After some weekend rest, Team Tainan was right back at it on Monday and Tuesday for additional meetings and learnings.
Irv Lustig was excited about our Monday visit to National Cheng Kung University:
On Monday, we visited the Department of Transportation and Communication Management Science at the National Cheng Kung University. The department has four concentrations: Transportation Management, Logistics Management, Transportation Technology, and Telecommunications Management. Some of the professors were familiar with IBM ILOG CPLEX, an IBM product for which Irv Lustig was one of the original developers over 20 years ago. The department also teaches courses in Operations Research, which is the area of Irv’s Ph.D. The Operations Research area is a core foundation for much of the research done in the 4 concentrations in the department, and Irv enjoyed discussing this topic with the chair of the department.
Ed’s additional observations: Many of the University Professors have studied abroad and speak very good English. We did not have to work through our translators to understand and ask questions. After the meeting, we had a tour of the campus, which features several exceptional banyan trees and an 1880s steam locomotive.
On Tuesday, we started the day at City Hall in the Traffic Control Center. We learned a lot about the information systems available to citizens for the City Bus System. After an impressive lunch nearby, we visited one of the bus companies and took our first collective bus trip on the Tainan blue line. Some regular passengers happened to board our bus, and a student sat down next to me. He was very shy around all our handlers and photographers and translators and the bus company dignitaries , but he took my business card and sent me an email later – which he admitted was the first time he ever wrote an email in English. Impressive!
On Wednesday, we will begin to compile our recommendations as a group, which will initially be reviewed at the end of this week with the city government. We are at the halfway mark of our trip!