Ding Wang on Curiosity in Research

Ding Wang

Alumna, NYU

Curiosity got the better of Ding Wang. She first became interested in transportation as an undergraduate, but it wasn't necessarily the nuts and bolts that first captured her interest - it was people.

“I’m so curious about where people go and when they travel,” she says. “The transportation network is amazing.”

This curiosity has served Wang well, and she has followed it down multiple diverse research pathways. Her publication list reads like she swallowed the entire section of the transportation engineering library, with titles like “Impact of COVID-19 Behavioral Inertia on Reopening Strategies for New York City Transit”, “Multi-agent simulation-based virtual test bed ecosystem: MATSim-NYC,” and “Modeling and Analysis Strategies for Leveraging Ride-Sourcing Services in Hurricane Evacuation.”

While at C2SMART, she participated in the development of the virtual testbed, MATSim-NYC — “An amazing research project,” she enthuses — led by Professor Chow and Ozbay. She also collaborated with Cornell University on a series of studies to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. And she worked with Dr. Ozbay on the hurricane evacuation planning research for emergency management.

Wang’s primary faculty mentors were C2SMART Director, Professor Kaan Ozbay and Associate Professor Joseph Chow. Both men offered guidance and support as she worked on her thesis. After graduation, she worked as a research scientist at a national AI lab in China, where she will continue her research on future transportation with AI technology. 

“I’m very excited about the future of the transportation system,” Wang muses thoughtfully. “New technologies such as autonomous vehicles will undoubtedly change the city’s infrastructure as well as people’s moving habits. It’s my hope that these things can also make transit safer, faster, and more reliable.”

What's your favorite way to get around the city?
I would say driving for now because it’s more convenient. But I'm hoping that the answer will be transit in the future, so I can sit back and relax.

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