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Updated: 54 min 43 sec ago

Sébastien Martin - From School Buses To Start Times: Driving Policy With Optimization, Feb 8

54 min 43 sec ago
Abstract: Maintaining a fleet of buses to transport students to school is a major expense for U.S. school districts. In order to reduce costs by reusing buses between schools, many districts spread start times across the morning. However, assigning each school a time involves estimating the impact on transportation costs and reconciling additional competing objectives. Facing this intricate optimization problem, school districts must resort to ad hoc approaches, which can be expensive, inequitable, and even detrimental to student health. For example, there is medical evidence that early high school starts are impacting the development of an entire generation of students and constitute a major public health crisis. We present the first algorithm to jointly optimize school bus routing and bell time assignment. Our method leverages a natural decomposition of the routing problem, computing and combining subproblem solutions via mixed-integer optimization. It significantly outperforms state-of-the-art routing methods, and its implementation in Boston has led to $5 million in yearly savings, maintaining service quality for students despite a 50-bus fleet reduction. With the routing engine, we construct a tractable proxy to transportation costs, which allows the formulation of the bell time assignment problem as a multi-objective Generalized Quadratic Assignment Problem. Local search methods provide high-quality solutions, allowing school districts to explore tradeoffs between competing priorities and choose times that best fulfill community needs. In December 2017, the development of this method led the Boston School Committee to unanimously approve the first school start time reform in thirty years. In 2018, our collaboration with media and policy specialists generated an intense debate in Boston and many other cities on the use of OR tools for social good.

Bio: Sebastien Martin is a PhD candidate in Operations Research at MIT, advised by Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas and Patrick Jaillet. Beforehand, he obtained a MSc and BSc from Ecole Polytechnique in France. He has worked as a software engineering intern at Google Maps. His research focuses on large scale optimization, with applications in machine learning and transportation, and an emphasis on implementation and policy. His recent work, covered by the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and Wired, led to major policy changes and millions of dollars in yearly saving for Boston and is a 2019 Edelman Award finalist.

Chiwei Yan - Transportation Optimization: Data-enabled Advances in a Sharing Economy, Feb 11

54 min 43 sec ago
Abstract: The transportation and logistics industries are undergoing a round of revolutionary innovation. This innovation is fueled by two key drivers: (1) the growing availability of data, and (2) new operational paradigms in a sharing economy. This talk focuses on showcasing how new models, enabled by the prevalence of data, can lead to significant value in operational decision-making.

We begin by presenting our research that shows how trip data in bike-sharing systems can be mined to infer rider substitution behaviors when there are bike or dock shortages. Based on a non-parametric ranking-based choice model, we propose efficient enumeration procedures and first-order methods to solve the large-scale estimation problem by exploiting problem structure. We prove consistency results of our method. We then demonstrate, with Boston Hubway data, that ridership can be significantly improved through effective inventory allocation operations with better demand modeling.

Next, we describe a recent work in which we propose a new car-pooling mechanism in ride-hailing, called dynamic waiting which varies rider waiting before dispatch. The goal is to limit price volatility in ride-hailing services by reducing the role of surge pricing. We describe a steady-state model depicting the long-run average performance of a ride-hailing service, and characterize the system equilibrium. Calibrating the model using Uber data, we reveal insights on welfare-maximizing pricing and waiting strategies. We show that, with dynamic waiting, price can be lowered, its variability is mitigated and total welfare is increased.

Bio: Chiwei Yan received his PhD from the Operations Research Center at MIT in 2017. His current research interest is in transportation and logistics, with a focus on data-driven optimization and emerging problems in a sharing economy. He is a recipient of the Best Dissertation Award Honorable Mention and the Outstanding Paper Award in Air Transportation from INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society, the Best Dissertation Award from INFORMS Aviation Application Section, the AGIFORS Anna Valicek Award, and the UPS Doctoral Fellowship, among others. His research involves collaborations with both the private and public sectors, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Sabre Airline Solutions, Boston Hubway Bikes and Uber. Before coming to MIT, he obtained the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Tsinghua University.

