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SIUE Engineering’s McKenney Selected as CyberGIS Fellow

Dr. Mark McKenney, SIUE associate professor of computer science.
Dr. Mark McKenney, SIUE associate professor of computer science.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Mark McKenney, associate professor of computer science in the School of Engineering, was selected as one of 17 new CyberGIS Fellows to promote cyberGIS (geographic information science and systems) education.

The National Science Foundation-supported CyberGIS Project has selected 13 projects led by 17 researchers across the United States for funding through its CyberGIS Fellows program.

McKenney’s project will develop flexible education modules that cover key foundational concepts of cyberGIS. These modules can be used together as an extended module in a single course, or broken into smaller stand-alone modules that compliment concepts in traditional computing courses. The result is that the modules may be integrated into existing curricula in an effort to expose students to cyberGIS fundamentals or used together as an intensive foundation for cyberGIS.

The modules will use free and open-source software, freely available data and can be run on standard desktop computers, allowing the use of the modules in a wide range of settings.

“This is outstanding recognition of Dr. McKenney’s efforts in teaching excellence,” said Hasan Sevim, dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. “He will work with a select group of educators like himself in one of the most trendy areas of computer science and will bring back the most current knowledge in the field to pass it on to his students. This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. McKenney and his students.”

CyberGIS Fellows will hold visiting appointments at the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will have opportunities to develop collaborations with these two interdisciplinary programs.

CyberGIS, based on advanced cyber infrastructure, has emerged during the past several years as a vibrant interdisciplinary field impacting a broad swath of scientific domains and research areas. With the field’s rapid development, most of the related curricula and education materials do not systematically teach concepts and principles underlying cyberGIS, or cover problem-solving skills involving cyberGIS. McKenney and other CyberGIS Fellows will address this gap.

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