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Spatial Graduate Programs - Courses

SIE Course Timetable

Courses in the Spatial Information Science and Engineering degree programs are typically offered once a year during the same semester each year.  For planning purposes, consult the Annual Schedule of SIE Classes. The official schedule of classes is available through MaineStreet. If you do not yet have an account, click Log In and then under Quick Links, click Class Search or Distance Learning Class Search. Choose appropriate semester and then choose Course Subject (SIE) and Course Career (Graduate). All courses offered that semester should be listed. Distance offerings are live on the web at the time indicated regardless of how they are listed in the schedule.  Independent study courses may be arranged with appropriate professors at any time.

The online graduate catalog contains the individual graduate course descriptions (2012/2013) including the listing of any prerequisite courses. Descriptions are provided below as well for the convenience of students.

SIE Graduate Course Descriptions

The formally approved course descriptions as listed below are also available through the Graduate Catalog following the menu item Graduate Courses.

SIE 501 – Introduction to Graduate Research (1 credit)

Covers process of successful graduate research from identification of a researchable question, preparation of a thesis proposal, to completion or the research and its publication. Focus on engineering research methods for spatial information.
Prerequisites and Course Notes: SIE or MSIS graduate student or permission of instructor.

SIE 502 – Research Methods (1 credit)

Covers process of successful graduate research, including the written and verbal presentation of plans and results. Students formulate hypotheses, perform a literature search, write abstracts and introductions of research papers, learn about presentation styles and techniques, make two presentations (3-minutes and 10-minutes) about research proposals.
Prerequisites and Course Notes: SIE 501 and students must have selected a thesis topic. Sample Syllabus

SIE 503 – Experiment Design (1 credit)

This is an interdisciplinary course designed primarily for first year graduate students and advanced standing undergraduates who plan to engage in scientific research.  The course covers topics in: (1) design of experiments, (2) modern experimental techniques and instrumentation, and (3) data collection, organization, and statistical analysis techniques.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE 501 or permission. Sample Syllabus

SIE 505 – Formal Foundations for Information Science (3 credits)

Increases student’s understanding of the approach to information systems and science by formalisms. Draws on mathematics to increase familiarity with formal syntax and language, develops understanding and technical ability in handling structures relevant to information systems and science. Includes a review of fundamental material on set theory, functions and relations, graph theory, and logic; examines a variety of algebraic structures; discusses formal languages and the bases of computation.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE or MSIS student or permission of instructor. Sample Syllabus

SIE 506 – Formal Foundations for Geographic Information Systems (1 credit)


SIE 507 – Information Systems Programming (3 credits)

Programming for those envisioning careers focused on developing and managing information systems and databases as opposed to software design. Data structures, algorithms, and their analysis.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE or MSIS graduate student or permission of instructor.  Sample Syllabus

SIE 509 – Principles of Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)

Covers foundation principles of geographic information systems, including traditional representations of spatial data and techniques for analyzing spatial data in digital form. Combines an overview of general principles associated with implementation of geographic information systems and practical experience in the analysis of geographic information.
Prerequisites & Notes: Graduate standing or instructor permission. Sample Syllabus

SIE 510 – Geographic Information Systems Applications (3 credits)

Introduces both conceptual and practical aspects of developing GIS applications. Covers application areas from natural resource planning through transportation, cadastral and land information systems and their spatial modeling requirements, and application development from requirement analysis to database design and implementation.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE 509 or permission.

SIE 512 – Spatial Analysis (3 credits)

Introduces students to techniques for spatial analysis. Covers methods and problems in spatial data sampling, issues in preliminary or exploratory analysis, problems in providing numerical summaries and characterizing spatial properties of map data and analysis techniques for univariate and multivariate data. Students will be responsible for completing several hands-on exercises.
Prerequisites & Notes: an introductory statistics course, graduate standing or instructor permission. Sample Syllabus

SIE 515 – Human Computer Interaction (3 credits)
Students are introduced to the fundamental theories and concepts of human-computer interaction (HCI). Topics covered include: interface design and evaluation, usability and universal design, multimodal interfaces (touch, gesture, natural language), virtual reality, and spatial displays. Sample Syllabus

SIE 525 – Information Systems Law (3 credits)

Current and emerging status of computer law in electronic environments: rights of privacy, freedom of information, confidentiality, work product protection, copyright, security, legal liability; impact of law on use of databases and spatial datasets; legal options for dealing with conflicts and adaptations of law over time.
Prerequisites & Notes: Graduate standing or instructor permission. Sample Syllabus

SIE 526 – Cadastral and Land Information Systems (3 credits)

Colonial Spanish, English, French land records traditions and alternatives reviewed; goals and purposes of land tenure systems with attention to social, political, legal, economic, organizational, technical issues examined; U.S. modernization efforts and problems of developing countries explored. (Offered alternate years.)

