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Ece Undergraduate Research For Tren Urbano

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.458.1 - 8.458.7

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Paper Authors

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Manuel Toledo-Quinones

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

ECE Undergraduate Research for Tren Urbano Manuel Toledo-Quiñones

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681-5000

Introduction Practical problem solving in correlation with a solid theoretical foundation and a broad background play an increasingly important role in engineering education1,2. This article presents a non-traditional undergraduate research and education model in which electrical and computer engineering students participate in a multidisciplinary program focused on promoting careers in mass transport. Participating students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) improved and acquired skills in areas such as software development, distributed computing, embedded systems, machine vision, image processing, and multimedia. The program complements UPRM’s ECE curriculum by combining a year-long development experience with participation in workshops, public presentations and report writing.

As a way of illustration, this article presents two projects being developed by ECE students as part of UPR/MIT/Tren Urbano Professional Development (TUPD) program, which is briefly overviewed first. The first project explores a license plate recognition system (LPRS) to monitor the presence of mini-buses at TU stations as a way to automatically maintain a database with records on their quality of service. The database can also be used for other administration or planning purposes. The other project described consists in the development of a prototype for a multi-modal automatic route planner. The route planner will use real-time information from GPS equipped vehicles. In addition historical data and heuristics will help users plan their trips by efficiently combining buses, rapid transit and walking.

Program Description Tren Urbano (TU) is a heavy rail transit system currently under construction in the San Juan Metropolitan Area of Puerto Rico. The first phase of the project will provide service to approximately 115,000 passengers per day in one of the most densely populated and centrally developed corridors in North America. Because it is the first project of its type in the island of Puerto Rico, the training of local professionals with experience in areas related with mass transport technology, operation, and administration is of crucial importance. The TUPD program was created to satisfy this need. For the past nine years this multidisciplinary program has given undergraduate students the opportunity to perform research in areas related to transportation.

The TUPD program is funded by the government of Puerto Rico through its Transportation and Public Works Department and by the University of Puerto Rico. In brief, the main objectives of the program are to:

Proceedings of the 2003American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Toledo-Quinones, M. (2003, June), Ece Undergraduate Research For Tren Urbano Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015