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Principal Researchers

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is recognized as a world leader in geographic information systems research. The scientists and researchers associated with the Center for Advanced Spatial Information Research are drawn from eight diverse schools and colleges at UWM – from engineering and biology to geography and urban planning – as well as from the public sector. Because CASIR's focus does not end with theoretical research, their work has found practical, real-world applications in transportation modeling, municipal and regional GIS systems, monitoring climate change, analyzing crime patterns, analyzing urbanization patterns and more.

Zhong-Ren Peng : CASIR Director and Associate Professor in Urban Planning.  He  is the principal author of Internet GIS, the 2003 text that defined the parameters of this emerging field. He has obtained more than $2.5 million dollars in research grants from such sources as the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and the Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and Workforce Development. Professor Peng currently focuses on three research subjects: enabling access to real-time geospatial information via the World Wide Web, online and real-time transit trip planning – systems are being developed to aid travelers at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport – and transportation planning and intelligent transportation systems. He has been at the forefront of Internet GIS since 1996.

Ed Beimborn : Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, and Director of the Center for Urban Transportation Studies ( CUTS ). Professor Beimborn specializes in transportation planning and public transit research. CUTS currently administers research grants in excess of $1 million dollars, and focuses research in four areas: intelligent transportation systems such as automatic vehicle location and ramp meter effectiveness; transportation planning, including travel forecasting, transportation finance and transportation/land use interaction; public transit; and transportation engineering issues such as pavement design and alternative fuels.

Nancy Frank : Director of Urban Planning Programs, Acting Dean and Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Frank's main areas of research include zoning barriers to affordable housing in suburban areas, the economic benefits of open space development and green infrastructure planning with the use of interactive mapping systems.

William Huxhold : Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Urban Planning. He is an internationally recognized expert in GIS, having written definitive texts on the implementation and use of integrated computer mapping systems. He spearheaded the city of Milwaukee's geographic information system development starting in the late 1970s – the world's first municipal GIS. He has obtained more than $1 million in research grants and in-kind donations during the course of his research at UWM. Professor Huxhold's current research involves utilizing GIS to monitor changing housing conditions as indicators of neighborhood quality worldwide. Professor Huxhold is a past president of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science and past president of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association.

Mark D. Schwartz : Department Chair, Professor in the Geography Department. The recipient of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, Professor Schwartz integrates geographic information systems in his research in creating dynamic models of the biosphere. He uses satellite imagery and other remote sensing technology to map plant-climate interactions that determine the onset of Spring worldwide to detect change in the terrestrial biosphere.

Jun Zhang : Professor Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research specialties include video processing and communication. Professor Zhang's current research focus is web-based aerial navigation systems for unmanned aircraft using three-dimensional GIS.

Swarnjit S. Arora :A ssociate Professor in the Department of Economics at UWM. Professor Arora specializes in econometric modeling, and is the Director of the Institute for Survey and Policy Research.

Tim Ehlinger : Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences department. He studies the relationships between human activity and environmental conditions. Professor Ehlinger is currently utilizing GIS to expand the scale on which environmental conditions may be modeled from local to regional levels.

Yehua Dennis Wei : Associate Professor of Geography. Professor Wei teaches spatial analysis, economic/urban geography, and globalization. He has been using GIS to model urban and regional development, with grants from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society. His recent work also uses GIS to analyze urban land use, equity, and community development in Milwaukee.

Rina Ghose : Assistant Professor in Geography. She researches theoretical aspects of spatial representation as embodied in geographic information systems. In particular, Professor Ghose is developing methods for incorporating non-traditional – that is, non-geometric or cartographic – conceptions of space into GIS, including cultural notions of space.

Mike Greenwald : Assistant Professor of Urban Planning. He has been on the faculty of UWM's School of Architecture and Urban Planning since 2001. His most recent research focuses on using data collected by the space shuttle's Radar Topography Mission of 2000 to investigate non-point water pollution sources in southeastern Wisconsin storm-water runoff systems. Professor Greenwald also maintains a research interest in relating travel behavior to urban form and land-use planning. He is listed as co-principal investigator on $400,000 of research grants and matching funds from the Great Cities University Consortium and the US Department of Transportation.

Wooseob Jeong : Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies. His research interests include multimodal GIS modeling.

Changshan Wu : A ssistant Professor in Geography. His research focuses on land use, population distribution and estimation, and transportation analysis. Professor Wu is currently engaged in projects centering on urban growth modeling, land-use dynamics and air pollution estimating using remote sensing technologies and GIS.

