In 2018, 18 students and 9 visiting researchers joined 7 CSDS staff and director Luc Anselin to engage in spatial computational research. Here are some of their stories.

the spatial computational research team

Angela Li Angela Li fell in love with everything spatial in R after she won a College Research Fellowship through the Center. She founded R-Ladies Chicago and is now working at CSDS as the R Spatial Advocate to make the spatial ecosystem in R accessible to the world.
Jamie Saxon As a transplant from physics to public policy, Jamie Saxon found at CSDS a dynamic, technical community supportive of his work on gerrymandering, access to primary healthcare, and neighborhood dynamics.  Working with CSDS staff and RAs, he is building public datasets for researchers everywhere.
Erin Ochoa Erin Ochoa: "After taking Luc Anselin’s Intro to Spatial Data Science course, I spent a summer as an intern at CSDS, working with Marynia Kolak and Julia Koschinsky.  Then Luc took me on as a TA and advised my master’s thesis.  With advice and support from Luc and Julia, I was admitted for PhD study in sociology or criminology at ten schools!  Now I’m in the sociology PhD program at Northwestern University, focusing on geospatial computational criminology.  My time at CSDS was a vital part of my journey—I wouldn’t be where I am today without Luc, Julia, Marynia, and the rest of the team."
Isaac Kamber Isaac Kamber liked Luc Anselin’s and Marynia Kolak’s spatial courses so much that he decided to major in Geographical Sciences. He won the Curriculum Innovation Award Fellowship through CSDS, started programming and is currently wrangling NASA images to model air quality at CSDS.
Anais Ladoy Visiting from Switzerland, Anais Ladoy's Masters research on air quality modeling fit our research so well that she made major contributions to this research. While visiting, she was biking around Hyde Park with an air quality sensor around her neck to test the reliability of these wearables.
Richárd Farkas Richárd Farkas: "CSDS opened up the word of spatial thinking for me. The Center and its members gave me a new methodological structure for investigating research questions. My visit there was one of the most impressive experiences of my life."
Larissa Vieira Larissa Vieira did qualitative geography research as an undergrad. Then she discovered the possibilities of spatial computational research at CSDS and in Luc Anselin’s spatial data science course and got hooked. She is currently combining these old and new skills at CSDS in a research project with the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Robert Manduca Robert Manduca: "Coming to the University of Chicago as a visiting PhD student, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find an intellectual community. But CSDS has been a fantastic home base, introducing me to spatial thinkers from all disciplines and all over the world and pushing me to be more sophisticated in how I incorporate space into my PhD research."
Irene Farah After completing her MAPSS degree, Irene Farah joined CSDS, learned spatial databases and is now computing access scores for all businesses in the US for the past 10 years as part of research on the life and death of small-scale retail in American cities.  
Rosa Danenberg Rosa Danenberg: “As a visiting PhD scholar from the urbanism discipline, I was warmly welcomed by a community of intellectual and friendly scholars who generously shared their spatial insights during the breakfast sessions and lectures, as well as in more informal settings that helped with advancing my work on spatiality within urbanism.” 
Chen Zeng Chen Zeng"Joining CSDS to continue my postdoc research is a fantastic experience as I could integrate what I learned in Prof. Anselin's spatial study group and R study group into my own research on urban studies and regional governance as well as my teaching. It is great to have discussions with scholars with interdisciplinary background. CSDS has a vibrant and informative team and I am honored to be part of it."
Lulu Zhou Visiting from the University of Hongkong, Lulu Zhou added the spatial hedonic modeling skills she needed to complete her dissertation. On the side, she cleared 250 GeoDa software tickets.
Coro Chasco Visiting from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Coro Chasco worked with Luc Anselin on her spatial flow research. While in Hyde Park, she translated all menu items in GeoDa into Spanish, so now Spanish (and Chinese) speakers can work natively.
Sam Joyce "As an environmental studies major, my work with CSDS has taught me to see the spatial aspect of the environmental problems I study." -- Sam Joyce
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"Being an RA with CSDS dramatically improved my data cleaning, analysis, and visualization skills (go Tidyverse and tmap!) and my ability to synthesize scholarly research. These skills have been crucial while working as an intern at Brookings’s Metropolitan Policy Program." -- Gabe Morrison

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Erin Abbot was able to apply the skills she gained scripting in R on two projects related to her interest in researching the environmental effects on human health. She plans on applying these skills to her work at the Center for Graphic Analysis at Harvard.

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"GIScience classes we have both found useful include intro to location analysis and intro to GIS and Spatial Analysis. Both of these classes have been incredibly useful in the context of our [spatial data science internship with Origin Investments]." -- Andrea Domiter & Ryan Brown

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"In the spring I presented at the virtual SatRDay Chicago conference, highlighting my final project from GIS III where I used geocomputation in R to map local food systems and created a Shiny app to visualize the findings. Since graduating, I've been working with non-profit think tank Croatan Institute on researching opportunities and financing solutions for regenerative and organic farming in the U.S. I use ArcGIS and other spatial analysis tools to complement our research. " --  Susan Paykin

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Ricardo Barros Louranco has applied his learnings from being a part of the GIS and CSDS community during his 5 year sabbatical at the University of Chicago on his work with non-traditional data sources for banking, such as scientific datasets from socio-economical studies in GIS format, Remote Sensing, and Climate and Weather models. “[He has] started to mentor a group of students at Project X and shape their proposals for modeling Climate Change most diverse interactions. [He is] quite happy because some of them may be going into spatial analysis, and then I assume we will be using GeoDa, PySal, & knowledge gained on classes taught by Luc Anselin.”

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"I took the GIS sequence in my second year and it was one of the best courses I had in UChicago. I was able to identify spatiotemporal clusters of city service calls, plot an air quality map from satellite images, and study amenities accessibility using spatial access score model from CSDS for affordable housing programs. This amazing experience got me my first job in the City of Pittsburgh as senior data analyst where I can improve city services with spatial analysis and provide visualization applications to city staff and residents." -- Sihan Mao 

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 2.01.51 PM_thumb.png "The CSDS, particularly Dr. Marynia Kolak and Dr. Julia Koschinsky, provided me with a great opportunity to participate in interesting research projects from which I learned how spatial analysis is applied to real-life policy issues. Based on the experience at the CSDS, I am extending my knowledge about health disparities with regards to social determinants of health and start to think about how to improve the health status of residents in the underserved communities through research." -- Yoon Hong Park
nikhil_thumb.jpeg "As my first college-level research experiences, the projects I've worked on with CSDS have been incredibly impactful and educational for me. Here, I have developed my skills in coding, data manipulation/analysis, spatial reasoning, and communication, and I have gained a strong interest in the intersection of spatial data science and education." -- Nikhil Patel