Davis Projects for Peace $10K campus-wide award application deadline, Jan 21

54 min 43 sec ago
Projects for Peace is an initiative open to undergraduates at UC Berkeley to design grassroots projects for the summer of 2019 - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties.

We encourage applicants to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace. Projects will be selected for funding at $10,000 each.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Monday, January 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Eligibility: Only full-time UC Berkeley undergraduates in good academic standing for the full 2018-19 academic year are eligible to apply.

The Davis Projects for Peace Initiative is made possible by Kathryn Wasserman Davis.

International House is the designated campus official for UC Berkeley winners will represent UC Berkeley in Campus Wide Competition.

For questions about the I-House competition, contact the Program Office at (510) 642-9460 or ihprograms@berkeley.edu.

Details and applications at:
ihouse.berkeley.edu/davis

Writing Scientific Research Proposals, Dec 11

Tue, 2018-12-11 22:34
In this workshop, we will explore techniques and best practices for writing a research proposal in the sciences and engineering, from the beginning (the specific aims/objectives) to the middle (the research design and methods) to the very end (supplementary documents). We will look at examples of successful proposals and discuss the different techniques that can be used to effectively present your information.

Rethinking America’s 20th-Century Highway InstitutionsModeling Dynamic Transportation Networks Using Differential Complementarity Systems, Nov 30

Fri, 2018-11-30 23:33
Abstract
We introduce a mathematical paradigm, the Differential Variational Inequality (DVI) and Differential Complementarity Systems (DCS), for modeling and solving equilibrium and similar problems on dynamic transportation networks. We show how DCS may be used to model and solve some specialized dynamic user equilibrium (DUE) problems. We also discuss current challenges and future research directions related to using the DCS modeling framework to study dynamic transportation networks, especially with respect to multimodal transportation networks and emerging technologies and systems.

Presenter
Dr. Xuegang (Jeff) Ban is an Associate Professor of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Washington. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Automotive Engineering from Tsinghua University, and his M.S. in Computer Sciences and Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His research interests are in Transportation Network Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation, Urban Traffic Modeling and Operations, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). His recent research focuses on applying system analysis tools and data analytics methods to understand the impact of emerging technologies to transportation network systems. He is an Editor / Associate Editor of Transportation Research Part C, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems, and serves on the editorial board of Transportation Research Part B, Networks and Spatial Economics, and Transportmetrica B. He is a member of the Network Modeling Committee (ADB30) and a member of the Vehicle-Highway Automation Committee (AHB30) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He received the 2011 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the New Faculty Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) in 2012.

Design Field Notes: Ian Leighton, Nov 26

Mon, 2018-11-26 23:34
Ian Leighton is a digital product designer from the Bay Area, now based in Lisbon. He graduated from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering (2011), where he was head of Berkeley Innovation and helped launch and teach the {design.} DeCal with Lora Oehlberg. He designed his first app, iBART, in 2008 and founded a startup, Embark (Y Combinator summer '11) which created a dozen public transit apps for iPhone, and was acquired by Apple in 2013. At Apple, Ian worked on a large part of the design for Apple Maps Transit. Since leaving Apple and San Francisco, he’s been traveling, learning, freelancing, and working on various projects. His talk will explore "Design in Transit."

About Design Field Notes:
Each informal talk in this pop-up series brings a design practitioner to a Jacobs Hall teaching studio to share ideas, projects, and practices.

Rethinking America’s 20th-Century Highway Institutions, Nov 16

Fri, 2018-11-16 23:34
Abstract
The U.S. highway system is our only major public utility that is organized as a directly government-operated department. All other major utilities—whether investor- or government-owned—operate in corporate form, receiving their revenues directly from their customers, based on the services used. There is a direct customer/provider relationship that is absent in highways, except for toll roads. All these utilities issue revenue bonds to finance large-scale capital modernization, as needed. This talk explores the idea of highway utilities and suggests that this model would address the major problems facing U.S. highways.

