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Updated: 8 min 26 sec ago

Design Field Notes: Ian Leighton, Nov 26

8 min 26 sec ago
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 InstitutionsModeling Dynamic Transportation Networks Using Differential Complementarity Systems, Nov 30

8 min 26 sec ago
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.

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.

The Future of European Mobility: Safe, clean and connected, Sep 25

Tue, 2018-09-25 21:33
European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc will present The Future of European Mobility: Safe, clean and connected Sept. 25, 2018 in 290 Hearst MemorialMining Building at 4 p.m. Join us for cookies and beverages at 3:30 p.m.

Designing for Customer Consideration of Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Instead of Final Purchase, Sep 21

Fri, 2018-09-21 22:35
Abstract
Despite years of promotion through incentives, design, and policy efforts, alternative fuel vehicles (AVFs) represented only 7% of U.S. Car Stock in 2016. Financial explanations cannot fully account for their lack of success, given that almost all car shoppers do not buy the most affordable car available and AVFs offer numerous feature benefits to customers. Improving the chances of a customer selecting an AVF for final purchase has been carefully studied, for example, using discrete choice models. This talk focuses on moving AVFs into the consideration set, a stage of decision-making that occurs prior to final purchase. I will first discuss design optimization work for maximum consumer consideration of AVFs. I will briefly demonstrate how consideration modeling can be used to capitalize on market events, namely the VW diesel scandal. I will also discuss some experimental work that shows that design features can trigger consumers to include sustainable products in their consideration sets.
Presenter:
Erin MacDonald is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan; and a B.S. with Honors in Materials Science and Engineering from Brown University. She was Postdoctoral Associate and Instructor at MIT from 2008 to 2009 and an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University from 2009 to 2014. MacDonald spent several years designing hiking products before returning to graduate school, and holds two patents on consumer product designs. She is the 2012 ASME Design Automation Committee Outstanding Young Investigator and a former NSF Graduate Fellow. MacDonald’s research integrates concepts from psychology, economics, and marketing into engineering design methods to better represent the user; an effort she terms "quantified cognitive empathy in design engineering." A main goal of her research is to increase the success of sustainable products and technologies by improving the representation of the consumer and other stakeholders in the design process.

Future of Mobility: What Does the Public Think?, Sep 14

Fri, 2018-09-14 22:33
Abstract:
Contemporary conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes, including the tax that the nation has used for more than a half a century used to fund much of its roadway infrastructure: the gas tax. Popular media and transportation industry stories regularly include statements about how much people hate the gas tax, but is conventional wisdom actually true? This presentation explores public opinion about raising new federal transportation revenues using the results from a series of annual, national, random-digit-dial phone surveys. The specific research questions explored are: (1) How does support vary according to the specific features of a transportation tax? (2) What socio-demographic, attitudinal, and travel behavior variables correlate with support for the taxes? (3) How do support levels vary over time? This research was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Asha Weinstein Agrawal and supported by the Mineta Transportation Institute.

Bio:
Dr. Hilary Nixon is the Deputy Executive Director at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San José State University. Previously, she served as MTI's Director of Research and Technology Transfer and as a Research Associate for MTI. Prior to her current role at MTI, Dr. Nixon was a Professor in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at San José State. She specializes in transportation and environmental planning and policy, and her research focuses primarily on the factors that influence pro-environmental behavior and the relationship between transportation and the environment. Her research has been published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. She earned a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy and Design from the University of California, Irvine.

Collaborative control and autonomy for traffic optimization, Sep 7

Fri, 2018-09-07 21:34
ABSTRACT:
Urban and suburban communities are experiencing rapid growth in both population and density, adding considerable strain on transportation infrastructure. This in turn detracts from quality of life through the consequent increased commuter delays, energy consumption, and pollution associated with transit. While autonomous vehicle technology promises to improve traffic conditions through more optimal use of limited resources, there are currently no fully autonomous cars on the road today; transportation systems are expected to contain significant numbers of human drivers for the next several decades.

