The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Awards Program identifies and honors members of the geospatial community who have extraordinary records of accomplishments, including service to the mission of UCGIS. This year, the top honor for education goes to Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council member Dr. Shashi Shekhar of the University of Minnesota, for his expansion and strengthening of Geographic Information Science education.
From the UCGIS announcement:
Shashi Shekhar, the McKnight Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, was singled out for our Education Award. Dr. Shekhar has left a mark at every level of GIScience education. In 2003, Dr. Shekhar co-authored a textbook on spatial databases (Prentice Hall, 2003), which has become a GIScience classic. It transformed our view of a GIS from a static map to a spatial database, which can yield many maps customized to individual users. The highly regarded book is used to teach spatial database topics around the world. To reach GIScience students beyond the Minnesota campus, Shashi recently co-developed and co-taught a massive open online course (MOOC), titled “From GPS and Google Maps to Spatial Computing” on Coursera. It attracted over 21,800 students from 182 countries. He’s leveraged numerous service assignments and hundreds of speaking engagements to spread the word about GIScience. In his own classroom, he is an innovative teacher who engages his students with active-learning methods and original effective course design. He has mentored 75 graduate advisees, many of whom have risen to leadership roles in academia, industry, and government.
Dr. Shekhar will receive his award during the upcoming UCGIS Symposium in Alexandria, Virginia, May 28 – 30.