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Week of January 29th, 2018

Please send any news, announcements, and citations to by noon on Monday for publication in the same week’s issue.


Colloquium: Data-Intensive Spatial Pattern Discovery based on Generalized Spatial Point Representations
Yizhao Gao
, Geography & GIS PhD Student
Friday, February 2nd, 3:00 p.m. (coffee/reception at 3:00)

Room 2049 NHB - Russell Seminar Room
Geospatial big data consisting of records at individual level or with fine spatial resolutions, such as geo-referenced social media posts and movement records collected using GPS, provide tremendous opportunities to understand complex geographic phenomena and space-time dynamics. Such data have been widely used in many real-world applications, such as event detection and population migration. These applications require not only efficient data handling and processing capabilities, but also innovative data models and analytical approaches that satisfy the application needs.

The aim of this dissertation research is to establish a suite of innovative methods for analyzing geospatial big data that can be modeled as generalized spatial points while addressing the following key research questions: how to estimate the spatial and spatiotemporal patterns of geographic phenomena from large datasets based on spatial point models? How to compare these patterns to gain insights into complex geographic phenomena? How to estimate computational intensity of the methods? How can cyberGIS be advanced to resolve the computational intensity? Specifically, these methods are designed to exploit spatial data characteristics, innovate spatial point pattern analytics, and resolve computational intensity through high-performance spatial algorithms. Such methods are evaluated in the context of several real-world applications, including event detection from social media data, fine-scale mapping of population dynamics, and spatial movement pattern detection. These applications require fine-scale spatial patterns to be revealed from large spatial datasets. Novel cyberGIS software capabilities will be created as a desirable outcome of this dissertation research.

Mixer | Co-sponsored by the Illinois Cartographic Society & Geography Graduate Student Association
Monday, February 5th, 7:00 p.m.
Room 2049 NHB - Russell Seminar Room
RSVP [Facebook Event page]
An opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to interact and foster connections within the department. Graduate students are invited to attend to answer questions about their research in geography, and undergraduates are encouraged to attend and ask questions. Food will be available.

School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE) Research Review
Friday, March 2nd, 2:00 p.m.
Room 3083 NHB - SESE Core

Each year, the SESE Research Review brings together the departments of the School of Earth, Society & Environment to share exciting research and promote networking among attendees.

Graduate Student

On Friday, January 19th, PhD student Aida Guhlincozzi spoke about her work on healthcare accessibility at Monticello Middle School's Science Cafe, where students of all grade levels can attend brief (15-20 minute) talks about careers in science. Students were very interested in maps, and the variety of topics that geographers study. GGIS students interested in participating in Science Cafe can contact MMS 6th grade science teacher Cindy Heineger at


Spring 2018 Roepke Scholarships are due this Friday, February 2nd. APPLY HERE

These scholarships are only available to Geography & GIS majors – providing you with generous academic and research opportunities, and financial support for study abroad trips and off-campus internships.

Office of Undergraduate Research |
Research Support Grant (RSG)
This grant provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks (i.e., winter break and summer terms, NOT regular semester living expenses), and materials or other ancillary costs.  We hope that this competition will both broaden and deepen the types of research being conducted by undergraduate students on campus, and that the recipients are able to use this opportunity as a way of engaging with their fields.
Application Deadline: March 8, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.
Conference Travel Grant (CTG)
This grant provides awards of up to $350 for undergraduate students to travel to professional conferences to present their research posters, papers, or creative works. Please note, the Office of Undergraduate Research does not provide funds for conference travel for attendance only; grants are meant for students who will present their work.
Application Deadline: February 21, 2018 at 11:59pm.
Weekly Drop-in Hours
Beginning this week, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) will hold drop-in hours every Thursday and Friday from 1 - 4pm. Staff from OUR will be available to answer student questions regarding services offered by the office (i.e. workshops, student grants, symposium presentations, etc), as well as general questions about getting started with research opportunities on campus. Students should check in at the reception desk on the 5th floor of the Illini Union Bookstore Building, 807 S. Wright Street (offices of Campus Advising).


Professor Jesse Ribot's Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy program (SDEP) has published a special issue of Conservation and Society presenting some of the results of its Responsive Forest Governance research Initiative (RFGI). This is a capstone for the 35 working papers produced by RFGI and the over 60 other publications.