Skip Navigation
Return to Layout View | Home | A-Z Directory | my UMaine | MaineStreet | Campus Map | Calendar
Follow UMaine on Twitter | Join UMaine on Facebook | Watch UMaine on YouTube | Admissions | Parents & Family | Emergency

School of Computing and Information Science

Site Navigation:

Torsten Hahmann to join CIS faculty

The School of Computing and Information Science is delight that Torsten Hahmann will join us in the Fall as Assistant Professor.

Opening for Rank-Open Faculty Position in Spatial Informatics

The School of Computing and Information Science together with the National
Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at the University of
Maine seek applicants for an open rank academic-year tenure line joint
faculty appointment effective September 1, 2013 with research foci in the
area of spatial informatics. The School is an interdisciplinary unit
encompassing Computer Science and Spatial Informatics and offering degrees
in Computer Science (BS, MS, PhD) and Spatial Information Science and
Engineering (MS, PhD). The National Center for Geographic Information and
Analysis is an organized research unit and leading research center in the
area of Geographic Information Science with goals towards advancing major
research innovations in spatial informatics and increasing the supply of PhD
level students trained in spatial information science and engineering.

The successful candidate is required to contribute to the research agenda of
NCGIA, to  advise and mentor graduate students in the Spatial Information
Science and Engineering graduate program, and to teach in the School’s
academic programs. Spatial Informatics lies at the intersection of software
systems for databases, sensor systems, artificial intelligence,
human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and the semantic web and
deals with methods for modeling, storing, retrieving, analyzing, and
interacting with spatial information.  Core topics within Spatial
Informatics include spatial database systems, spatial reasoning, spatial
robotics, spatial analytics, geosensor networks, multimodal spatial
information processing, and the ethics of geospatial technologies. The
school seeks a candidate with research interests enhancing or complimentary
to its current research strengths in these areas. Any aspect of research
expertise in Spatial Informatics would be considered but research interest
and expertise in the following areas are preferred: spatial cognition,
spatial semantics, spatial linguistics, mobile and ubiquitous computing and
visual analytics.

Applicants must be committed to research excellence, graduate and
undergraduate teaching and have successful experience in securing external
funding. A Ph.D. in computer science, information science, or a related
discipline is required by date of hire.  Academic rank and tenure status
will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Applicants must be
available to start work on September 1, 2013.  The position is part of a
Maine Economic Improvement Fund initiative to further invest in Information
Technology. The University of Maine is a land grant institution and the
teaching, research, and service responsibilities of the selected candidate
will be consistent with the land grant mission.

To apply:  Submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of graduate
academic transcripts, and statements of both research and teaching interests
to Professor Kate Beard, Director, National Center for
Geographic Information and Analysis, School of Computing and Information
Science, 5711 Boardman Hall (Room 348) University of Maine, Orono, ME
04469-5711 with electronic copy to In addition,
applicants should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent by
separate cover.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue
until the position is filled.  Incomplete applications cannot be considered.
Appropriate background checks will be required.

On January 1, 2011, UMaine became a tobacco-free campus.  Information
regarding UMaine’s tobacco-free policy is online at

The University of Maine, an EO/AA employer, seeks to employ outstanding
people who contribute to the rich cultural diversity expected in a
university setting.  All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

CIS graduate students successful at UMaine’s GradExpo

Six graduate students from the various graduate programs in the School of Computing and Information Science participated in this year’s GradExpo, among them three winners. Congratulations to all participants!




Stacy Doore and Janet Nichols: Movement Matters: Using state longitudinal mobility data to improve school policy, intervention and academic outcomes

First place in humanities/social sciences poster competition


Chris Bennett, Non-Visual Graphical Accessibility

Third place in humanities/social sciences poster competition


Pathum Mudannayake: Semantic Topological Change


RJ Perry: Data visualization of the Earths Radiation Balance


Hari Prasath Palani: Accessible Graphics for Visually-Impaired People Using Touch-Based Devices


Oral Presentations


Hegnshan Li: Evaluating the effect of 2D and 3D indoor interfaces for facilitating navigation of multi-level buildings


Hari Prasath Palani: Accessible Graphics for Visually-Impaired People Using Touch-Based Devices

Winner of the Foster Center for Student Innovation Commercialization Award in Science and Technology

The Future of Virtual Sight: Nick’s VEMI lab featured in BDN article

A recent article in the Bangor Daily News features Nick Giudice’ VEMI lab and its innovative research in Virtual Site.

Guest Speaker Stu Rich from Penbay Solutions

This week’s guest speaker was Stu Rich from Penbay Solutions who spoke on Extending GIS into the Built Environment: Emerging Trends and Patterns. View the presentation at

Laura Toma Guest Presentation

A guest presentation was made in the regular department seminar by Laura Toma from the Department of Computer Science at Bowdoin College on Monday 14 March 2011. Laura talked about “An Edge Quadtree for External Memory”. See

Professor Onsrud Honored by UCGIS

From a nationwide call for nominations, Professor Harlan Onsrud of the University of Maine was among six individuals to be honored as a Fellow by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). UCGIS is a non profit organization of seventy universities and other research institutions dedicated to expanding and strengthening geographic information science.

The award announcement permanently maintained on the UCGIS web site reads as follows:

Harlan J. Onsrud has been a leader in research and education on the legal, ethical, and institutional issues surrounding spatial information since the 1980s. Professor Onsrud was instrumental in the establishment of the UCGIS. He participated in the founding meeting in Boulder, Colorado, and took the lead in drafting the original UCGIS bylaws. Harlan then served as the first Chair of the UCGIS Policy and Legislation Committee and played a key role in the planning of early UCGIS Congressional Breakfast events. He also served as President of the UCGIS. Professor Onsrud convened the second UCGIS Summer Assembly, a very successful meeting held in Bar Harbor, Maine, that focused on UCGIS Education Priorities.

