T3 Webinar Files

Educating Students for ITS Careers: Are Universities Meeting the Challenge?
(February 6, 2014)

Issues and Experience in Teaching ITS

Presenter: Mohammed Hadi
Presenter's Org: Florida International University

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T3 Webinars are brought to you by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building Program (PCB) of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). References in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. DOT.

All the slides in this presentation are branded with the Florida International University (FIU) logo.

Slide 1: Issues and Experience in Teaching ITS

Mohammed Hadi, Ph.D., PE
Florida International University

February 6, 2014

Slide 2: Need for Enhanced ITS Curriculum

  • A comprehensive approach to teaching ITS is needed
    • Based on ITS industry needs
  • More data and research is needed to further delineate industry needs for ITS skills
  • Only aspects of ITS are covered well in university programs
    • Additional ITS concepts need to be incorporated
  • ITS is a very diverse field but there are concepts that are cross cutting
  • Planning and design should be covered but there is also increased focus on operation and management

Slide 3: Need for ITS Education Resources

  • There has not been good resources to teach ITS
  • New resources are being produced by the USDOT PCB program (ITS ePrimer, case studies, etc.)
    • Available resources need to be supplemented by additional materials when used for student education
  • Need informative and interesting teaching aids to engage students in ITS
  • A semester-long case study may be useful similar to a capstone class project

Slide 4: Incorporation of ITS Teaching

  • ITS is becoming an overarching field
  • Should ITS be taught in specific ITS course(s) or should it be covered in existing undergraduate and graduate courses?
  • At least one graduate level ITS course should be offered?
  • ITS materials can also be incorporated in basic undergrad courses and graduate courses
    • Signal control, traffic flow theory, traffic operation, transit operations, ports, and planning
    • Difficult to fit ITS education in undergrad programs

Slide 5: Example Questions – Job Interview (Week of January 20th, 2014)

  • What is ITS? Can you list some ITS examples you know.
  • What is ETC? What are the components of an ETC system?
  • What’s the ITS component of managed lanes? How to decide the toll rate of the managed lanes?
  • What is TMC?
  • What does NTCIP refer to?
  • What is ITS Cabinet?
  • What are the communication methods between the field detector and TMC?
  • What is NEC? (National Electrical Code)
  • What is the different between RJ 11 and RJ 45? How many wires in RJ?
  • What is Voltage Drop?

Slide 6: ITS Course Offering at FIU

  • Graduate level course offered since 2003
    • Undergraduate students were allowed in the class
  • Based on industry experience
  • 15-25 students per offering
    • Offered also through distance learning
  • Two tests and one semester project
  • No Text book
    • Next time to offer in Fall 2014 will be revised to incorporate new USDOT PCB materials

Slide 7: Covered Topics

  • Introduction
  • ITS Functional Areas
  • System Engineering and ITS Architecture
  • ITS Standards
  • ITS Evaluation, Methods and Tools
  • Communications
  • Detectors and CCTV cameras
  • Incident Management
  • Managed Lanes
  • Ramp Metering
  • Dynamic speed limit/speed harmonization
  • Connected Vehicles

Slide 8: Other ITS Education Activities

  • Summer class that address Advanced Applications
    • Offered twice in the past two years
    • Covered TSM&O, ICM, Signal Controller and Cabinet, Port Operations, Engineering Management
  • ITS related materials incorporated in other courses
  • Speaker series, webinar participation, and field visits
  • Student participation in ITS lab research activities
  • Internships and employments at TMCs and other ITS and operation agencies

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