By John C. Giardina
On March 24th, four UConn transportation engineering graduate students were named the winners of the Annual Northeastern District Collegiate Traffic Bowl, a Jeopardy! style trivia competition held at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst. The event is part of the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (ITE) Student Research Symposium.
Abigail Osei-Asamoah, Alex Bernier, Kelly Bertolaccini, and Jorge Simbaqueba answered questions about planning, traffic modeling, and ITE organization history, competing in a tournament that included teams from UMass – Lowell, Northeastern University, and reigning champions UMass – Amherst. The UConn team was looking to redeem itself from its loss last year in the final round to UMass – Amherst.
The UConn ITE chapter consists of graduate students specializing in transportation and urban engineering, and undergraduate students in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. The chapter works to support the research interests of its members, which include topics ranging from transportation materials to traffic safety to urban planning. The research symposium where the Traffic Bowl was held also featured poster presentations by UConn graduate students, letting them connect and learn from their peers from across the region.
The competition began with UConn facing Northeastern University. UConn prevailed, despite a very close score, rallying from a deficit of several hundred points to win. The second round pitted UConn against UMass – Amherst and, once again, the UConn team found themselves steadily rising in the tally, pulling within 400 points going into the final question. Wagering it all, UConn won with the question “What is a weaving section?”
“With perseverance, luck and dynamic teamwork, we were able to best the expected winners,” enthused the team members.
Their victory earned them a paid trip to the National Collegiate Traffic Bowl, to be held in August in St. Louis, MO, where they will be representing UConn and the entire Northeast region.