Dr. Souma Chowdhury, February 22, 2019

Dr. Souma Chowdhury

Dr. Souma Chowdhury

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Souma Chowdhury
http://engineering.buffalo.edu/mechanical-aerospace/people/faculty/s-chowdhury.html
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University at Buffalo
Title: Morphological Adaptation and Collaborative Autonomy: Towards UAVs for Complex Operations

Abstract: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs have risen through the ranks to become uniquely useful tools in various remote sensing and humanitarian applications. While fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAV configurations and their stand-alone operation have become commonplace, their operational envelope remains limited. These are often ineffective in dealing with complex mission requirements (e.g., in search and rescue, cargo transport, and surveillance) that involve some combination of the following: take-off/landing in constrained spaces in a high endurance mission, extreme environments, time sensitive wide area coverage, and map/track spatio-temporally evolving events. This talk will focus on two very distinct areas of research that are addressing these challenges, namely hybrid UAVs and UAV swarms. Both offline reconfigurable and online-transitioning UAV morphologies have been developed in the ADAMS Lab. The latter, named BITU, is capable of transitioning between VTOL, hover, and fixed- wing like efficient forward flight. A computational design framework, which integrates aerodynamic modeling, flight dynamics, uncertainty analysis, and non-linear optimization, has been constructed and tested to design variants of BITU that can meet challenging mission requirements – offering >100 km range with 2 kg payload and VTOL capabilities. On the other end, fully-autonomous decentralized control of multi-UAV flight is being developed to serve time-critical applications such as offshore oil spill mapping and detection of flood victims over a wide area. A novel swarm-intelligence inspired waypoint- planning algorithm, that also incorporates anomaly detection and probabilistic information extraction, has been developed to allow collaborative operation of small UAVs in a manner that is adaptive to their computing and wireless-communication constraints. This talk will also briefly touch upon some of the related work in the areas of modeling, optimizing, and testing wireless communication between moving nodes (e.g., UAVs) and participation (with 3-UAV flight) in a full-scale emergency drill with Buffalo Fire and Police departments.

Past Speakers

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan, November 9, 2018

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan
https://www.geog.illinois.edu/people/mkwan
Professor and Director, Space-Time Analysis and Research Lab (StarLab)
Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Title: Human Mobility, Individual Context, and Environmental Exposure: A Spatiotemporal Perspective

Abstract: Studies on a wide range of urban issues by geographers have been conducted largely with a static perspective based on people’s residential location. However, since people move around in their daily lives to undertake various activities, their social encounters and exposures to environmental influences also take place in neighborhoods beyond their residence and at various times. Human mobility is thus an essential element of people’s spatiotemporal experiences, and these complex experiences cannot be fully understood by just looking at where people live. Ignoring people’s daily mobility, the time they spend outside of their residential neighborhoods and their exposures to environmental influences and other social groups there omits a considerable part of their everyday experiences. In this presentation, I draw upon recent conceptual and methodological developments to examine how a perspective that integrates the spatial and temporal dimensions and takes human mobility into account can help identify the relevant spatiotemporal context that influences people’s health behaviors or outcomes. Using examples from my recent projects, I discuss how the collection and analysis of high-resolution space-time data enabled by advanced geospatial and mobile technologies can provide new insights on the relationships between people’s health behaviors and the complex spatiotemporal dynamics of environmental influences.

Dr. Conghe Song, October 19, 2018

Dr. Conghe Song

Dr. Conghe Song

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus
Co-sponsored by UB Confucius Institute

Dr. Conghe Song
http://csong.web.unc.edu
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title: The Socioeconomic Effects of China’s Forest Restoration and Conservation Programs

Abstract: China’s economy had witnessed double digit growth following the adoption of open and reform policy in the late 1970s. However, China’s natural environment did not improve with the economy. In fact, China’s eco-environmental conditions went in the opposite direction with the economy for decades, leading to devastating natural disasters in the later 1990s. As a result, the Chinese government implemented a series of forest restoration and conservation programs to improve the natural environment. The Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) and the Ecological Welfare Forest Program (EWFP) are two of them. CCFP program is the largest reforestation program to date in the world, involving 32 million households and 120 million people in 25 of the 31 provinces in China. China’s forest cover increased 3% as a result. EWFP is a program that preserves natural forests that provide essential ecosystem services. Both CCFP and EWFP are essentially payment for ecosystem services program. Despite nearly two decades of implementation, the programs’ socioeconomic as well as their ecological effects are not well understood. In this talk, I will present the recent findings from a US-China collaborative project studying the impacts of CCFP on the dynamics of the coupled natural and human systems in Anhui, China. Riding the tide of overall economic growth in China, both CCFP and EWFP have been successful in converting and preserving the land-use, and have exerted profound impacts on rural residents’ livelihoods. I will focus on the program effects on cropland abandonment, fuel wood use and rural out migration in this talk.

