My fifth semester at Georgia Tech was focused on completing my coursework here at Georgia Tech, starting up on my research for my ACRP/dissertation, and heading up ITE.
The first of my courses, Engineering Communication, touched on how to be more effective in one’s writing, graphic designing, and speaking. The course was full of feedback, and it helped in developing skill sets that I can use down the road. The graphics component of the course focused heavily on Edward Tufte’s principles of graphics. We read through his four books, and I’d recommend those for others.
My second course was Advanced GIS. I picked up a variety of tools in GIS that I’ve already started using, such as using SQL to manage my databases, creating network datasets, and 3D visualizations in GIS. My final project was on household location behavior in Atlanta in reference to transportation accessibility measures. I collected data on the location of bus stops, rail stations, arterial roads, and highway interchanges and compared this to a 420,000 household database that I borrowed from a research project currently being done in my research group. No surprising conclusions, but an exercise in managing large sets of data with SQL and building networks.
I passed my proposal right before the semester began, and began working on my preparing my datasets for my research. I’m using SAS to clean the on-time performance airline database to recreate airline schedules to check if they have depeaked or not. I also spent time trying to dig up literature that says when airlines depeaked in the past ten years, so that I can validate my data.
ITE had a good semester with several guest speakers, social outings, and an active new website (ite.ce.gatech.edu). We are heading to TRB as usual in January, and I have been busy organizing the trip.