The vision of the Center for Spatial Studies is that spatial thinking and computing serve all disciplines and promote inter-disciplinary problem solving. The Center mission is to engage in interdisciplinary research and education in how people and technology solve spatial problems in the natural and social sciences, as well as in engineering, the humanities, and the arts. To progress toward its vision and implement its mission, the Center supports research and education in:
- formulating spatially explicit hypotheses,
- visualizing and analyzing data spatially and spatio-temporally, across academic disciplines,
- searching, integrating, and publishing data organized by space, time, and topic,
- understanding the nature of spatial thinking and cognition and applying this understanding to foster the development of adaptive spatial thinking, and
- developing new spatial computational technologies, and studying the cognitive, social and cultural impacts of these technologies.
These tasks must sometimes be defined and written into proposals; in other cases, they may already have been proposed or funded and need to be implemented. The Center offers its conceptual and technical expertise at any stage of the identification of a project and implementation of its research goals. It establishes long-term collaborations on campus through service and education, as well as through interdisciplinary research projects.
The Center’s research and educational activities include:
- hosting the ThinkSpatial brown-bag forum, Tech Lunch Discussions on spatial technologies, and an annual firework of 3-minute Spatial Lightning Talks,
- coordinating the undergraduate Minor in Spatial Studies and a Freshman Seminar on Spatial Thinking,
- conducting international specialist meetings, workshops, and conferences,
- collaborating in research with other campus researchers and visiting scholars,
- providing a Help Desk with free consultation on spatial information technologies, and
- reaching out to local communities through technology transfer events, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, and supporting K-12 educators in the use of spatial technologies at schools.
A full listing of our activities are summarized in the Center for Spatial Studies Activity Reports, which were published in 2010 and 2013.
We strongly encourage you to discuss your research and educational projects with us, to further our collective understanding and awareness of the importance of spatial thinking and computing across the disciplines.
Werner Kuhn, Director