UCGIS 2016 Research Prize Goes to Serge Rey


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UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. Sergio Rey, a Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning at Arizona State University, will receive its 2016 Research Award. In addition to having made substantial contributions to the methodology of spatial econometrics and inter-regional modeling, and having advanced the understanding of regional income dynamics, Professor Rey has emerged as a leader in the movement to develop open source GIS and spatial analytical software. This includes his important role in the PySAL open source library for spatial analysis.

Dr. Rey’s work in spatial econometrics focuses on the performance of specification tests in regression models, efficient specification searches, alternative model formulations, and the transition to cyberinfrastructure. He has numerous publications that address topics of measurement, modeling and empirical analysis of regional income dynamics. He has introduced several innovative measures of regional convergence constructed from a spatial analytical perspective, such as spatial econometric approaches, new rank concordance indices, and Markov chain models. His 1999 article on this topic (Rey and Montouri 1999, “US regional income convergence, a spatial econometrics perspective,” Regional Studies), has been cited over 1000 times to date.

Apart from these theoretical and empirical advances, his contributions to open source software tools and advocacy for open spatial science have facilitated GIScience research world-wide. PySAL has been downloaded by thousands of researchers and programmers and is increasingly recognized as an important tool to facilitate spatial analysis both in the open source as well as in the commercial world. PySAL is now included in the open source scientific Python distributions by Enthought and Anaconda, and selected functionality is available as a plug-in for the popular Quantum GIS software (QGIS). Commercially, both ESRI’s ArcGIS and the cloud-based web mapping service CartoDB have adopted PySAL plug-ins, thereby making its analytical functionality available to thousands of GIS users.

UCGIS is a non-profit scientific and educational organization comprised of 60+ member and affiliate institutions. It was established in 1995 for the purposes of advancing research in the field of Geographic Information Science, expanding and strengthening multidisciplinary Geographic Information Science education, and advocating policies for the promotion of the ethical use of and access to geographic information and technologies, by building and supporting scholarly communities and networks. UCGIS is a hub for the GIS research and education community in higher education and serves as a national and international voice to advocate for its members’ interests.

For further information, visit www.ucgis.org or contact Diana Sinton, Executive Director (dianasinton@ucgis.org).

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