Matt Conway Takes First for Undergrad Paper at CA Geographical Society Conference


Matt Conway, a UCSB undergraduate majoring in Geography, took first place in the Tom McKnight Undergraduate Paper awards at the 68th Annual Conference of the California Geographical Society, May 2-4, 2014, for his paper presentation titled “Predicting the Popularity of Bicycle Sharing Stations: An Accessibility-Based Approach.” The conference was co-hosted by the Los Angeles Geographical Society and was held in Hollywood at Los Angeles City College.

Matt states, “I calculated accessibility measures to jobs and residents, using Census and OpenStreetMap data and the open-source OpenTripPlanner network analysis suite. I used those as independent variables in regressions to try to explain the popularity of bikesharing stations. I used bikeshare popularity data from Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Minneapolis—St. Paul. The main goal of the modeling is to build models of station popularity that can be transferred from one city to another, and thus used as planning tools for new bikeshare systems. […] Ultimately, the results of this study are mixed. There is a significant connection between accessibility and bikeshare station popularity. The models predict fairly well in Washington, DC, the city for which they were fit, but they do not transfer well. For a model to be useful as a new-system planning tool, it needs to transfer not only in form but also in parameters. However, future research with additional accessibility measures and inflexible statistical techniques seems promising” (source; for the full paper, click here).

According to Matt, “the real story, though, was the phenomenal UCSB presence at the conference (which took place at Los Angeles City College), the highest it’s ever been to my knowledge. We had four undergraduates (Alex Aga-Leddy, Evan Farbstein, Brittany Gale, and I) and five graduate students (Kitty Currier, Crystal Bae, Crystal English, Jaqueline Banks, and Adam Davis; which also gave an impressive 100% turnout in the category of graduate students named Crystal).”

“The California Geographical Society (CGS) is a vibrant organization of geographers from across the state. The strength of the organization has endured over fifty-eight years and currently the CGS is enjoying one of its strongest eras. There are other state geographical societies but none as active and respected as the CGS, which is widely viewed as the premier state geographical society. The CGS hosts a large annual conference; publishes a high-quality academic journal and a professional quality newsletter; awards more than $2,000 annually in student scholarships and prizes, including an endowed student award; hosts a listserve; and has a diverse membership that includes students, K–12 teachers, community college and university faculty, and applied geographers” (source).

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Matthew Wigginton Conway

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(L to R) Globetrotters Alex Aga-Leddy, Crystal Bae, Jacqueline Banks, Matt Conway, and Adam Davis

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Ale Aga-Leddy, Kitty Currier, and Crystal Bae) manned a table advertising UCSB Geography. Spatial@ucsb and Geography funded the trip.