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Hampshire receives National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator grant, Admitted students

September 11, 2019

Robert Hampshire, associate professor of public policy at the Ford School and associate research professor at Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), has been awarded a $948,182 grant by the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel) to study how all Americans’ quality of life and economic prosperity can be improved by recent transportation innovations like ridesourcing and driverless vehicles. Hampshire will lead a team of faculty, students, and government, non-profit and private sector partners to conduct this research project.

New transportation technologies are rapidly evolving, but there is an incomplete understanding on how this will impact the traveling public and what needs to be done for America to harness the opportunities offered by these new transportation options. Through this research, Hampshire and his partners aim to give policymakers a knowledge-based, data-driven resource in the form of an Open Knowledge Network (OKN). The OKN will pull together publicly-available data and harness it though the perspectives of engineering, computer science, statistics, social and behavioral science, systems science, and public policy. By looking at the data through these various perspectives a minimum variable knowledge network (MVKN) will be created that will reveal potential hinderances to deploying these technologies and how these innovations will impact society will become clearer.

This is one of the inaugural projects supported by C-Accel, which brings together academic and non-academic stakeholders to conduct research of national importance. It exemplifies the multi-disciplinary teamwork that MIDAS conducts. This project originated through the MIDAS challenge grant led by Carol Flannagan, in which the senior investigators of this new project were all part, including Robert Hampshire, who played a key role in the MIDAS-funded project.

Read NSF’s announcement here.

Robert C. Hampshire is an associate professor of public policy at the Ford School, a research associate professor in both the U-M Transportation Research Institute's (UMTRI) Human Factors group and Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). He develops and applies operations research, data science, and systems approaches to public and private service industries. His research focuses on the management and policy analysis of emerging networked industries and innovative mobility services such as smart parking, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing, bike sharing, and car sharing. He has worked extensively with both public and private sector partners worldwide.