The Lab is directed by Prof. Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah, Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her research interests are on smart, socially-just and sustainable transportation and traveler behavior.
She is particularly interested in automation, AI and the use and effects of Information and Communications Technology on our jobs and our daily lives, and the consequent effects on infrastructure and mobility services. Some examples of her books and edited work are Transportation and Information: Trends in Technology and Policy (Springer 2013) and Seeing Cities with Big Data: Research, Methods and Applications in Urban Informatics (Springer, 2017). She is currently an Associate Editor of the Harvard Data Science Review, and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Big Data Analytics in Transportation and Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.
Dr. Thakuriah is the founding Director and now an Honorary Professor of the Urban Big Data Centre, a multi-university consortium led out of the University of Glasgow, UK, which offers a nationwide data infrastructure on urban data serving local governments, higher education institutions, and industry. Vonu is a member of the Advisory Board of the UK Office of National Statistics Data Science Campus, as well as a member of European Commission/Eurostat’s New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics. She is also co-chair of the Urban Data Interest group of the Research Data Alliance. Vonu was previously a European Commission Marie Curie Fellow. She was also a Fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – Academic Leadership Program (ALP) of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Her postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences was funded by a fellowship program of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences.