George Gillette ’17, a sophomore civil engineering student and Honors Sophomore Advisor, has been named the Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS) Undergraduate Student of the Year for his work on a project analyzing data for the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Here is Gillette’s description of the project:
Understanding lateral positioning of vehicles is crucial to gain insight into driver behavior and responses to various stimuli. For this reason, Texas Transportation Institute conducted a closed study, investigating the effects of police lights upon alcohol-inhibited drivers. This was in response to a host of crashes of drunk drivers into police vehicles when their lights were turned on: this effect is called “moth to the flame.”
The data is gathered through a side camera and collects an immense number of frames. Traditional methodology is to manually analyze these frames with respect to a calibration photo via physical measurements on the screen. With the incredible volume being considered, reducing data can be a process that takes weeks. Instead of conducting traditional reduction, I thought there must be a faster way to analyze the data: also, since a person would be subjected to so many frames, the likelihood of accuracy error was quite high. With some personal research into image processing algorithms and programming languages that had modules in this field, I suggested to my direct adviser that I could write a script to conduct this analysis with minimal input. With the adviser’s approval, I completed the project and the code increases consistency of reduction (eliminates human error), vastly improves speed (days instead of weeks), and increases precision drastically.
Through the funding of the ATLAS program and the support of my dedicated mentors, I completed the project, wrote an accompanying research paper, and was recognized as the ATLAS Undergraduate Student of the Year for my work.
To read more about Gillette’s experience as an Honors Student at Texas A&M, visit his ePortfolio.