Ramkumar Venkatanarayna was originally drawn to U.Va. by its high ranking, healthy professor-student ratio and strong faculty research. U.Va.’s offer of financial support was also a key factor in his decision, as he came here from India. Venkatanarayana completed an M.S. in transporation engineering at U.Va. and was pleased with his experience. “The vibrant University community allowed much academic freedom to think broadly, with the strict honor code that disciplined intolerable behaviors,” he says. “Based on my experience with people elsewhere, my choice was very clear to continue at U.Va. when I decided to pursue a Ph.D.”
Venkatanarayana envisions a future where transportation systems and operations are seamlessly smooth and safe. He works as a transportation engineer in U.Va.’s Smart Travel Lab and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering. His research tries to characterize “normal” traffic patterns—which is no easy task. The current means of understanding traffic patterns in a given area involve either oversimplifying the data through averaging or hugely complex and time-consuming mathematical computations. Venkatanarayana is constructing algorithms that will streamline and simplify this process. His research has implications for transportation efficiency and accountability.
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