A recent CNN report indicates that of the top ten paying jobs for women, 4 out of 10 are in IT. (see the article) Combining this with the “Best Jobs in America” previously which assessed job satisfaction, security, compensation and numerous additional factors and we see a great future for both men and women with high level skills in our disciplinary programs.
UMaine informatics research is helping the Maine National Guard create an improved disaster relief information system. See UMaine Today
A frequent invited speaker on law and technology topics, Professor Harlan Onsrud was featured as an invited speaker on March 5 for the opening of the new Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa. His talk on Ubiquitous Tracking: Supporting Privacy and Free Speech described emerging and likely pervasive surveillance environments in our future and then suggested combined technological and legal solutions that might be used to protect both privacy and corporate free speech within our digital future. On March 19 he was featured also at an international workshop at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and Information/Communication Technologies (ICRI) at Katholieke Universitet Leuven in Belgium speaking on Open Access Licenses and Lessons for Creating a Global Marketplace in Geographic Data.
Graduate students Guillaume-Hallee and Matt Dube report on the value of their spatial technology skills in aiding others through volunteerism in a short article on Spatial Information and Volunteering
Check out the best jobs in America at http://www.focus.com/images/view/7362 You will find that many of them involve in-depth information technology skills including the top rated job in the nation. The criteria for selecting the best jobs is quite interesting. After narrowing the field of over 7000 jobs down to the top one hundred jobs using objective criteria, over 35,000 people in the top hundred jobs were asked to evaluate their jobs based on quality of life factors such as flexibility, stress, and personal satisfaction. Current employment, long-term growth, pay, security and projected openings were also considered. This study comports with many earlier studies including those focused on spatial technologies and the results are consistent. The information technology skills provided through the department’s graduate courses and programs are and will continue to remain in high demand both across the nation as well as in Maine.
Jake Emerson was recently interviewed concerning his development research with emergency response technologies See the video at WLBZ News at http://www.wlbz2.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=114088&catid=3
Evidence for amodal representations after bimodal learning: Integration of haptic-visual layouts into a common spatial image.January 3rd, 2010 3:22 PM
Giudice, N. A., Klatzky, R. L., & Loomis, J. M. (in press). Evidence for amodal representations after bimodal learning: Integration of haptic-visual layouts into a common spatial image. Spatial Cognition & Computation.
Participants learned circular layouts of 6 objects presented haptically or visually, then indicated the direction from a start target to an end target of the same or different modality (intra-modal versus inter-modal). When objects from the two modalities were learned separately, superior performance for intra-modal trials indicated a cost of switching between modalities. When a bimodal layout intermixing modalities was learned, intra- and inter-modal trials did not differ reliably. These findings indicate that a spatial image, independent of input modality, can be formed when inputs are spatially and temporally congruent, but not when modalities are temporally segregated in learning.
Michael Worboys, chair of the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering, has been selected to serve on the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council, under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. The appointment runs from Jan. 2009 through Dec. 2012. The Committee provides independent advice to society and government at all levels on geospatial science, technology and policy. It also addresses aspects of geographic information science on the acquisition, storage and use of spatial data used in a variety of interdisciplinary ways. Congrats!
Giudice, N.A., Bakdash, J.Z., Legge, G.E., & Roy, R. (in press). Spatial learning and navigation using a virtual verbal display. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception.
We report on three experiments that investigate the efficacy of a new type of interface, called a virtual verbal display (VVD) for non-visual learning and navigation of computer-based virtual environments (VEs). Although verbal information has been studied for route-guidance, little is known about the use of context-sensitive, speech-based displays, e.g. the VVD, for supporting free exploration and wayfinding behavior. During training, participants used the VVD (Experiments I and II) or a visual display (Experiment III) to search the VEs and find four hidden target locations. At test, all participants performed a route-finding task in the corresponding real environment, navigating with vision (Experiments I and III) or from verbal descriptions (Experiment II). Training performance between virtual display modes was comparable, but wayfinding in the real environment was worse after VVD learning than visual learning, regardless of the testing modality. Our results support the efficacy of the VVD for searching computer-based environments but indicate a difference in the cognitive maps built up between verbal and visual learning, perhaps due to lack of physical movement in the VVD.
Nittel invited talk on Advances in Geosensor Networks at Workshop on Geospatial Information for Developing Countries at IIT Bombay, IndiaDecember 20th, 2009 9:10 AM
Dr Nittel presented an invited talk on the topic of “Advances in Geosensor Networks” at the Workshop on Geospatial Information for Developing Countries: Science and Technology at IIT Bombay, India, December 16-18, 2009. This workshop was organized by the Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), IIT Bombay, and Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota, USA under the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) to discuss state-of-art in GIS technologies, understand the challenges in applying them to problems in developing nations, and set future research directions.