October 16, 2009

Technical Writing Tips and Traps


Dr. Pat Mokhtarian, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of the Graduate Group, and Associate Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis


What if you had a Nobel prize-winning idea but could not explain it to anyone? In this age of 140-character tweets and 30-second sound bites, good writing skills are still important – and scarcer and more valuable than ever. This seminar covers some principles of good writing and common pitfalls. Find out – ahead of time – what your professors are expecting when you turn in a written assignment.

(pdf file)

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Patricia Mokhtarian is Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Chair and Graduate Adviser of the Transportation Technology & Policy Graduate Group, and Associate Director for Education at the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from Florida State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Management Science from Northwestern University. Prof. Mokhtarian joined UC Davis in 1990, after a post-doc at UC Irvine, six years with the Southern California Association of Governments in Los Angeles, and two years in consulting. Her research interests include travel behavior modeling; travel demand forecasting; impacts of telecommunications on transportation, land use, and the environment; and transportation-land-use interactions. She is an emeritus member of the Transportation Research Board committees on Telecommunications and Travel Behavior (founding chair) and Traveler Behavior and Values, and has served on several National Academies study committees, most recently including the Committee on Development Patterns, Vehicle-miles Traveled, and Energy. She is an Editor of Transportation, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Transportation Research Part A, Transport Policy, and Transportation Letters journals. She has published more than 100 refereed papers in international journals, and numerous other reports and articles.