Carnegie Mellon University

junior projects diagram

January 11, 2022

Junior Projects Experiment Studies Porter Hall Bottleneck

timko.pngThis past fall, three students combined knowledge gained through coursework with hands-on research to collect and analyze data intended to create a smarter CEE department. Under the supervision of Assistant Teaching Professor Joe Moore,  groups of students collaborated to better utilize space and capacity in the busy hallway between the CEE main lounge and Porter Hall 107.

“We were hoping to get readings that would allow us to implement a traffic signal within the department,” says Madeleine Timko who worked with classmates Kojo Aduhene, and Kiran O'Farrell.

The project was assigned in the students’ Junior Projects course, and came to life to solve the problem of real-world collision experiences the students had experienced while attempting to navigate the high-traffic area. To gather data, the students utilized sensing systems and traffic systems to monitor hall space usage and congestion. 

The class learned C++ code and Arduino systems, that teams placed 12 inches from the doorway and 50 inches high to collect data within the cramped hallway. 

Timko believes that the data collected could lead to a stop light system being implemented in the hallway, to reduce collisions. She adds that the experience helped her to build experience working within a team—valuable knowledge that will help with both future studies and her career goals. 

“This project and the research that followed is very applicable for the future. Through it, I was able to sharpen my skills in sensing systems, code, and collaborative tasks and deliverables.”