Presenter
Robert Poole is Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit public policy think tank. Among the ideas he has introduced to America’s transportation community are investor-financed express toll lanes, conversion of HOV lanes to HOT lanes, dedicated lanes for heavy trucks, “managed arterials,” and toll-financed Interstate highway reconstruction and modernization. Bob has advised the Secretary of Transportation in several Administrations, the Federal Highway Administration, and state transportation departments in nearly a dozen states, in addition to serving on various expert committees and commissions. He is an emeritus member of the TRB congestion pricing committee and an active member of its managed lanes committee. He writes a monthly column on transportation policy for Public Works Financing and edits the Reason e-newsletter Surface Transportation Innovations. Bob received B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT and did further graduate work at NYU.

Are New Vehicle Emissions Standards Effective and Efficient?, Nov 2

Fri, 2018-11-02 21:36
Abstract
This paper demonstrates the historic effectiveness of new vehicle emissions standards at reducing local air pollution from personal automobiles, but it also argues that the efficiency of such policies is greatly reduced by the failure to use complimentary policies that accelerate fleet turnover. The project combines new vehicle certification tests and in-use compliance testing from millions of automobiles to construct a consistent measure of air pollution from vehicles over six decades in the United States. We use these data to show a 99% reduction in the emissions rates of vehicles, using quasi-exogenous policy variation to argue for a causal link to policy. We then develop an analytical model of the vehicle lifecycle in order to demonstrate that the value of pairing improvements in new vehicle standards with policies that accelerate the retirement of older, dirtier vehicles, which we quantify via simulation.
Presenter
James M. Sallee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a public economist who studies topics related to energy, the environment and taxation. Much of his work evaluates policies aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of automobiles.

Are New Vehicle Emissions Standards Effective and Efficient?, Nov 2

Fri, 2018-11-02 21:36
Abstract
This paper demonstrates the historic effectiveness of new vehicle emissions standards at reducing local air pollution from personal automobiles, but it also argues that the efficiency of such policies is greatly reduced by the failure to use complimentary policies that accelerate fleet turnover. The project combines new vehicle certification tests and in-use compliance testing from millions of automobiles to construct a consistent measure of air pollution from vehicles over six decades in the United States. We use these data to show a 99% reduction in the emissions rates of vehicles, using quasi-exogenous policy variation to argue for a causal link to policy. We then develop an analytical model of the vehicle lifecycle in order to demonstrate that the value of pairing improvements in new vehicle standards with policies that accelerate the retirement of older, dirtier vehicles, which we quantify via simulation.
Presenter
James M. Sallee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a public economist who studies topics related to energy, the environment and taxation. Much of his work evaluates policies aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of automobiles.

Daniel M. Kammen | The Clean Energy Transition in Bangladesh - Local and Global Impacts and Opportunities, Nov 1

Thu, 2018-11-01 22:34
The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley is honored to welcome Distinguished Professor of Energy in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and a former Science Envoy for the State Department, Professor Daniel M. Kammen to deliver the Chowdhury Center Distinguished Lecture for 2018.

Daniel Merson Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. He was appointed the first Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA) Fellow by Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton in April 2010.

Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and US federal government in expert and advisory capacities.

In 2016, he was selected as a U.S. Science Envoy by the United States State Department. He resigned from this position in 2017, citing what he believed to be President Trump's failure to denounce white supremacists and neo-nazis. His August 23, 2017, resignation letter went viral, as netizens noticed that the first letter of each paragraph spelled out I-M-P-E-A-C-H.

Dr. Kammen was educated in physics at Cornell and Harvard, and held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard. He was Assistant Professor and Chair of the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University before moving to the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He serves on the Advisory Committee for Energy & Environment for the X-Prize Foundation.

During 2010-2011 Kammen served as the World Bank Group’s Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. He was appointed to this newly-created position in October 2010, in which he provided strategic leadership on policy, technical, and operational fronts. The aim is to enhance the operational impact of the Bank’s renewable energy and energy efficiency activities while expanding the institution’s role as an enabler of global dialogue on moving energy development to a cleaner and more sustainable pathway.

