Inside Rensselaer
* Professor Xuegang (Jeff) Ban

Professor Xuegang (Jeff) Ban Receives NSF CAREER Award

Xuegang (Jeff) Ban, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer, has won a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Jeff is conducting research critical to our nation’s future and is an emerging authority in the areas of transportation network modeling, traffic simulation, and intelligent transportation systems.” —David Rosowsky

Ban will use the five-year, $400,000 award to study how mobile devices including GPS and cellular phones can help monitor and optimize traffic systems, and reduce roadway congestion.

“This is a tremendous honor for Dr. Ban, and we are extremely proud of him for being selected as an NSF CAREER Award recipient,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering. “Jeff is conducting research critical to our nation’s future and is an emerging authority in the areas of transportation network modeling, traffic simulation, and intelligent transportation systems. We are thrilled to count Jeff among the growing number of NSF CAREER award recipients at Rensselaer, and we look forward to watching his academic career here thrive and flourish.”

Ban’s CAREER program, titled “Using Mobile Sensors for Traffic Knowledge Extraction and Dynamic Network Management,” seeks to develop the foundations for an entirely new area of transportation science. He aims to tackle the key challenges of using cell phones, GPS, and other devices to provide data that can be incorporated into next-generation traffic monitoring and management systems. Current systems rely on fixed data collection points, which suffer from limited coverage and are slow to adapt to traffic congestions, accidents, and emergencies. Ban’s vision is to actively learn traffic system states and better manage the system based on “crowdsourcing” mobile device data that protects a driver’s anonymity while actively responding to changing traffic conditions.

This new paradigm of mobile devices-based, real-time, and dynamic traffic system management holds the potential to improve traffic congestion and safety while addressing emissions and sustainability issues related to transportation, Ban said. His group is currently testing and refining an experimental prototype system in the Rensselaer Technology Park.

The CAREER Award is given to faculty members at the beginning of their academic careers and is one of the NSF’s most competitive awards, placing emphasis on high-quality research and novel education initiatives.

Ban is a member of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment. He joined Rensselaer in 2008, after serving for three years as a researcher at the Institute of Transportation Study under the University of California, Berkeley.

After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in automotive engineering from Tsinghua University, Ban completed his master’s degree in computer science and doctoral degree in transportation engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

For more information on Ban’s research, visit www.rpi.edu/ ~banx/ and http://transp.rpi.edu/~CITE/publications_ban.shtml.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 8, April 29, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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