2017 NITC Dissertation Fellow: Alexander Lee, University of Arizona

Every year NITC offers Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowships which cover expenses for the recipient while working on a dissertation consistent with NITC's theme of improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. 

Alexander Lee, a Graduate Research Assistant in Systems and Industrial Engineering at University of Arizona, is our 2017 NITC dissertation fellow has been funded to investigate his study on Using Time-Series Analysis to Precisely Identify and Rank Road Hotspots.

Over the past decades, many ranking methods have been proposed for "road hotspots". However, results vary from method to method, and one of the issues behind ranking is the element of subjectivity. One approach to resolve these issues is the use of combined models. One of the combined models is the Enhanced Empirical Bayesian (EB) method that incorporates the use of the similarity measure based on the Proportion Discordance Ratio (PDR). This model is developed to assess and objectively quantify similarity among road segments based on crash patterns, each of which contains a unique combination of selected crash-related features.

The goal of this project is to identify a group of similar road segments for the estimation of road segment safety levels and to identify and rank road hotspots for a particular highway at certain hours of the day and days of the week. Based on this assessment, USDOT can find the root cause of the high risk of crash occurrences, and recommendations can be effectively made on a case-by-case basis to reduce such risk.

We're looking forward to seeing the end result of Alex's study!

Over the years, NITC has funded sixteen dissertation research projects that have contributed critical research to equitable access to multimodal solutions. The topics range widely and most recently included ongoing research into suburban black poverty in East Portland by Portland State University Ph.D. candidate Steven Howland, and improved methods for multimodal trip generation by recent PSU graduate Kristina Currans, now a professor at the University of Arizona.

NITC fellowships are open to students currently enrolled in a transportation-related doctoral program at Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of Texas at Arlington or University of Utah.

For the next round of dissertation funding, proposals are due February 12, 2018. Learn more about applying for a fellowship.

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