I tend to be rather opinionated on topics of urban transportation, but always try to ground my beliefs in data and evidence. My educational background has emphasized an adherence to rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods, some of which I share below.
Transportation Survey Methods (Yes, There’s a Conference on That)
As any city transportation professional can attest, surveys are a key tool to take the pulse of a constituency. But they’re dangerously easy to misuse and misunderstand.
Through my time at MIT, I honed my skills in survey design, implementation and analysis through several projects such as:
- During a summer internship with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, I designed, managed and analyzed a pedestrian intercept survey to elicit public feedback on a controversial bus lane project.
- I consulted on the design of the biennial MIT Transportation Survey, and conducted an analysis that formed part of my graduate thesis.
- I took part in the 11th International Conference on Travel Survey Methods in Ésterel, Quebec, where I spent a week in the woods with survey wonks from around the world learning the state of the art in survey techniques.
Travel Demand Modelling
My first foray into transportation was through research with Professor Eric Miller at the University of Toronto, where I contributed to his Integrated Land Use, Transportation and Environment (ILUTE) microsimulation model system.
My paper, “Agent-Based Housing Market Microsimulation for ILUTE Model System”, presented an advancement of modelling methods for urban housing market dynamics including market clearing, dependency on macro-economic conditions, and improved computational performance.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
My gradual drift from engineer to planner required me to become familiar with the world of GIS. At MIT, my classmates and I conducted an analysis of air pollution dispersion patterns in New York City. In our project, entitled “Gone With the Wind: Urban Street Canyons & Air Quality in New York City”, we developed a street canyon intensity index to estimate how building density alters wind patterns. Through this project I learned advanced mapping and geoprocessing techniques.