SIE 550 – Design of Information Systems (3 credits)

Cognitive and theoretical foundation for representation of knowledge in information systems and fundamental concepts necessary to design and implement information systems.  Logic programming as a tool for fast design and prototyping of data models.  Formal languages and formal models, conceptual modeling techniques, methods for data abstraction, object-oriented modeling and database schema design.  Relational data model and database query languages, including SQL.
Prerequisites & Notes: Graduate standing or instructor permission. Sample Syllabus

SIE 554 – Spatial Reasoning (3 credits)

Qualitative representations of geographic space. Formalisms for topological, directional and metric relations; inference mechanisms to derive composition tables; geometric representations of natural language-like spatial predicates; formalizations of advanced cognitively motivated spatial concepts, such as image schemata; construction of relation algebras.
Prerequisites and Course Notes: SIE 550.

SIE 555 – Spatial Database Systems (3 credits)

Covers internal system aspects of spatial database systems. Layered database architecture. Physical data independence. Spatial data models. Storage hierarchy. File organization. Spatial index structures. Spatial query processing and optimization. Transaction management and crash recovery. Commercial spatial database systems.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE 550 and programming experience in Java, C++ or C.

SIE 556 – Information Systems Architecture (3 credits)

Covers aspects of data sharing and computation in centralized and distributed information system environments. Communication network protocols; layered architecture of distributed information systems; types of distributed system architectures; name spaces, data replication, and caching; inter-process communication, scalability and performance of distributed information systems; middleware; open distributed information systems; interoperability aspects. Data dissemination, and emerging distributed information systems.
Prerequisites & Notes: Programming experience in Java or C++, permission of the instructor.

SIE 557 – Database System Applications (3 credits)

Study, design and implementation of object-relational database system applications.  Introduction to database systems.  Integrating database systems with programs.  Web applications using database systems.  Final database project.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE 507 Sample Syllabus

SIE 565 – Reasoning With Uncertainty in Spatial Information Systems (3 credits)

Information systems and artificial intelligence approaches to uncertainty handling in spatial information systems. Typology of uncertainty: imprecision, inaccuracy and inconsistency. Representing and reasoning with spatial uncertainty in information systems. Logics of uncertainty, probabilistic and Bayesian approaches, Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence. Spatial vagueness. Handling conflicting information.
Prerequisites & Notes: SIE 550, graduate standing or instructor permission.

SIE 570 – Spatial Cognition and Computing (3 credits)

Study of cognitive aspects for understanding spatial representations and reasoning processes.  Cognitive models are studied and related to Artificial Intelligence Systems. Sample Syllabus

SIE 571 – Pattern Recognition and Robotics (3 credits)

Pattern recognition algorithms classify input data based on statistical information.  A mobile robot needs pattern recognition algorithms to make sense of its spatial environment based on sensor input.  The course will introduce the mathematical framework of pattern recognition and present practical applications in robotics.  The course will also cover supervised neural network learning algorithms. Sample Syllabus

SIE 589 – Graduate Project (3 credits)

Directed study on a particular spatial information science topic and implementation of a related project.
Prerequisites and Course Notes: SIE Master’s Project Students.

SIE 590 – Information Systems Internship (3 credits)

Utilization of knowledge gained from the information systems graduate program within a business, non-profit or government organization and acquisition of practical training. See also some of the internship opportunities provided by collaborating businesses and agencies in Maine.
Prerequisites & Notes: Successful completion of nine credits of required courses in the MSIS program. Sample Syllabus and Forms

SIE 598 – Selected Studies in Spatial Information Engineering (1-3 credits)

Topics in surveying, photogrammetry, remote sensing, land information systems and geodesy. Content varies to suit current needs. May be repeated for credit.

SIE 693 – Graduate Seminar (1 credit)

Presentations and discussions on term projects, literature reviews, current events, or thesis topics.

SIE 699 – Graduate Thesis (varying credits)

Work on thesis topic with graduate adviser and graduate committee.

INT 601 – Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)

Key topics in conducting research responsibly. Guidelines, policies and codes relating to ethical research. Skills development for identifying and resolving ethical conflicts arising in research. Address case studies in the context of ethical theories and concepts. Sample Syllabus


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Spatial Information Science and Engineering
5711 Boardman Hall, Room 348
Orono, Maine 04469-5711
Phone: (207) 581-2188 | Fax: (207) 581-2206
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469