Meet new faculty member Qunying Huang


by Mary Ellen Gabriel, Letters & Science News

Qunying Huang studies spatial high-performance cloud computing — sometimes referred to as “cyber GIS.” This mash-up of mapping and technology aids scientists in new discoveries, invites public access to, and advances public knowledge of, geodynamics, plays a role in emergency response planning, and much, much more.

The assistant professor of geography received her Ph.D. in geography from George Mason University, and says she is excited for everything at UW-Madison — even the cold winters.

We asked Huang to share a little about her research and her (cheerful) outlook.

Q: Tell us about your work and research interests.
A: My research primarily focuses on geo-computing, optimization, geospatial environmental modeling, and model interoperability within the general area of Geographic Information Science (GIScience). I develop large-scale distributed computing algorithms and apply different computing models (such as cloud and GPU computing) to address contemporary challenges in GIScience.

Q: What did you know about Madison before coming here?
A: Farmer’s market, ginseng, and I need a coat.

Q: What are you most excited for this year?
A: Everything — people, opportunities, challenges, beautiful summers, and even cold winters. I am happy to meet and talk with anyone at UW-Madison, but I’m especially interested in working with researchers from environmental and computer sciences.

Q: What courses are you teaching?
A: I am teaching an undergraduate course that provides an overview of GIScience, surveying various tools and technologies for exploring our digital globe. I want my students to have fun in this course! I am also teaching a graduate-level course on Web-Based Spatial Database Development & Programming.

Q: What can students expect from you in the classroom?
A: I will focus on preparing class materials according to students’ interests and making each lecture engaging. I want to be a passionate, knowledgeable and fun instructor in the classroom, and a trusted mentor after class.

Q: How do you unwind?
A: Music, movies, books, hiking, travel.

Q: What’s your favorite part of campus?
A: So far, it is Memorial Union terrace where people can hang out with friends while enjoying the view of Lake Mendota. I am excited to explore more places.

Q: What is the best thing you have done so far this year?
A: Participate in the annual Geography Department fall picnic. Take a look.

Author: Geography Staff

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