He has authored or co-authored 12 books, written more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications, testified more than 40 times to U.S. state and federal congressional briefings, and has provided various governments with more than 50 technical reports. Dr. Kammen also served for many years on the Technical Review Board of the Global Environment Facility. He is a frequent contributor to or commentator in international news media, including Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Financial Times. Kammen has appeared on 60 Minutes (twice), Nova, Frontline, and hosted the six-part Discovery Channel series Ecopolis. Dr. Kammen is a Permanent Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society. In the US, he serves on two National Academy of Sciences boards and panels.

Read more about Prof. Kammen HERE.

Established in 2013 the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley champions the study of Bangladesh’s cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Center’s mission is to create an innovative model combining research, scholarships, the promotion of art and culture, and the building of ties between institutions in Bangladesh and the University of California.

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PARKING INFORMATION
Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highway Traffic Operations under Reliability and Security Failures, Oct 26

Fri, 2018-10-26 21:34
MIT's Saurabh Amin will present Highway Traffic Operations under Reliability and Security Failures on October 26, 2018 at 4 p.m. in 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building. Join us for cookies and beverages at 3:30 p.m.

Integrating Shared Autonomous Fleet Services in Urban Mobility: Dynamic, Oct 19

Fri, 2018-10-19 22:32
Northwestern University's Hani S. Mahmassani will present Integrating Shared Autonomous Fleet Services in Urban Mobility: Dynamic on October 19, 2018 at 4 p.m. in SPECIAL LOCATION 502 Davis Hall. Join us for cookies and beverages at 3:30 p.m.

Unlikely Alliances and Transpartisanship: Finding Common Ground Across Difference on Transportation and Infrastructure, Oct 12

Fri, 2018-10-12 22:33
Abstract:
Against a backdrop of hyper-political polarization worldwide, this presentation reviews recent transpartisan coalitions of conservative and progressive allies who advocate for policy change about transportation and infrastructure in the United States. Some might view these as unholy alliances where participants make deals with the devil or lend one’s enemies undue legitimacy. However, when alliances emerge, public officials and the citizenry are challenged to not dismiss an enemy Other outright when divergent activists and key stakeholders agree on matters of substance and process. Karen Trapenberg Frick will discuss how these coalitions form, the strategies used to disseminate and market coalition messaging, and the implications for policy and planning.

Bio:
Karen Trapenberg Frick is is Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley and Director of the University of California Transportation Center. Her current research focuses on the politics of major infrastructure projects, tactical coalitions, and conservative views about planning and planners’ responses. She is also the author of the book Remaking the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge: A Case of Shadowboxing with Nature (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2016).

Early results from the LongROAD study: A five-city observational study of 2990 older drivers, Oct 5

Fri, 2018-10-05 22:35
Abstract
Many age-related health conditions may impair safe driving ability, such as those affecting vision, cognition, neck flexibility. Though older drivers are in fewer crashes than their younger counterparts, such health conditions may cause increased frailty in this population, which means those who drive are more likely to be injured in the case of a crash. In addition, older drivers are more susceptible to impairment by alcohol, medications, cannabis and other drugs due to delayed metabolism and co-morbidities. The LongROAD study aims to explore the roles of medical, behavioral, social, technological, and environmental factors in safe driving among older adults. The study enrolled 2990 older drivers in sites in five states (Ann Arbor, MI; Baltimore, MD; Cooperstown, NY; Denver, CO; and San Diego, CA) from July 2015 through March 2017. LongROAD collects self-reported and objectively-measured health, functioning, and driving behaviors, objective driving data (from a device collecting global positioning, accelerometer measurements, etc.), medical record information, medication history, and state motor vehicle driving records. This presentation will report on early findings, based on data collected at baseline and one-year post enrollment.

Presenter
Dr. Hill is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD. She is the Director of the UC San Diego Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (treds.ucsd.edu), the UCSD-SDU General Preventive Medicine Residency, the Center for Human and Urban Mobility, and senior staff physician at San Diego Family Care. She is engaged in prevention research and teaching with current/past support from the NIH, the California Office of Traffic Safety, Robert Wood Johnson, American Cancer Society, and Health Services Resource Administration, and the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, including research in injury prevention, driving safety, obesity, decision making, compliance, physician training, physical activity, and refugee health.