CIGI News & Events 2013

Kiumars Soltani elected to be a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, congratulations Kiumars!

[09/24/13] CIGI PhD student - Kiumars Soltani - has been elected to be a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest all-discipline honor society in the United States, which invites only top 7.5 percent of juniors and top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students.

National Science Foundation awarded 9.35 million supercomputing hours to CIGI for cyberGIS research and education

[09/19/13] A team led by Professor Shaowen Wang has been awarded 9.35 million supercomputing hours for the academic year of 2013-2014 by the NSF eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program to advance data-rich geospatial sciences and technologies based on the research and development of CyberGIS. The amount of resources awarded can be understood as equivalent to the uninterrupted use of a single-CPU high-end desktop computer for over 1,055 years. This award includes access to a rich set of most powerful supercomputers in the world for open scientific research and, thus, will enable CIGI researchers and educators to continue, and lead on, cutting-edge computing- and data-intensive geospatial research and education. These resources cover a wide spectrum of supercomputer architectures and parallel computing models. Specifically, our allocated supercomputing time is distributed on the following 7 high-end resources operated by 4 supercomputer centers and a high-throughput computing cyberinfrastructure (i.e., OSG):

System Location Peak Performance (TeraFlops) Processor Cores Memory (TB: terabytes) Storage Features for CyberGIS Use
Stampede Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) 9,600 522,080 270 14PB shared Optimized compilers and message passing interface (MPI) for large-scale analysis and modeling; scalable algorithms that can leverage hybrid achitecture (CPU + MIC)
Lonestar TACC 302 22,656 44 1PB shared; 276TB local Production runs; algorithm development; performance profiling; parallel visualization
Longhorn TACC 2,048 CPU cores; 512 GPUs 13.5 210TB geospatial visual analytics
Gordon San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) 341 16,384@compute; 768@I/O 64 300TB flash (SSD); 4PB disk Compute nodes for data intensive analyses; I/O nodes for hosting data analysis services and analytical workflows
Trestles SDSC 100 10,368 20.7 39 TB flash (SSD); 4PB disk shared Production runs; algorithm development; performance profiling
Blacklight Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center 37 4,096 2 16TB shared-memory partitions shared Shared-memory model for memory-intensive spatial analysis and modeling
Keeneland GA Tech/National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) 4,224 CPU cores; 792 GPUs 8.4 NFS; Lustre Spatial analysis and modeling based on hybrid architecture

CIGI has been awarded access to computational resources by NSF continuously since 2007. A set of high-performance and scalable spatial analysis and modeling methods and services have been developed to fully exploit these high-end computational resources.

Dr. Shaowen Wang selected as one of ten LAS Centennial Scholars

[8/20/13] CIGI Director Shaowen Wang is one of ten faculty that have been named Centennial Scholars in honor of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.

The faculty come from a wide range of academic units, and they were selected for their scholarly productivity and contributions to the educational mission of the College of LAS. Executive officers also made a point to select faculty who are at the midpoint in their careers and demonstrate exciting potential in their work.

The Centennial Scholars were nominated for the appointment, and a committee submitted recommendations to the dean of the college. Each scholar will hold his or her appointment for three years and receive $10,000 for research during each of those years.

For more information, please visit

On June 19, 2013, CIGI's Davenport Offices relocate to the Computing Applications Building

[6/19/13] Along with the Department of Geography and GIScience, CIGI's Davenport Hall offices will relocate to our new home in the Computing Applications Building on Sixth St. and Springfield Ave. During the remainder of the week, we may be unable to accept phone calls from our office phone. If you would like to get in touch with CIGI students or staff via email, please navigate to the People section of this site for individual contact information. Thank you for your patience!

Please note our new address:
269 Computing Applications Building M-C 150
605 E Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 60120


NSF Blue Waters awarded ~9.8 million computing hours to a team led by Dr. Wang to advance redistricting research

[5/17/13] 600K node hours (equivalent to approximately 9.8 million computing hours) on the NSF Blue Waters supercomputer have been awarded to a research team led by Dr. Shaowen Wang to advance redistricting optimization research at fine geospatial scales. Redistricting can be formulated as discrete optimization problems that are NP-hard, and has attracted significant research interests in political science, geography, geographic information science (GIScience), and operations research with tremendous societal impacts. The research team will exploit massive computational power provided by Blue Waters to address computational challenges in redistricting optimization. Dr. Wendy Cho (political science) and Yan Liu @ CIGI serve as Co-PIs for this award.

Farewell, Brandon, Eric, Guofeng, Julie, and Yanli - soon-to-be CIGI alumni!

[5/10/13] Many thanks for your contributions to the academic excellence of CIGI; congratulations on your graduation/achievements, and new opportunities; and all the best for your future journeys!!!

Eric Shook successfully defended his PhD thesis, congratulations Eric!

[5/8/13] CIGI student - Eric Shook - has successfully defended his PhD thesis in the Department of Geography and GIScience.

Shaowen Wang recognized for a third year as one of UIUC's Teachers Ranked As Excellent

[03/27/2013] Shaowen Wang is rated by students as one of the Teachers Ranked As Excellent for the Fall 2012 semester. The recognition is based on results obtained from the Instructor and Course Evaluation (ICES) questionnaire forms evaluated by the Center for Teaching Excellence.

CyberGIS Speaker Series March 22: "Exploratory Space-Time Data Analysis: Distributional and Computational Issues"

[3/21/2013] Dr. Sergio Rey from Arizona State University will give a presentation during the GGIS Colloquium series at 3:00PM in Davenport Hall 219. Abstract and more information can be found here.

February 22 CyberGIS Speaker Series - Cancelled

[2/22/2013] Due to inclement weather, today's Speaker Series event has been cancelled. CIGI hopes to welcome Dr. Shaw back to the UIUC campus in the future.

CyberGIS Gateway Tutorial Videos Now Available

[1/11/13] As a component to the research documentation process, the CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory has recently created short tutorial videos to demonstrate functionalities in the CyberGIS Gateway viewshed app and visualization tool. Videos are available on CIGI's YouTube Channel.

Julie Carlson - CIGI Student of the Year (2012)

The CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory has recognized Julie Carlson as the 2012 Student of the Year for her outstanding performance in office and development work. Julie joined CIGI as an undergraduate assistant. Her dedication, passion, and nice communication skills allowed her to excel in lab administrative tasks, development projects, and education and outreach activities in CIGI. The work she delivered often exceeded expectations. She received unanimous vote for the award from CIGI staff in the performance review meeting. She was recognized and received a certificate of honor in the group meeting on December 21, 2012. She will also receive a $300 student travel award. Congratulations, Julie!