Thus, we turn to semi-autonomous driving, employing varying levels of collaborative autonomy to ameliorate societal transit costs. We consider human-in-the-loop systems, e.g. adaptive cruise control or co-driver style apps. In mixed autonomy environments, these collaborative autonomous systems can still have network-wide effects. By modeling interactions between vehicles--whether human-driven, semi-autonomous, or self-driving--we can characterize network costs in response to controlled inputs. Using these models, we can then generate controllers targeted at optimizing network-wide traffic effects in addition to individual driver rewards. We show that these controllers can be improved with an accurate estimate of the state of the transportation system, so we take a step back and investigate the theory of state estimation in multi-agent systems. We propose a new covariance-intersection based distributed Kalman Filtering framework, and show how it leads to more generalized and efficient analytical algorithms.

Ultimately, as transportation autonomy expands in capability and reach, our research leads toward societal benefits through implementable technology in real-world conditions.

BIO:
Prof. Ankur Mehta is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA, and directs the Laboratory for Embedded Machines and Ubiquitous Robots (LEMUR). Pushing towards his visions of a future filled with robots, his research interests involve printable robotics, rapid design and fabrication, control systems, and multi-agent networks.

Prof. Mehta was a postdoc at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories investigating design automation for printable robots; prior to that, he conducted research as a UC Berkeley graduate student in wireless sensor networks and systems, small autonomous aerial robots and rockets, control systems, and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

Prof. Mehta received the NSF CAREER award in 2018, and was named a Samueli Fellow in 2015. He has received best paper awards in the 2015 IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine and 2014 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).

When not in the lab, Ankur enjoys social dancing, ultimate frisbee, board games, and puzzles.

Financing the Future of Mobility: What Does the Public Think?, Sep 14

Fri, 2018-09-07 13:35
San Jose State University's Hilary Nixon will present Financing the Future of Mobility: What Does the Public Think? on Sept. 14, 2018 in 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building at 4 p.m. Join us for cookies and beverages at 3:30 p.m

A Deep Learning, Model-Predictive Approach To Neighborhood Congestion Prediction And Control, Aug 29

Wed, 2018-08-29 22:33
Abstract:
The talk explores a technique for effectively representing the congestion state in a neighborhood for the purpose of short-term predictions through a simple scoring mechanism based on the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD). Network state signals emanating from a larger region-wide network are then utilized to predict this score using a deep learning (LSTM) framework, which is further enhanced by Spectral Graph Theory based feature learning (Graph-CNN). The model accuracy is found to significantly outperform several baselines (Nearest Neighbors, Holt-Winters and LSTM models) for both a simple toy network and a larger network representing the San Francisco Bay Area, while proving to be robust against noisy or missing data sources and also providing information about the causes of congestion through a Neural Attention based framework. Finally, the model predictions and attentions are shown to be useful in designing a novel app-based congestion pricing strategy which not only leads to significant reduction in delays, but also allows for much lower toll rates than other naive strategies, thus implying much lower discomfort to travelers.

Short Bio:
Sudatta Mohanty is a PhD candidate in Transportation Engineering, jointly advised by Prof. Michael Cassidy and Prof. Alexey Pozdnukhov. His research interests are in Applied Machine Learning, Traffic Flow Theory, Graph Theory and Optimization. He has had significant industry experience through internships at Apple, Microsoft Research and Sidewalk Labs.

What’s in Store for the Grocery Industry?, Aug 22

Wed, 2018-08-22 22:31
The grocery business is changing. Shifting consumer preferences, business consolidation and evolving supply chains are all influencing where we get our food and what’s in the aisles. As longtime staples of our communities, grocery stores will continue to impact community economic development, neighborhood planning, the shape of the workforce and more. Join us to hear about current trends and the future of the grocery industry.
+ Jim Araby / United Food and Commercial Workers
+ Lupe Lopez / Arteaga’s Food Center
+ Karen Salinger / Veritable Vegetable