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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 37 - July 27, 1995

Three faculty members in Public Service Programs' Community Resource Development (CRD) unit and a member of the Montgomery County School Board conducted a budget simulation workshop for more than 800 participants in the American Legion Virginia Boys' State Convention, held recently in Lynchburg.

Donald P. Lacy, Extension specialist, and research associates Pamela D. Gibson and Michael John Dougherty, all with CRD, and Annette Perkins, a retired Blacksburg High School government teacher and current member of the school board, designed the workshop to initiate the Boys' State delegates in the budgetary process of local government.

Workshop participants were divided into 12 cities and then introduced to common financial problems facing local governments. The participants, all rising high-school seniors, completed a simulated local budget for their respective cities.

The three- hour workshop was titled "Budget Decisions: Dilemmas and Challenges for Urciti."

Janet Terry Linkous, project analyst for Project Enable, has been elected vice chair of the board of directors of the College and University Computer Users Association (CUMREC). The organization is composed of professional computer providers and administrative users, and has representatives from universities and colleges from every state and Canadian province. Linkous, who was first elected to the board in 1991, served as vice president last year. This year, she is responsible for organizing and directing volunteer committees.

Ray D. Pethtel, university transportation fellow and interim director of the Center for Transportation Research, made a presentation to the American Production and Inventory Control Society titled "The Smart Highway Project: Smart Highways, Smart Vehicles, Smart Engineering." He also presented the lecture to the American Public Works Association and the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Inc.

Pushkin Kachroo, research scientist at the Center for Transportation Research (CTR), has had nine papers accepted for presentation at various conferences and symposiums this year. Four papers will be in the proceedings of the 1995 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Modeling, Analysis, and Control of Fuzzy Systems; Flexible Low-cost Automated Scaled Highway Laboratory for Studies on Automated Highway Systems co-authored with Kaan Ozbay, senior research associate at the CTR, Robert G. Leonard, professor of mechanical engineering, and Cem Unsal, a doctoral student in electrical engineering; A Comprehensive Strategy for Longitudinal Vehicle Control with Fuzzy Supervisory Expert System co-authored with Masayoshi Tomizuka and Alice M. Agogino, professors at U.C. Berkeley; and Vehicle Control for Automated Highway Systems for Improved Lateral Maneuverability, co-authored with Tomizuka. One paper will be presented during the 1995 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition with Tomizuka, titled Sliding Mode Control with Chattering Reduction and Error Convergence for a Class of Discrete Nonlinear Systems with Application to Vehicle Control .

Two papers have been accepted for the SPIE Photonic East 95 Symposium: Setup for Advanced Vehicle Control Systems Experiments in the Flexible Low-cost Automated Scaled Highway laboratory, and Sliding Mode Full-State Feedback Longitudinal Control of Vehicles in an Automated Highway System; one paper will be in the proceedings of the 1995 IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence titled Intelligent Control of Vehicles: Preliminary Results on the Application of Learning Automata Techniques to Automated Highway System which he co-authored with Cem Unsal and John S. Bay, assistant professor of electrical engineering; and one paper in the IEEE Society of Automotive Engineers, 1995 Vehicle and Information Systems Conference titled Proactive Travel Time Predicitions under Interrupted Flow Conditions; which he co-authored with Sanghoon Bae, a May 1995 Virginia Tech graduate with a doctorate in civil engineering.

Robert D. James, senior research associate at the CTR, had a patent granted on May 30, 1995, for Automated Highway System for Controlling the Operating Parameters of a Vehicle. The National Automated Highway Consortium has indicated that it is one of the concepts they will explore. Fifty thousand dollars was awarded for initial definition and development, and if selected in October 1995 as one of the three top concepts, it will be brought to prototype stage and tested on the Smart Highway. (U.S. Patent Number 5,420,794).