2022 ARISE Students Make Strides in Sustainability, Economic Recovery Research

This summer, the Behavioral Urban Informatics, Logistics, and Transport (BUILT) lab welcomed  two local high school students from the NYU ARISE program, Sage Robinson and Alexander Sanchez. The Urban Mobility & Intelligent Transportation Systems (UrbanMITS) lab welcomed two more students, Sheyla Almanzar-Abreu and Steven Yan. ARISE, a 7-week fellowship, opens NYU’s Engineering, Life Sciences, and Computer and Data science labs to outstanding applicants. The program comprises a high level, 5-week authentic research experience in participating NYU faculty labs, mentoring in that placement by a graduate or postdoctoral student, a stipend for completing the program, and two weeks of workshops, college advisement and other activities geared to college application prep.

At the BUILT Lab, Sage and Alexander participated in cutting-edge research on transportation systems and urban mobility. With guidance from their mentors, they were exposed to computational models which calculated the heavy vehicle emissions on the road network for the purpose of finding cleaner routes and to statistical models which analyzed the effectiveness of transportation policy as cities recover from COVID-19. They contributed to ongoing state of the art projects and laid the groundwork for future efforts all while evaluating networks of transportation infrastructure, routing and pricing algorithms of transportation agencies and private service operators (e.g. Uber, Lyft), and simulations of traffic and transit operations under large-scale incident scenarios. They helped test and integrate newly acquired state of the art equipment for the C2SMART Center, making important strides toward the Lab’s goals of increasing sustainability and equity in urban mobility.

Sage Robinson

"I am a rising senior from Hunter College High School interested in engineering and business. I like to explore new topics and enjoy learning about everything from astrophysics to international relations. In college I hope to study mechanical engineering with a minor in business or finance. My research this summer focused on the effect of car-free policies on a city’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and their path towards sustainability. With the help of my mentors, I not only learned how to use QGIS but also how to follow the data and look beyond what the initial data might show in order to find, in this case, the true effect of car-free policies on economic recovery."

Alexander Sanchez

"I'm a rising senior at Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in NY. I’m usually a very friendly individual intrigued in understanding others and how the world interacts. My passions mostly relate to science, mathematics, art, and creative writing, usually short stories. In the future, I plan to pursue a civil engineering degree at college and could possibly do graduate school within the same field. During my time in the BUILT Lab, I have exposed myself to complex software such as QGIS which not only displays vast amounts of data, but understanding QGIS also solidified my skills in troubleshooting and creativity. By further improving these skills, this made it possible to gather research data to read it more efficiently, which is valuable for any research later in the future."

At UrbanMITS,  Sheyla and Steven researched bike safety in urban areas, exploring how the sharp rise in bike ridership has come alongside a spike in bicycle injuries and fatalities.  For their research, Sheyla and Steven focused on various factors in bike safety, including distance from moving and parked vehicles, altitude, speed, and acceleration in order to develop an interactive data dashboard using UI/UX tools. They learned how to use Python, Plotly, Dash, and Pandas to program dashboard applications which would consolidate data collected during the C2SMART bike safety project deployment of the BSafe-360, a portable multi-sensor device which collects naturalistic cycling data.  

Sheyla Almanzar-Abreu

"The ARISE program is an incredible opportunity for high students interested in STEM introducing them to college-level STEM classes, research, and projects. Being a part of ARISE allowed me to learn about STEM in a detailed manner by learning about the evolution of STEM throughout the years, the implications of writing in STEM, and being a part of a lab research project. The Urban Mobility and Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory allowed me to conduct research on bike safety and develop a sense of our project. With the research we later began our process of creating an interactive dashboard. I learned how to plan and organize the development of a project and how to code a dashboard. With the hands-on experience of working on a lab project I understand what it is like to work on a college-level STEM project and how to share my work with others. The ARISE program truly allowed me to get a sense of the STEM field, gain experience, and work on collaboration and presentation skills."

Steven Yan

"Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at C2SMART’s UrbanMITS laboratory as part of the summer NYU ARISE Program. I was able to experience life on NYU Tandon’s campus as well as learn about improving transportation safety in urban areas. Under the guidance of Professor Dr. Kaan Ozbay and mentor Ph.D. Candidate Suzana Duran Bernardes, we analyzed factors related to bike rides such as the distance between vehicles and the bike’s speed, altitude, and acceleration and used the data to create an interactive dashboard where users could see which areas had close contacts with vehicles. We used front-end languages HTML & CSS to structure the dashboard and python framework Dash Plotly along with matplotlib to create graphs and encode functionality. The purpose of the project was to gain an idea on causes for the recent increase of bike accidents. It was also a lot of fun to meet other research interns taking part in the ARISE Program as well as members of the C2SMART Research Center. Everyone was very supportive like in giving feedback on our final presentation for the ARISE Colloquium as well as being like-minded, smart, and extremely funny people. I am very grateful for this unique opportunity and I definitely recommend other students to apply for this program. "

The C2SMART Center as a whole, and the BUILT Lab in particular, thank all our ARISE students for their hard work this summer.