Congratulations to recent Civil and Environmental Engineering alum Timothy Brathwaite on earning the first place Eric Pas Dissertation Award from the International Association for Travel Behavior for his dissertation The Holy Trinity: Blending Statistics, Machine Learning and Discrete Choice, with Applications to Strategic Bicycle Planning.
The Eric Pas Dissertation Prize has been awarded annually since 1998 to the individual whose dissertation makes the greatest impact among all dissertations nominated for the prize in any given year. Award of the prize signals the arrival of exceptional new talent in the field. The award is named in honor of Eric I Pas, a leading travel behavior researcher, who passed away in November 1997. Brathwaite is the first UC Berkeley student to earn the first place award.
Motivated by efforts to predict the demand for bicycling under various policy scenarios, Brathwaite’s dissertation made methodological improvements to discrete choice models to account for omitted roadway variables, traveler “irrationality,” and the typically low number of cyclists in household travel surveys.
A data scientist at Stitch Fix, Brathwaite earned his Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley under the supervision of Professor Joan Walker in 2018. He was presented with the award at the 99th annual Transportation Research Board meeting in January, 2020.
He was also the UCCONNECT Outstanding Graduate Student of 2016 and Outstanding Student of the Year 2016-17 and earned an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for 2015-16.