Brownbags 2018-2019

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The UCSB Brownbag Forum on Spatial Thinking

Informal noon-time presentations that feature theories, concepts, tools, and applications for spatial thinking across disciplines, including the natural and the social sciences, as well as the humanities. Presentations will take place at the Center for Spatial Studies, Phelps 3512, 12:00–1:00 pm.

Schedule 2018–2019

DateSpeaker/Topic
March 12, 2018Linda Adler-Kassner
University of California: Santa Barbara

Spatial Thinking as a Heuristic: Shaping Learning about Teaching
March 5, 2019Grant McKenzie
McGill University

Scooter-pocalypse: The When, Where, and Why of Scooter-sharing Services
December 11, 2018Wolfgang Maaß
Saarland University

Tapping into the Human Data Space: Predicting the Treatment Success of Obese Children
November 13, 2018Markus Hoffmann
Google

Quantum Computing @Google
October 23, 2018Elisabete Silva
LISA Lab, University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK

Coming Home to the Land of Dynamic Spatial Analysis and Simulation:
Adaptive Planning Policy and Practice in a Seamless and Fast-Moving Digital World
October 2, 2018Qinghua Ding
Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Recent Slow Melt of Arctic Summer Sea Ice caused by Tropical SST Changes

ThinkSpatial: Anna Trugman

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On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, The UCSB forum on spatial thinking presents

The Geography of Forest Hydraulic Trait Compositions: Observed Patterns, underlying Mechanisms, and Future Implications

 

Anna Trugman

Department of Geography

University of California Santa Barbara

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | Zoom link*

Abstract:

Tree hydraulic traits determine plant water use and tree vulnerability to drought stress, thereby affecting forest productivity and the movement of water between the land surface and the atmosphere. Here, I leverage an extensive trait database and a long-term continental forest plot network to map changes in community trait distributions and quantify “trait velocities” (the rate of change in community-weighted traits) for different regions and different forest types across the U.S. from 2000 to the present. I find evidence for shifts towards communities with more drought-tolerant traits driven by tree mortality. I then review my ongoing work looking at the extent to which community trait compositional changes may buffer forest productivity and water fluxes in the near term from the effects of climate change.

Bio:

Anna Trugman  is an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department. Her lab studies how changes in climate and water availability affect ecosystem diversity, productivity, and resilience across large spatial scales. Her research approach integrates field measurements with numerical ecosystem models to gain new insight into the biological processes affecting climate-vegetation interactions. Trugman received her Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University in 2017 and her B.S. in Geological and Environmental Science from Stanford University in 2011. From 2017–2019 Trugman was a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

* Please contact Karen Doehner, kdoehner@spatial.ucsb.edu or Emmanuel Papadakis epd@ucsb.edu, to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. If you are participating from outside the UCSB community, please also ask for access credentials.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

Spatial Data Science Hangouts

For a variety of (often historic) reasons, our research community has split itself into subfields such as geographic information science, geo-informatics, spatial cognition, transportation studies, spatial statistics, remote sensing, cartography, and so forth. Each of these sub-communities comes with its own journals, conferences, writing styles, accepted terminology, funding agencies, datasets, and core topics.

Unfortunately, the interaction across these communities is spotty at best. A few years ago, we showed [1] that even within the geographic information science and geo-informatics communities, the fragmentation is so high that only four authors in total had full papers at all four main conferences. The risk of such fragmentation is that each of these sub-communities may be too small to survive as an academic discipline in the long term.

Leaving the data science hype aside, spatial data science may be an important chance to establish an overarching, unifying community of researchers interested in scientific aspects of representing, publishing, retrieving, and integrating spatial data that is strong enough to make a long-term impact.

To explore this idea, the spatial center invites all students interested in spatial data science to casual hangouts.

Schedule 2020–2021 (also available on our Google Calendar)

DateTopic
Spring 2021 (forthcoming)Reproducibility in GIScience research
Fall 2020Graph Data and Networks
Fall 2019Why and how to apply for a professorship?
Spring 2019Open Knowledge Network (OKN) proposals
Winter 2019The Lunch Incubator: Spatial Data Science Hangouts

 

[1] Table 1:
http://geog.ucsb.edu/~jano/spatial-at-linkedscience-giscience-2012.pdf

Save the Date: Spatial Lightning Talks 2020

Save the Date!

