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Graduate School

    The University of Maine
   
 
  Oct 18, 2017
 
 
    
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Spatial Information Science and Engineering



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The graduate program in Spatial Information Science and Engineering focuses on  advancing knowledge about spatial information particularly with respect to concepts  needed in next-generation information systems.  Emphasis is placed on developing  novel concepts and methods in the broad field of geographic information science  for: storing, accessing, analyzing, and managing spatial data, and modeling, extracting, integrating, visualizing, and communicating geospatial  information.

Students build on a solid foundation in computer science, mathematics, physics,  geography, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and related fields to study  spatio-temporal phenomena and design intelligent spatial information systems.  In addition to these concepts, the design of spatial information technologies  requires a comprehensive understanding of the social, legal, economic, and institutional  issues affecting such systems, a commitment to human users and ethical uses of  such systems, dedication to the ethics of broad access to information, and commitment  to quality of information.

The research interests of our faculty are currently predominantly in the area of Ubiquitous Spatial Computing, including spatial database systems, spatio-temporal reasoning, geospatial ontologies, data stream management, and location privacy, and we anticipate that graduate research would be closely related to these topics.

Degrees offered include the Master of Science in Spatial Information Science  and Engineering, the Ph.D. in Spatial Information Science and Engineering, and  the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

Objectives of these programs include:

an interdisciplinary study of the nature and function of spatial information  systems, and the technical study of the design and evaluation of methods and processes to  capture, represent and analyze spatial information.

Graduate courses cover formal representations of spatial phenomena, database systems, geographic information systems, and information policy. Research  topics may be selected from any of the principal areas ranging from geographic  information science, spatial and spatio-temporal reasoning, spatial database systems, to legal and managerial aspects of spatial information systems.  Many research topics require an interdisciplinary approach and, therefore, courses  taught in other departments complement the program offered.

Master of Science in Spatial Information Science and Engineering  

The Department offers both a thesis and project option in the Master of Science  in Spatial Information Science and Engineering. All work for a master’s degree  must be completed within six years. The timing starts with the first semester  of registration after admission to the Master of Science in Spatial Information  Science and Engineering.

The thesis option is the scientific track, typically requiring a strong engineering,  computer science, or mathematics undergraduate background.  Prospective master’s  students with other disciplinary backgrounds are expected to make up the requisite  math and engineering courses that would allow them to succeed in an engineering  graduate curriculum. The thesis option includes a substantial piece of individual  research as a basis for a master’s thesis.

The project option is aimed at students who wish to focus primarily on course  work rather than research at the master’s level. The formal coursework is complemented  by a one-semester project in which the student must demonstrate that he or she  can apply the acquired knowledge for implementing a particular solution.

 

Degree Requirements

Master (Project Option)

Minimum of 30 graduate course credits (i.e., 400 level or above

  • At least 12 graduate course credits at 500 level or above
  • At least 18 graduate course credits in SIE
  • No more than 6 credits of independent study courses (598, 698, or equivalent  independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 589 Graduate Project
  • At least 3 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 2 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Breadth Requirement: at least one 3-credit graduate course from 4 out of the 5 groupings:
    • Formal Representations of Spatial Phenomena
    • Image Analysis
    • Database Systems
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Information Policy

 

Master (Thesis Option)

Minimum of 30 graduate course credits (i.e., 400 level or above)

  • At least 24 graduate course credits
  • At least 6 thesis credits - SIE 699
  • At least 12 graduate course credits at 500 level or above
  • At least 18 graduate course credits in SIE
  • No more than 6 credits of independent study courses (598, 698 or equivalent  independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 501 Introduction to Graduate Research
  • SIE 502 Research Methods
  • SIE 693 Graduate Seminar
  • Breadth Requirement - at least one 3-credit graduate course from 3 out of the 5  groupings:
    • Formal Representations of Spatial Phenomena
    • Image Analysis
    • Database Systems
    • Geographic Information Systems 
    • Information Policy
  • At least 3 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 2 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Master’s Thesis Defense 

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate course work taken prior to enrollment  in the master’s program, whether at this university or another, may be counted  towards the master’s degree. If the course did not count towards a completed undergraduate  degree and if the student’s graduate advisory committee formally approves acceptance  of the courses on the student’s Program of Study, then the credit hours may be  transferred toward the master’s degree.

In order to meet the residency requirement, at least 50 percent of the course  work applied toward the degree must be taken through The University of Maine.

Doctor of Philosophy in Spatial Information Science and Engineering  

The Ph.D. degree is the highest of academic degrees. The Ph.D. in Spatial Information  Science and Engineering is awarded to those demonstrating outstanding achievement  in Spatial Information Science and Engineering scholarship and primarily for demonstrated  ability for independent research in the field. The preparation and defense of  a thesis embodying the results of an original investigation in a specialized area  of Spatial Information Science and Engineering are essential features of the program.