Dr. Harvey Miller, October 5, 2018

Dr. Harvey Miller

Dr. Harvey Miller

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Harvey Miller
https://u.osu.edu/miller.81/about-me/
Director, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA)
Department of Geography
The Ohio State University
Title: Data-driven Geography: Some big thoughts about Geographic Information Science in an era of plenty

Abstract: Geography has experienced a transition from a long-standing Era of Geographic Data Scarcity (Greek classical period – 20th century) to a new Era of Geographic Data Plenty (21st century and beyond). Geographic data collection used to be focused, time-consuming and expensive, resulting in small but thick databases. Geographic data collection is now open-ended, quick and cheap, resulting in big but thin databases. In this talk, I will ask: How should we do things differently in the Era of Geographic Data Plenty? And, just as important, what should we not do? In seeking answers to these questions, I will share three big thoughts: 1) Opportunistic GIScience: Experiments are not just for labs anymore; 2) Mesogeography: There is a middle path to geographic knowledge; 3) GIScience, fast and slow: Some decisions should not be as fast as our data.

The screen captures of real time information from the Columbus urban dashboard project.

Dr. Daniel Sui, May 4, 2018

Dr. Daniel Sui

Dr. Daniel Sui

Friday, 10 am & 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Daniel Sui
https://geography.osu.edu/people/sui.10
Division Director, the Social and Economic Sciences Directorate, NSF
Department of Geography
The Ohio State University
Title: Interdisciplinary Funding Opportunities and Programs at NSF

Abstract: This talk introduces new interdisciplinary funding opportunities and programs in the context of NSF’s 10 big ideas for future investment in science. This new wave of interdisciplinary research is driven by the emerging data science and led by the grand challenges at the human-technology frontier. Issues on how to balance basic inquiry with high-impact applications and innovative research with improved reproducibility will also be discussed.

Title: Mapping the new terra incognita: On geographic research in the age of convergence

Abstract: This talk presents a synoptic overview on a recent mega trend in both scientific research and science funding – convergence. By contextualizing this trend in the shifting paradigms of recent geographic research, it is argued that geography is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in convergent research in the coming years. To lead and succeed in convergent research, geographers need to make a collective effort to take calculated risks and adventure into the new terra incognita.

Dr. Hui Lin, April 6, 2018

Dr. Hui Lin

Dr. Hui Lin

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Hui Lin
http://www2.grm.cuhk.edu.hk/eng/people/ppl/fac_LinHui.html
Department of Geography and Resource Management & Institute of Space and Earth Information Science
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Title: From maps to GIS and VGE: the evolution of geographic language

Abstract: GIS, after continual development in last 60 years, has been widely used in various fields by researchers, governmental officials, businessman, and many professionals and non-professionals. With its root from maps, GIS has more functions including spatial analysis and static spatial modeling. However, many GIS users today are looking for a platform which is of geo-process modeling functions, such as wild fire modeling and air pollution spreading simulation. The framework of GIS with a geo-coded database shows its bottleneck for this kind of dynamic modeling. What should we do for integrating the geo-coded database and the geo- process models? Virtual geographic environments (VGE) could be an answer as a new framework beyond GISystems.

Dr. Chris Justice, February 9, 2018

Dr. Chris Justice

Dr. Chris Justice

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Chris Justice
https://geog.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Justice/Christopher
Department of Geographical Sciences
University of Maryland
NASA Land Cover Land Use Change (LCLUC) Program
Title: Global Agricultural Monitoring using Earth Observations

Abstract: The occurrence of extreme climate events and growing global population have given increased attention to global food security. Providing timely and transparent information on shortfalls in global crop production is an important step to mitigating price volatility and responding to food shortages. Satellite observations when combined with meteorological information, provide a means to monitor aspects of global agriculture. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is an international organization developed to coordinate enhanced use of such global earth observations. GEOGLAM is GEO’s global agricultural monitoring initiative endorsed by the G20 Agricultural Ministers. As a contribution to GEOGLAM, NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Consortium based at the University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences, has developed a satellite-based global agricultural monitoring system in support of global agricultural markets and food security. The Crop Monitor system provides monthly assessments of global crop condition in an easy to interpret format. The system is also being applied at the national scale in a number of countries. The availability of high temporal frequency observations combined with high performance computing is opening the door to new possibilities in agricultural monitoring. Research and development are also being undertaken to develop remote sensing methods for estimating crop production.

