Apr 20, 2024  
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog 
    
2002-2003 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 to acquire, integrate, model, analyze, manage, and supply information about geographic phenomena, with an emphasis on concepts needed in next-generation information systems. Emphasis is placed on:

  • developing novel concepts for managing, storing, accessing, analyzing, visualizing, and communicating spatial information, and
  • applying new methods in the measurement sciences of geodesy, surveying, mapping, and photogrammetry to acquire and manage spatial data for a wide range of human endeavors.

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.

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

Objectives of these programs include:

  • an interdisciplinary study of the nature and function of information systems, particularly spatial information systems, and
  • the technical study of the design and evaluation of methods, tools, and techniques to collect and manage spatial information.

Course subjects include design, architecture, and optimization of information systems, user interface design, spatial analysis, analytical and digital photogrammetry, digital image processing, advanced surveying, global positioning systems (GPS), and information systems law. Research topics may be selected from any of the principal areas ranging from spatial and spatio-temporal reasoning, spatial database systems, image understanding, satellite geodesy, to legal and managerial aspects of land 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 non-thesis 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 appropriate for those entering with a strong engineering, computer science, or mathematics undergraduate background or those willing to make up the requisite math and engineering courses that would allow them to succeed in an engineering graduate curriculum. It includes a substantial piece of individual research, which leads to a master’s thesis.

The non-thesis option is appropriate primarily for those students with undergraduate degrees in engineering or students who have undergraduate or graduate degrees in science-related fields such as geography, physics, geology, planning or natural resources, who wish to focus primarily on course work rather than research at the master’s level.

Degree Requirements

Master (Non-thesis 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 (SIE 498, 598, 698, or equivalent independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 693 Graduate Seminar
  • At least 3 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 2 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty

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 (SIE 498, 598, 698 or equivalent independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 693 Graduate Seminar
  • Breadth Requirement - at least one graduate course from 3 out of the 4 groupings:
  • GIS and Databases
  • Geodesy
  • Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
  • Law
  • At least 3 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 2 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Master’s Thesis

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 requirements 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 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 (SIE 498, 598, 698 or equivalent independent study courses in other graduate programs)
  • SIE 693 Graduate Seminar
  • Breadth Requirements - One out of each of the four breadth groupings
  • GIS and Databases
  • Geodesy
  • Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
  • Law
  • At least 5 graduate faculty on the advisory committee
  • At least 3 must be SIE tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • 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 a t 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 international applicants to submit, in addition to the complete application package, a video of approximately 10 minutes, in which they describe their 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 a video tape (in NTSC or PAL format, sent by regular mail together with the hardcopy of 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 and Chair. Geographic information systems, spatial analysis, digital libraries.

Peggy Agouris, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1992), Assistant Professor. Digital image processing and analysis, digital photogrammetry, remote sensing.

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

Alfred Leick, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1978), Professor. Land information systems, satellite surveying, gravity in geodesy, adjustment computations.

Silvia Nittel, Ph.D. (Zurich, 1994), Assistant 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.

Anthony Stefanidis, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1993), Assistant Professor. Motion imagery analysis, virtual scene modeling, digital image processing.

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

Associate Graduate Faculty

Claudia M. Bauzer Medeiros, Ph.D. (University of Waterloo, Canada, 1985)

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

Douglas Flewelling, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1997)

Charles Ghilani, Ph.D. (Wisconsin-Madison, 1989)

Michael Goodchild, Ph.D. (McMaster University, 1969)

Knud Hermansen, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State, 1989)

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

Kathleen Hornsby, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1999)

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

Richard Langley, Ph.D. (York, 1979)

Robert Rugg, Ph.D. (University of Ottawa, 1974)

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