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Gifted and Talented Research Program

Product Abstract

Each student in the Intern Mentor Program must carry out an authentic, advanced research project and present it to
an audience capable of evaluating its quality, originality, and general usefulness. The following information, written
by the student, presents an overview of the project as planned.

Student:​ Clara Selbrede ​Date:​ 07 March, 2018

Research Title:​ The Creation and Analysis of a Mathematical Model of the Traffic Intersection of MD-108 and
Sheppard Lane

Purpose:​ To create an accurate mathematical model of an intersection that has a large impact on the lateness of River
Hill High School students due to morning congestion. To use that model to support or oppose the addition of a
turning lane to the intersection based on finding a significant decrease in waiting time.

Expected Product or Outcome:​ A conclusion on if a turning lane would be a suitable solution for traffic reduction
and a recommendation on what length would be most effective. An accurate model containing parameters that can
be changed for multiple applications.

Novelty of Product:​ While traffic research is common, each individual intersection has many factors that must be
considered that will change the conclusions about the optimal conditions for that intersection. The Sheppard
Lane/MD-108 intersection has likely been analysed at other points in time, but changing traffic patterns make it
necessary to look at the intersection as it is now, and the mathematical model with parameters will increase the
adaptability to the model over time.

Audience:​ The Howard County Board of Planning and Zoning and/or the portion of the River Hill community who
commutes using Sheppard Lane.

Process or Method:
1. Researched topics in mathematical modeling, queuing theory, traffic theory, and the logistics of road
2. Applied research knowledge to the intersection of interest in a high-level background paper
3. Planned a detailed data collection involving time lapse photography of the intersection on a set time frame
and conducted a pilot study before execution
4. Analyzed the 2000+ data images and calculated 900 data points for the arrival and departures of cars in
addition to data such as average light
5. Formulated a method of measuring the effectiveness of a turning lane based on the number of cars affected.

Student Signature:_________________________ Year of Graduation: 2018

Teacher Signature:_________________________