Professor Onsrud is a member of the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering at the University of Maine, where he has taught and conducted research for much of his career. Harlan is a multitalented and transdisciplinary figure, a licensed engineer, land surveyor and attorney as well as an information science professor. Harlan Onsrud earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his Juris Doctor (J. D.) degree, all at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Professor Onsrud’s research focuses on the analysis of legal, ethical, and institutional issues affecting the creation and use of digital databases and the assessment of the social impacts of spatial technologies. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, and the U.S. Department of Education. Professor Onsrud teaches courses in Information Systems Law, Information Ethics, Cadastral and Land Information Systems, and Research Ethics.

Harlan Onsrud’s commitment to data sharing and open intellectual property principles have led him to take on a number of leadership and service roles in national and international organizations. He has served as President and currently serves as Executive Director of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). He is a former Chair of the U.S. National Committee (USNC) on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) of the National Research Council and former chair of the Socieconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) Working Group for CIESIN at Columbia University. He chaired a U.S. National Research Council Study on the Licensing of Spatial Data and has participated in numerous other NAS studies — he is a lifetime National Associate of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences. Selected for the Fulbright Specialists program roster, he most recently received Fulbright funding for an extended visit at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He was also a leading figure in transitioning the Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association to an open electronic and print journal and served as Editor-in-Chief through that transition.

For his contributions to Geographic Information Science, both in general and especially in the context of information policy, and for his tireless service to UCGIS, Harlan J. Onsrud is very deserving of the honor of being appointed as a Fellow of UCGIS.

Others honored at the Spring 2011 meeting and their current or former affiliations include Dr. William J. Craig, University of Minnesota, Dr. Jerome E. Dobson, University of Kansas, Dr. Michael F. Goodchild, University of California Santa Barbara, Dr. Karen K. Kemp, University of Southern California, and Dr. Duane F. Marble, Ohio State University.

Monday Seminar on Visualizing and Exploring Events from Sensor Networks

Title: Visualizing and Exploring Events from Sensor Networks

Speaker: Dr. Kate Beard

SIE/NCGIA Joint Seminar Series
336 Boardman Hall, University of Maine
4:00pm, Monday, January 31, 2011

Abstract: Sensor networks and other new technologies are generating volumes of data with both temporal and spatial components. Analysis and synthesis of these space-time data streams requires tools for discovery of patterns and structure in both time and space.  GIS has served well for discovery and analysis of spatial patterns and time series have been a workhorse for temporal display and analysis. Effective visual and exploratory methods that combine space and time dimensions have been more elusive. This presentation describes an approach for the abstraction of space-time series into events and an exploratory environment for the visualization and exploration of events

Kate Beard is a professor in the Department of Spatial Information Science Engineering at the University of Maine. She has been a research faculty with the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) since its beginning in 1989 and currently serves as the Director for NCGIA-Maine.  She also serves as Project Director for an NSF IGERT Sensor Science, Engineering and Informatics. Her current research interests include spatio-temporal data models, spatial information retrieval, and exploratory analysis and visualization of spatio-temporal

Please join us for this presentation.  Refreshments will be available.

Dr. Giudice receives College of Engineering Early Career Research Award

On Friday, Nov. 19, Dr. Nicholas Giudice was honored at the College of Engineering’s 31st Annual Edward T. Bryand Recognition Banquet. Over 150 guests gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the engineers, faculty, students, and staff who have brought distinction to the profession of engineering. Nick was the recipient of the 2010 Early Career Research Award, the college’s highest honor for tenure-track faculty.

Ben Weber successfully defends thesis on Mobile Map Browsers

Benjamin T. Weber successfully defended his thesis on November 22 on the topic of Mobile Map Browsers: Anticipated User Interaction for Data Pre-fetching


When browsing a graphical display of geospatial data on mobile devices, users typically change the displayed maps by panning, zooming in and out, or rotating the device. Limited storage space on mobile devices and slow wireless communications, however, impede the performance of these operations. To overcome the bottleneck that all map data to be displayed on the mobile device need to be downloaded on demand, this thesis investigates how anticipated user interactions affect intelligent pre-fetching so that an on-demand download session is extended incrementally. User interaction is defined as a set of map operations that each have corresponding effects on the spatial dataset required to generate the display. By anticipating user interaction based on past behavior and intuition on when waiting for data is acceptable, it is possible to device a set of strategies to better prepare the device with data for future use.

Users that engage with interactive map displays for a variety of tasks, whether it be navigation, information browsing, or data collection, experience a dynamic display to accomplish their goal. With vehicular navigation, the display might update itself as a result of a GPS data stream reflecting movement through space. This movement is not random, especially as is the case of moving vehicles and, therefore, this thesis suggests that mobile map data could be pre-fetched in order to improve usability. Pre-fetching memory-demanding spatial data can benefit usability in several ways, but in particular it can (1) reduce latency when downloading data over wireless connections and (2) better prepare a device for situations where wireless internet connectivity is weak or intermittent.
This thesis investigates mobile map caching and devises an algorithm for pre-fetching data on behalf of the application user. Two primary models are compared: isotropic (direction-independent) and anisotropic (direction-dependent) pre-fetching. A pre-fetching simulation is parameterized with many trajectories that vary in complexity (a metric of direction change within the trajectory) and it is shown that, although anisotropic pre-fetching typically results in a better pre-fetching accuracy, it is not ideal for all scenarios. This thesis suggests a combination of models to accommodate the significant variation in moving object trajectories. In addition, other methods for pre-fetching spatial data are proposed for future research.


Contact Information

School of Computing and Information Science
348 Boardman Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-2188 | Fax: (207) 581-2206E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469