2017 Advanced Topics in Civil Engineering I

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Civil Engineering
Asakura Yasuo  Fukuda Daisuke  Nakanishi Wataru 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon7-8(M113)  Thr7-8(M113)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course focuses on Transportation Systems Analysis. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the principles of transportation engineering with a focus on traffic flow analysis. The course covers fundamental concepts and principles that guide road design, as well as the movement and control of vehicular traffic. Specifically, these include traffic flow theory, highway capacity analysis, and traffic signal operations. The materials learned are intended to provide the basic skill set that will allow students to solve transportation problems that are likely to appear in professional practice.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand fundamental concepts on transportation systems analysis and the principles of transportation engineering with a focus on traffic flow analysis.
2) Understand basic vehicle dynamics and elements of traffic flow theory.
3) Explain basic quantities that describe vehicular traffic; to build a foundation for understanding highway capacity, as well as more advanced traffic flow theory that explains the mechanism of traffic congestion
4) Understand the basic highway capacity analysis methods; to be able to use these methods to conduct simple LOS (level of service) analysis for freeway and multilane highways.


transportation systems analysis, traffic flow, highway capacity analysis

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

To prepare for class, students should read the course schedule section and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction Understand basics and fundamental challenges in transportation systems, particularly highway systems
Class 2 Basic vehicle dynamics (1) Understand fundamental physical rules that govern vehicle movement and influence vehicle performance
Class 3 Basic vehicle dynamics (2) Apply these rules to solve simple traffic and road design problems
Class 4 Elements of traffic flow theory (1) Understand basic quantities that describe vehicular traffic
Class 5 Elements of traffic flow theory (2) Build a foundation for understanding highway capacity and more advanced traffic flow theory that explains the mechanism of traffic congestion
Class 6 Car following theory (1) Understand the relationship between car-following behavior and the macroscopic properties of traffic stream
Class 7 Car following theory (2) Derive various speed-density and flow-density models from corresponding car-following models
Class 8 Midterm exam and its review Explain theories in vehicular movement and traffic flow
Class 9 Highway capacity analysis (1) Understand basic highway capacity analysis methods
Class 10 Highway capacity analysis (2) Use these methods to conduct simple LOS (level of service) analysis for freeway
Class 11 Traffic control (1) Understand the elements of signal operations and signal timing analysis methods
Class 12 Traffic control (2) Use analytical methods to solve simple signal design problems
Class 13 Intelligent transportation systems (1) Understand the elements of intelligent transportation systems and traffic system management methods
Class 14 Intelligent transportation systems (2) Understand recent topics in ITS including autonomous and connected vehicles
Class 15 Final Exam and its review Explain highway capacity analysis and traffic control methods including advanced ITS technologies



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Principles of Highway and Traffic Engineering” Fifth Edition, by Fred L. Mannering, Scott S. Washburn, and Walter P. Kilareski, John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

Assessment criteria and methods

Midterm and final exams 80%, exercise problems 20%.

Related courses

  • CVE.D402 : Transportation Network Analysis
  • CVE.D401 : Mathematical Modeling of Individual Choice Behavior

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are recommended to have fundamental knowledge on differential calculus.

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