The UCSB Center for Spatial Studies presents the 2020 Spatial Lightning Talks on Tuesday, February 11 at 12:00 p.m. This annual series of 3-minute lightning talks brings together speakers from across the UCSB campus as well as the local community to enlighten the crowd on a broad range of spatial topics. This fast-paced, interdisciplinary event is a great opportunity to hear speakers from across campus and in the local community share their work and special interests. Program to be published soon.

When: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. Lunch will be provided beginning at 11:45 a.m. Where: Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, McCune Conference Room (6020 HSSB).
RSVP HERE. Hope to see you there!

Spatial Lightning Talks 2020

The UCSB Center for Spatial Studies presented the 2020 Spatial Lightning Talks on Tuesday, February 11 at 12:00 p.m. This annual series of 3-minute lightning talks brought together speakers from across the UCSB campus as well as the local community to enlighten the crowd on a broad range of spatial topics. This fast-paced, interdisciplinary event gave the audience a great opportunity to hear about diverse topics as speakers shared their work and special interests. The 2020 talks featured some stars from Geography, English, Statistics, Global Studies, Marine Science, as well as off-campus leaders (General Electric, SB Women in STEM).

LightningTalks2020_Digital

ThinkSpatial: Emmanuel Papadakis

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On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Bridging Space and Place in Geographic Information Systems

Emmanuel Papadakis

University of California Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Abstract:

People refer, describe and interact with places; geographic information systems (GIS), however, are designed to visualize, process and analyze spaces. Both place and space are used to describe the geographic world, but each provides a different perspective. Place is an informal view framed by symbols, concepts and experience, whereas space is confined to the rigid digital world that adheres to mathematical formulas, data models and processes. Since digital systems have become a vital part of our lives, it is crucial to enable them to visualize, analyze and process the world as humans do. In this presentation, I will tackle a long-lasting question on whether spatial representation standards infused with semantics can create an adequate reflection of the geographical world as it is projected in the human mind. Using the concept of functions, I show how important aspects of place can be formalized and be integrated into GIS. Through examples on place-based search, I depict how a system can combine the processing and visualizing capabilities of machines with the sophisticated concept of place, contributing to the overall idea of a place-based GIS. Finally, I give some insights on further research that aims to incorporate emotions and similar concepts in the aforementioned formalization. Also, I propose the idea of an Algebra of Patterns, which focuses on innovative ways of conducting place synthesis, search, and discovery.

Bio:

Emmanuel Papadakis is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Spatial Studies in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Geoinformatics as a member of the Doctoral College GIScience within the Inter-faculty Department of Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg in October 2019. He holds an M.Sc. and a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Crete, Greece. His research focuses on modeling, knowledge representation and reasoning of vague concepts such as fuzzy spatiotemporal entities, spatial functions, places, environmental stress and others aiming to introduce formalizations that enable their digitization and effective integration in digital systems.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Werner Kuhn (kuhn@ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Somayeh Dodge

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On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Multi-Scale Modeling and Analysis of Movement

Somayeh Dodge

University of California Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Abstract:

Movement is a complex multidimensional process that operates in a space-time-context continuum across multiple scales. Regardless of the context or entity type, movement happens through a series of embedded patterns at different granularities. Hence, the study of movement requires careful consideration and integration of all three forms of granularity (as in Kuhn (2012)): spatial (micro-steps to macro flows), temporal (high-frequency short-term events to low-frequency long-term processes), and thematic (individual movement to collective dynamics). This presentation reviews my ongoing work on synthesizing a multiscale model of movement through mining and integration of movement patterns at different granularities. Using movement ecology as an application, I show how multiscale analysis of trajectories are applied to identify patterns of movement at different frequencies and how these patterns can be combined in a multiscale model of movement to reconstruct trajectories.

