News | Meet Ajay Srinivasan, METRANS Student Analyst

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Ajay Srinivasan, USC 2025


What is your major and year of study?

 I am a mathematics major and I will be graduating in 2025.


What is your role on the METRANS student team?

I work on the strategy team, as a consultant analyst focusing on quantifying METRANS Student Team outcomes and the efficiency of our student team efforts.


What made you interested in working for METRANS?

The missions and problems that METRANS is trying to solve I find very important, and I want to help METRANS achieve solutions in the most strategic and cost effective and ways.  I was actually not aware of the full depth and breadth of transportation – the study of it, the level of knowledge, and the practice.  Now that I have held this position with METRANS I find it very important and actually quite fascinating. I definitely am more interested now in the research that METRANS is doing, as well as transportation research across the globe, and hope to have the opportunity to participate in transportation research in the future.


What things do you do in your free time?

I am an avid musician. Prior to coming to USC, I played the piano and drums and am trying to continue that as I start college. I also got really interested in reading, and USC's extensive library and digital resources have made it easier for me to pick up so much and so varied materials. Since joining USC I have started reading a lot of philosophy recently (inspired by a course I’m taking this year), and I’ve been reading a lot of light comedies like P.G. Wodehouse.


You are a math major but mention your newfound interest in philosophy. 

Yes! Right now I’m taking an existentialism course, covering anything from 19th century to 20th century culture. It covers a lot and is very logical which I enjoy.  I am finding that math and philosophy are very similar in that regard.


What are your goals after graduation?

After finishing my math undergraduate, I want to continue in mathematics at the graduate level.  My long-term goal is to pusue a career in academia.


How will METRANS help you in your career?

It has already helped me so much, in particular with the applied side of things in math, both in quantitatively analyzing our activities at METRANS and in looking at our research specifically, since almost all transportation research involves statistics and regression, both of which are vital in applied mathematics. Numerical analysis is another task I have with METRANS will really help me in my career.


Any other awards or achievements you would like to share?

I was valedictorian in my school.


What do you nerd out about in transportation?

I like finding analogues where you can find real life problems you can solve with STEM. It would be interesting to look at traffic networks and public transport networks and visualize them as graphs, or models with nodes and edges. With this you can find out how to make these systems more efficient, it's a very interesting thing to think about.


About the Author:

Tim Labounko is a second-year student majoring in Urban Studies and Planning at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and minoring in Spatial Studies and Computer Programming. He works as a researcher, writer, and website designer for the METRANS student team.