Dr. Paul Torrens, October 27, 2017

Dr. Paul Torrens

Dr. Paul Torrens

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Paul Torrens
http://cusp.nyu.edu/people/paul-m-torrens/
Department of CSE and the Center for Urban Science and Progress
New York University
Title: Geosimulation for small geographies

Abstract: New forms of machine-derived geographic information continue to draw the attention of geographers to unusual vistas on long-standing problems, and with those shifted vantages, new questions have presented for our models to address, at unusual scales and for novel geographies. In response, aspects of our discipline have “gone big”, seeking-out representative data and understanding over entire geographies and entire populations, with the goal of building comprehensive and holistic understanding of often complex systems. Meanwhile, a subset of inquiry is “going deep”, focusing on the minutia of geographic processes and phenomena in an effort to explore geographies in fine detail for fleeting moments of space and time. In this talk, I will discuss our work to apply geosimulation to “small geographies” in urban settings, with the goal of building new, explorative understanding of processes and phenomena that form from “atomic” units and relationships of (and within) human and built phenomena. In introducing this work, I will focus on three examples: modeling pedestrian mobility along streetscapes, simulating mass response to building collapse, and building gesture control for autonomous vehicles. In each case, challenges of understanding, representing, and modeling small geographies of urban settings come to the fore. Tackling challenges that manifest in these varied problem-sets has led us to the development of a new pipeline for geosimulation that we think holds significant promise for geographical inquiry at new scales of observation and understanding, and which offers new benefits for the development of geocomputation atop newly-forming data-sets, particularly those generated for and by spatially-aware machines.

Dr. Sarah Elwood, September 22, 2017

Dr. Sarah Elwood

Dr. Sarah Elwood

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Sarah Elwood
https://geography.washington.edu/people/sarah-elwood
Department of Geography
University of Washington
Title: OutsideIn: Visualizing Poverty Politics & Homelessness   

Abstract: Normative ‘common sense’ around poverty – who is understood as poor, why, and what should be done about it – is powerfully (re)produced through dominant visual regimes. Hegemonic ways of looking and seeing are conditioned through broadly circulating visual grammars individualize poverty, stigmatize and blame impoverished people, and bind ‘poverty’ to particular (racialized, gendered, dis/abled) bodies and spaces. Beginning from relational theorizations of poverty as a site of struggle, this paper asks what other politics are possible? We explore the sites, possibilities and limits for making counter-normative poverty politics through visual practices, focusing specifically on art, performance, and other creative forms not typically seen as influential in challenging poverty. In Seattle, Washington, progressive and punitive responses to a ‘homelessness state of emergency’ declared in 2015 have sparked a wave of creative visual politics enacted through social practice art, protest performance and portraiture. Drawing on illustrative examples, we analyze artists/activists’ intentions for their disruptive visual work, the symbolic content and aesthetic forms of the work, and the spaces and relations set up through making and engaging these projects. We use relational poverty theory to trace the ways these visual poverty politics rescript spaces, reframe privilege, re-write visions of homeless bodies, and disrupt usual relations of looking and seeing across lines of poverty and privilege. We read for the possibilities and limits of disruptive poverty politics within creative visual practices.

Dr. Krishna Rajan, April 21, 2017

Dr. Krishna Rajan

Dr. Krishna Rajan

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Krishna Rajan
http://engineering.buffalo.edu/materials-design-innovation/community.host.html/content/shared/engineering/materials-design-innovation/profiles/faculty/rajan-krishna.html

Department of Materials Design and Innovation
University at Buffalo
Title: Data, Maps and Projections: nexus of geography and materials science

Dr. Michael Gould, March 31, 2017

Dr. Michael Gould

Dr. Michael Gould

Friday, 3:15 pm, 170 Fillmore
University at Buffalo North Campus

Dr. Michael Gould
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gould-253b932/?ppe=1
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
Title: GI Science/Systems: views from industry and academia