Columbia’s Transportation Research Recognized by 2017 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC

The paper titled “Human Mobility Patterns in the Orlando Metropolitan Area” was selected as one of the five most highly rated papers by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 2017's Transportation Analytics Contest, sponsored by five TRB standing committees.

Led by Prof. Sharon Di from Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (CEEM), the winning team is composed of Zhenyu Shou, a 1st year PhD student from CEEM majoring in Mechanics, and Wenyue Xuan, a 1st year master student from Teachers College majoring in Sociology and Education, accomplished the contest.

The Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting is one of the most recognized conferences in the field of transportation engineering. This year, it attracted over 12,000 researchers and experts from all over the world. The award recognized by TRB is quite competitive. This contest received interests from 37 universities and research institutes across the world, of which there were 16 paper submissions. From them, five papers were selected for presentation. Zhenyu Shou and Wenyue Xuan gave a 10-min presentation on Monday January 9th, 2017 at the Time Use and Activity Patterns Subcommittee (ADB10(1)) meeting.

“This diverse background enables us to analyze traffic data from a multidisciplinary perspective. It is our great honor to be recognized at this conference. This award will definitely increase the visibility of Columbia University’s new transportation direction and echo with Data Science Institute’s emphasis on data analysis.”

“Zhenyu put his hands into transportation-related research with me only since last semester. He is probably one of the most hard-working and talented graduate students I have ever seen. He is also a fast-learner and always forward-thinking. That is why he can pick up a new topic in such a short time. So he deserves this award!” stated Professor Di, who joined the CEEM department in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor and is a nationally recognized expert in data-driven travel behavior research.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to Prof. Huiming Yin for his constant support during the period when we were extensively working on this contest.”


“City pulse of Orlando, FL”. The blue color in a zone represents the number of trips attracted into the zone. The darker blue, the more trips attracted. Each frame shows one hour of trip information and the whole video illustrates trip dynamics for 30 consecutive days in April 2014. 


Prof. Sharon Di’s paper titled “Ridesharing User Equilibrium and Its Implications for High-Occupancy Toll Lane Pricing” was also nominated for TRB’s Network Modeling Committee (ADB30)’s Dafermos Best Paper Award.

The Stella Dafermos Best Paper Award is offered annually for the best paper submitted for presentation and publication to the Transportation Network Modelling Committee (ADB30) of TRB. This award is named for Stella Dafermos (1940-1990), one of the most influential early researchers in transportation network modelling. During her career, Professor Dafermos developed new mathematical methods of analyzing congested transportation networks and proposed innovative techniques to find solutions to complex network equilibrium problems. Her research has had a profound and lasting effect on the field of network equilibria and transportation system modelling.


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