News | Meet CSULB Student Nicholas Roy - Winner of PSR Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year

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by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

Meet Nicholas Roy from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), PSR Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year.


Roy is completing his studies at CSULB, where he is double majoring in Applied Mathematics and Economics with a minor in Philosophy. Concurrently with his studies, he serves as a Research Assistant at the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT), where he is able to apply his skills in economic modeling and data science.


Roy was nominated for the award by Dr. Thomas O'Brien, the Executive Director of CITT and METRANS Deputy Director, CSULB. “Nicholas brings a rare balance of quantitative and qualitative acumen to a range of transportation and mobility research and writing efforts,” O’Brien noted. Roy's methodology involves techniques and concepts from Bayesian decision theory, economic theory, econometric modeling, mathematical modeling, and data science.



At CITT, Roy is currently engaged in an in-progress research project titled "Port Container Drayage: Disruptions and Interventions in Urban Context,"  focusing on economic modeling and report writing. As part of the project, he constructed a data set of 107 ports across 50 years to analyze port regulatory interventions and effects on disruptions in the trucking industry using logistic regression in SPSS. Roy also helping the research team recruit an industry focus group for in-depth interviews. In October 2019, Roy presented preliminary results and industry feedback for the project at the PSR-sponsored International Urban Freight Conference in Long Beach.


Prior to becoming a research assistant, Roy completed a summer internship at Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C., a non-partisan research think-tank. Here, he collected and analyzed safety, leasing, and geographic data for one million firms from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website using data analysis software programs such as Python and Beautiful Soup Library. O'Brien shared that Roy's research efforts increased the sample size of energy-efficient device usage of heavy-duty truck trailers from 2013-2019 by 40%. Roy also has conducted research as part of Goldman Sachs’ 10000 Small Businesses initiative.


Roy also was chosen as a research scholar as part of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) scholarship program. This program is designed to support students in university programs focused on freight and intermodal transportation.


After graduating, Roy plans to conduct doctoral research in Economics, focusing on infrastructure development and its effect on the environment. His guiding mission is to work to make policy decisions more efficient and fairer.  “He is well on his way to a distinguished career in transportation economics,” O’Brien said.


We congratulates Nicholas Roy on being awarded PSR Undergraduate Student of the Year, and wish him many more achievements in the future!


About the Author:

Adylbek Abdykalikov is a graduate student in the International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation. He serves as the lead writer to METRANS Newsletter and lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.