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BREAKOUT SESSION Education and Outreach Robert Donnelly, PB Consult, Inc. Donald Hubbard, Fehr & Peers Associates LIFELONG EDUCATION AS A NECESSARY niques. The skill sets that travel modelers need today are FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS IN very different from the skill sets needed in the past. The TRAVEL MODELING use of large-scale traffic simulation models, such as TRANSIMS, requires an understanding of travel choice Robert Donnelly behavior, activity-based travel analysis, traffic science, traffic control systems, intelligent transportation sys- Robert Donnelly discussed training and education needs tems, network dynamics and disequilibrium, and simula- associated with advancing the state of the practice in tion analysis and modeling. These skills are in addition travel demand modeling. He outlined possible elements to a solid background in mathematics, statistics, and of a lifelong educational approach as a foundation for microeconomics. Microeconomics is typically not successful advancements in travel modeling. A paper on required for civil engineers, and individuals with a social this topic is provided in Volume 2.1 The following points science education may not have a background in some of were covered in his presentation. these subject areas. Currently, there are limited training opportunities There is a gap between the current skills of most available to practitioners covering some of these topics. metropolitan planning organization (MPO) staff and the Examples of these training opportunities include the skill sets needed to implement and use new travel model- week-long National Highway Institute (NHI) course on ing techniques. With the rapid change in technologies, travel forecasting and the 3-day NHI advanced travel models, and analysis techniques, the necessary skill sets demand forecasting course. There are also conferences, also continue to change. Unlike the previous generation such as this one, and workshops on travel modeling. A of civil engineers and planners, who could count on the self-instruction text on mode choice modeling is also skills that they learned in college to be appropriate for 20 available. All of these efforts provide a good base to com- years, graduates today are lucky if the techniques that municate ideas and concepts, but they do not provide the they learn are appropriate after 10 years. comprehensive skill sets needed by modelers. There are It is difficult to keep university curriculum on travel also more intensive activities, such as the week-long modeling current given rapid changes in tools and tech- advanced modeling course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Further, distance-based learning courses are available on the Internet. Some of these courses may 1See Donnelly, R. Lifelong Education as a Necessary Foundation for be intimidating for many people, however, because they Success in Travel Modeling. In Conference Proceedings 42: Innovations in Travel Demand Modeling, Volume 2: Papers, are very mathematically oriented. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Mentoring provides an informal learning process Washington, D.C., 2008, pp. 121123. that occurs over a longer period of time. This approach 42