Bio:

Somayeh Dodge serves as Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and leads the Move Laboratory in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in October 2011. She holds a MS degree in GIS Engineering and a BS degree in Geomatics Engineering from the KNT University of Technology, Iran. Dodge’s research focuses on developing data analytics, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study movement in human and ecological systems. She has published in a number of high-ranked international journals such as Methods in Ecology and EvolutionInternational Journal of Geographic Information SciencePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Journal of Spatial Information Science (JOSIS)Movement EcologyComputers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS)Geographical Analysis, and Information Visualization. Dodge has recently been appointed as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Spatial Information Science. She currently serves on the editorial board of multiple journals including Geographical AnalysisCEUSJournal of Location Based Services, and The Professional Geographer.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Werner Kuhn (kuhn@ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

Spatial Data Science Hangout Series: November 2019

T next seminar in the Center for Spatial Studies’ Spatial Data Hangouts series will be on Tuesday, 11/19 from 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. at 3512 Phelps Hall. All grad students are invited to attend.

Continuing the theme of finding academic employment, where we discuss why and how to apply for a professorship, we will continue last month’s discussion of the academic hiring process and talk about interviews on-site and per teleconference. We will also do at least one test run to give you a chance to practice. Hence, if you would like to volunteer and be interviewed in front of the other students, please let Jano or Karen know.

We will be providing a light lunch after the discussion. Please contact Karen Doehner if you plan to attend.

 

Spatial Tech Lunch: Dan Baciu

On Tuesday, November 12, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP here by Friday, November 8. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.

The Geography of Cultures: New Methods for Decoding, Analysis, and Synthesis

Dan Baciu

 

Abstract: It is tempting to believe that ideas and culture are free to spread and therefore free of geography. However, the phenomenon of “culture shock” most dramatically questions and limits the validity of such hypothesis: When chasing your dreams and horizons, you may end up in a different culture on a different continent, and, under those circumstances, you may loose your sense of self. Geography and culture are inseparable because geography is an important medium for cultural life.

Although people carry their cultural values with them, they may reach a place where those values no longer apply. So to say, their cultural currency is no longer accepted—but this anecdotal evidence should really only raise interest in new research directions with global implications. At UCSB, Benjamin Cohen has shown that money has surprising geographies with massive political consequences on a global stage. Dan C. Baciu, supported by the Interpretation Lab, continues along this path but goes further in studying the geography of cultures. In an age of information and knowledge, as Alvin and Heidi Toffler contemplated, cultures are the new currencies. Companies are no longer valued for their transaction volume alone, but also for their ability to amass information about people and their cultures. Yet, how are these personal, local, and global scales of culture interconnected? And how do mass and social media shift geographical distributions and reshape entire systems of value?

Studying these questions, Dan Baciu envisioned and probed new methods of extracting geographical information from public media. Instead of relying on gazetteers, his team uses natural language processing and publicly contributed knowledge bases. This makes it possible to create many interconnected layers of geography, history, and cultural circles, allowing for the application of a richer stock of analysis and synthesis methods. In turn, these new possibilities for empirical assessment allow for the testing of new theory about the relationships between individuals, cultural cannons, and shared global geography.

Imagine collecting hundreds of thousands of books, news, social media, and TV for everything called “Chicago school,” “Humanities,” and “Science.” What would these data reveal? Dr. Baciu and his collaborators used supercomputing to decode natural language, and they went on to enrich these data with geographical and historical information. Furthermore, they combined historical evaluations with data analysis, dimensionality reductions, and classification. Finally, to make sense of their results, they developed interfaces to interactively visualize distributions and stratification. Their GeoD and 7D toolkit is expected to be released to the public in a forthcoming research article.

The newly discovered geographical distributions of culture are surprising: There are maps of science, humanities, universities networks, postmodernism, national parks, oceanography, study abroad, and many more. And these geographies are not as you expect them. If you think that the U.S. Dollar is limited to the U.S., and that national parks are where they are, you will be surprised. The new methods allow us to refine our understanding of how culture grows in geographical space.

The new methods of analysis and synthesis were driven by theory and questions that preoccupied Dr. Baciu already during his Ph.D.; and the new findings confirm his earlier postulates. For him, the newly discovered geographical distributions are no longer surprising. Although new to humanities scholars, the theoretical foundations of his work are not new to everyone. Equivalent mathematics are a textbook-case of evolutionary dynamics already.

“United we stand” inspires not only collaborative spirit, but also a new research direction in the study of urban culture and diversity. “United” in this context means learning to listen to everyone. Dan C. Baciu has shaped this research direction most recently as Postdoc in English at UC Santa Barbara.