All work for a doctoral degree must be completed within eight years. The timing  starts with the first semester of registration after admission to the Ph.D. in  Spatial Information Science and Engineering. Students must be admitted to candidacy  within four years of registration for the first work presented for satisfaction  of degree requirements; the dissertation must be completed within four years of  admission to candidacy.

The program for the Ph.D. degree in Spatial Information Science and Engineering  carries a minimum residency requirement of two academic years and a minimum of  42 credit hours in formal course work beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students are  expected to hold a Masters degree, typically in engineering, computer science,  mathematics, or geography with a strong technical and analytical background.

A qualifying examination is taken after the student has completed the course  requirements and developed a thesis proposal. The examination will be designed  to test the student’s area of expertise by evaluating the student’s knowledge  related to his or her thesis topic through oral and/or written examination. No  foreign language requirement is included in the program. A full oral defense of  the dissertation is required upon completion of the student’s work.

Degree Requirements  

  • Minimum of 42 graduate course credits (i.e., 400 level or above)
  • Minimum of 12 thesis credits (SIE 699)
  • Minor of 9 graduate course credits as detailed below
  • Up to 24 transfer credits of graduate course work
  • No more than 9 credits of independent study courses (598, 698 or equivalent  independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 501 Introduction to Graduate Research
  • SIE 502 Research Methods
  • SIE 693 Graduate Seminar
  • Breadth Requirements: at least one 3-credit graduate course from 4 out of the 5  groupings:
    • Formal Representations of Spatial Phenomena
    • Image Analysis
    • Database Systems
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Information Policy
  • At least 5 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 3 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Dissertation

A maximum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work taken prior to enrollment  in the master’s program, whether at this university or another, may be counted  towards the master’s degree. If the course did not count towards a completed undergraduate  degree and if the student’s graduate advisory committee formally approves acceptance  of the course on the student’s Program of Study, then the credit hours may be  transferred toward the doctoral degree.

All students must complete a minor program consisting of at least nine credit  hours of course work taken outside of Spatial Information Science and Engineering.

Only courses at the 400 level or above and listed in the Graduate Catalog (or  equivalent courses transferred from another university) can be counted toward  the minor requirement. Independent study courses do not qualify for a minor. This  minor must consist of courses relevant to the student’s thesis and must have a  common core that typically comes from a single department. The minor program must  be approved by the advisory committee.

The minimum residency requirement for Ph.D. programs is met by registering for  courses or thesis research at The University of Maine for four semesters beyond  the baccalaureate degree. Students entering doctoral programs with a master’s  degree from The University of Maine must register for at least two semesters  of course work or thesis research.

Financial Assistance  

In addition to University fellowships and scholarships listed elsewhere in this  Catalog, the Department offers graduate research assistantships to qualified students  on externally funded research projects.

We encourage all applicants to submit, in addition to the complete  application package, a video of approximately 10 minutes, in which they describe  their research interests, their background and experience in doing independent  research, and their future goals. This movie can be a digital video submitted  as a URL to a QuickTime file (do not e-mail the entire digital movie) or mailed  on a CD (same format) together with your application.  This instruction is particularly  important for prospective graduate students who seek funding through graduate  research assistantships.

 

Graduate Faculty

M. Kate Beard-Tisdale, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1988), Professor. Geographic information systems, spatial analysis, digital libraries. 

Max J. Egenhofer, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Professor. Geographic database systems, spatial reasoning,  GIS user interface design, research methodologies.

Silvia Nittel, Ph.D. (Zurich, Switzerland,  1994), Associate Professor. Spatial database management  systems, mobile object systems, heterogeneous information systems, high performance  architectures.

Harlan J. Onsrud, J.D. (Wisconsin, 1982), Professor. Computer and information systems law, cadastral  systems, boundary law, and environmental law.

Kathleen Stewart-Hornsby, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1999), Assistant Research Professor.  Spatio-temporal data modeling, spatio-temporal cognition, and geospatial semantics.

Michael F. Worboys, Ph.D. (Birmingham, UK, 1980), Professor and Chair. Geographic information representation  and reasoning, uncertainty, spatio-temporal information, human interaction issues.

Associate Graduate Faculty  

Peggy Agouris, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1992)

Carol Bult, Ph.D. (University of New Hampshire, 1989)

Arie Croitoru, Ph.D. (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 2002)

Peter J. Doucette, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2002)

Matt Duckham, Ph.D. (University of Glasgow, 2000)

Andrew Frank, Ph.D. (Swiss Federal Institute of Tech., 1982)

Mark Gahegan, Ph.D. (Curtin University of Technology, 1997)

Marcelo Gattas, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1982)

John R. Herring, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State, 1979)

Werner Kuhn, Ph.D. (Swiss Fed. Inst. of Tech., 1989)

Lars Kulik, Ph.D. (University of Hamburg, 2002)

David Mark, Ph.D. (Simon Fraser University, 1997)

Peter Patel-Schneider, Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1987)  

Renato Barrera-Rivera, Sc.D.  (MIT, 1968)  

Anthony Stefanidis, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1993)

Peter Suber, J.D. (Northwestern University, 1982)

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