

Transportation Informatics University Transportation Center
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University at Buffalo, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260