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Professor Receives Research Award
updated: May 05, 2014, 2:01 PM
UC Santa Barbara geography professor Richard Church has been selected for the
2014 University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Research
Award for his highly cited "Maximal Covering Location Problem" paper and
relevant fundamental contributions to geographic information science (GIS).
Church will receive the award May 21 at the UCGIS summer symposium in Pasadena,
California, where he will address the audience.
"I am truly honored by being selected for this award and the recognition it
brings to the field of location science," Church said.
Also UCSB's associate dean of mathematical, life and physical sciences, Church
is a leading figure in scientific efforts to use and combine spatial analysis
methods with GIS. He has made sustained academic contributions to GIS, location
analysis and modeling, natural resource management and transportation. His
findings have impacted a range of disciplines and enhanced planning and
decision-making for urban, regional and environmental management.
One of Church's seminal contributions to location analysis was introduced in the
"Maximal Covering Location Problem," a 1974 article in the "Papers in Regional
Science." This work, upon which he has expanded over the ensuing years,
constitutes a major contribution to the theory and application of location
analysis. It has also made the transition to location software packages included
in commercial GIS, such as ArcGIS and TransCAD.
A second influential aspect of Church's research pertains to the integration of
GIS with location modeling. The culmination of this perspective on geographic
information science is his recent book, "Business Site Selection, Location
Analysis and GIS." In this work, he demonstrates how GIS and location modeling
are intimately linked in a number of ways - abstraction, data quality, model
specification, computational requirement and geo-visualization.
Church has also made significant contributions to natural resource management,
transportation and system vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. He has
authored more than 230 publications during his 39-year career, with co-authors
representing a broad range of disciplines, including geography, business,
environmental science, civil and industrial engineering, operations research,
management science, mathematics and statistics. According to Google Scholar, his
work has been cited over 7,900 times. ?
Chair of UCSB's geography department from 1984 to 1988, Church has served as a
consultant to a number of companies and agencies on a wide variety of issues,
including systems for manpower deployment and systems for scheduling training
activities, which are used by the U.S. Navy, the German Air Force and the
Australian Army. He holds a U.S. patent on an optimization method that estimates
the manpower needs for emergency medical systems from computerized data systems.
Church received his Bachelor of Science degree from Lewis and Clark College and
his Ph.D. in environmental systems engineering from The Johns Hopkins
University. In 2009, he was elected Fellow of the Regional Science Association
International and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science. In 2012, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Institute
for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
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