Dexuan Xie : Assistant Professor in the Mathematical Sciences department. His research focuses on parallel computing for data mining and spatial modeling. Professor Xie is currently involved in a project that attempts to model and visualize complex molecular structures.

Jin Zhang : Assistant Professor in the School of Information Sciences. His research focuses on the visualization of abstract information, information retrieval and internet search engine optimization.

Tian Zhao : Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department. He specializes on programming languages and real-time JAVA applications. Professor Zhao's research interests include object-oriented software development.

Nancy Wiegand : Scientist with the Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research areas include Database Management Systems, GIS, and Semantic Web.

O. Peter Akubeze : Information Processing Consultant for the Institute for Survey & Policy Research.

Christina Buffington : A dministrative Program Specialist in the Biological Sciences department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Angie Cope : Assistant Librarian at the Digital Spatial Data Clearinghouse of the American Geographical Society Library.

Patti Day : Senior Academic Librarian. She manages the Digital Spatial Data Clearinghouse at the American Geographical Society Library. Housed in UWM's Golda Meir Library, the AGSL collects and archives digital mapping data on a global scale. The Digital Spatial Data Clearinghouse maintains an comprehensive collection of digital base maps, attribute data, hydrologic data, land use data and more, along with raster images including synoptic world views, satellite imagery, orthophotos and scanned maps covering the entire globe, with a particular focus on detailed datasets for the greater Milwaukee area.

Erika Jensen : Assistant Researcher at the Great Lakes Water Institute. Her research interests include tracking pollution sources in surface waters.

Terry Johnson : GIS Specialist in the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research ( CUIR )

Jim Pingel : Policy Director for the Community Mapping, Planning and Analysis for Safety Strategies initiative for the City of Milwaukee. COMPASS is a pilot program, funded by the US Department of Justice, seeking to integrate spatial analysis of crime, housing and other data in a shared system focusing on public safety and to increase collaborative problem-solving in neighborhoods throughout the city.  Milwaukee is one of only three cities nationwide selected to participate in the pilot program.

Donna Genzmer : Director of the Cartography and GIS Center. She has been an integral part of the GIS community on the UWM campus, working with the Department of Urban Planning, Department of Geography, and the AGS Library.

Kim Weckerly : Research Specialist with the Great Lakes Water Institute, a research facility administered by the Graduate School at UWM. Major interests include biogeochemistry.

Susan Weistrop : Administrative Assistant for the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning Research ( CAUPR ), and Research Specialist School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Student Researchers

A group of research assistants with diverse academic backgrounds are working in CASIR for a variety of research projects. This group includes masters and doctoral level students from various fields as computer science, geography, urban planning, and transportation engineering. These students have experience in computer programming, database management, GIS, urban and transportation planning.

Ruihong Huang - Ph.D. Geography (graduated August 2003). His research areas include object-oriented GIS data modeling, interactive web-based transit information systems, and internet GIS.

Chuanrong Zhang - Ph.D. Geography (graduated August 2004). Her research has included d evelopment of standard-based interoperable internet GIS . She is currently working on the Milwaukee transit trip planner, and past projects include the Waukesha trip planner.

Eok Kim - Ph.D. student Computer Science. His research interests include software engineering, software test automation, web services technology and GIS applications. Current projects include the Milwaukee transit trip planner.

Yanlin Weng - Ph.D. student Computer Science. Her interest areas include algorithm design and GIS applications. Current projects include the Milwaukee transit trip planner.

Pankaj Bolaki - MS Computer Science. His research interests include software testing and quality assurance, software engineering, and internet GIS. His projects include the Milwaukee transit trip planner and the airport kiosk.

Vikas Lachhwani - Masters Urban Planning, MS Transportation Engineering. He is interested in transportation planning and GIS, and has experience in architecture and graphic design. He is working on the Milwaukee transit trip planner and the m ulti-Modal travel information systems in airport kiosks.

Javier De La Uz - Masters Urban Planning. Projects include the Milwaukee transit trip planner.

Xinyang Zhang - Masters Urban Planning, MS Transportation Engineering.

Xia Jin - Masters Urban Planning, MS Transportation Engineering.

Cheng Gong - MS Transportation Engineering.

Jingcheng Wu -  MS Transportation Engineering. Research interests include the application of GIS in transportation and Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) Projects include the Waukesha transit trip planner. Currently working for Transcore, ITS as a systems engineer.

Nathan Guequierre - Masters Urban Planning.

Kate West - Masters Urban Planning with a GIS concentration. Her interests include remote sensing and GIS applications for land use decision making.

Yi Zhu - Masters Urban Planning, MS Transportation Engineering. His interests include Transportation Planning and GIS applications.