By Amy Vogel ’20

I am about to start the 8th week of my internship… it is crazy to think that my time at the Technion is more than halfway over! But on the other hand, I feel like I have already accomplished a lot.

Between the two of us, Omar and I have nearly finished laying the groundwork for his macroscopic traffic simulation model. The model now has the “infrastructure” to display and calculate the changes in traffic flow and density, given any road network input. It took many different components — the main MATLAB script, helper functions, and separate scripts — just to convert data from one format to another – and not to mention weeks of debugging.

Although the main project is about HOT lanes, up until now we have only been laying the groundwork for the model, so HOT lanes have not been a big factor in that. I think that this week we will start to use our highway model with the HOT lanes, so I am really excited to see how that goes.

After many long days at the office, I love to take advantage of my weekends here. Recently in Israel, there have been lots of important holidays, and because I am Jewish, I really enjoy being a part of those holidays here.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I was able to go to Tel Aviv and witness a few Holocaust survivors give testimonies of their experience to a large crowd of mostly millennial, English-speaking immigrants to Israel. And 8 days later, the mood in Israel completely turned around as parties broke out in the streets for Israeli Independence Day (the 70th anniversary). I have family in various parts of the country, so it has been nice to travel to them and spend time in difference cities, as well.

Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) in Tel Aviv

In Israel the work week starts on Sundays, so every Sunday morning I will usually sit in the coffee shop in my department’s building and enjoy a nice cappuccino with the other students in my lab, as we all catch up on how our weekends were. I look forward to my next coffee with them, and I also look forward to all of the remaining holidays and weekends coming up before it’s time for me to go home.

Amy Vogel ’20 is studying abroad in Israel at Technion this semester, where she is working alongside Tomer Toledo, PhD ’03.