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Congratulations to Professor Ming-Hsiang Tsou for receiving the "Excellence in Education Award"!

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou received the "Excellence in Education Award" from the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) for his commitment in supporting K-12 education. He was presented with the award at the 2016 CalGIS Conference held in Anaheim on May 11th, 2016.

Congratulations to Professor Brian Spitzberg for receiving the 2016 Inaugural Biennial Best JLSP Reviewer Award, Journal of Language and Social Psychology!

Congratulations to Professor Ming-Hsiang Tsou for receiving the 2016 Excellence in Education Award, California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) for his great contribution in the K-12 GIS education!

2016 SPRING HDMA Lightning Talk Series

Please join us at the 2016 AAG annual meeting in San Francisco to learn more about the research with Social Media and Big Data!

Performance and Results for 2015 Big Data Hackthon for San Diego

(To view pdf files you may need to download Adobe Reader.)

2015 Big Data Hackathon for San Diego

Date: Oct. 3- 4, 2015 (First Round) / Oct. 10, 2015 (Second Round)

Location: Peterson Gym (Rm 153), San Diego State University Campus

Contact: Professor Amy Schmitz Weiss (

Congratulations to Professor Brian Spitzberg for receiving the 2015 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Interpersonal Communication Division!

2015 SPRING HDMA Colloquium

“HDMA GeoViewer” for Nepal Earthquake Disaster Response and Assistance

Please Participate on our organized paper sessions at the 2015 AAG annual meeting in Chicago (4/22 and 4/23, 2015).

iDash Webinar:Tracking Disease Outbreaks and Health Disparities using Big Data, Social Media, Social Network Analysis, and GIS

Big Data Science at SDSU

The SDSU Big Data Science Program Initiative Steering Committee is hosting a Lightning Talks and Forums event as part of a Big Data Science Initiative at SDSU.

We will be bringing together SDSU big data colleagues from multiple disciplines, in particular, the four Areas of Excellence:

  • Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age
  • Climate and Sustainability Studies
  • Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Viral Information Institute

Date (Lightning talks and forum): Saturday, March 7, 2015

Time: 11:00AM – 1:30PM

Location: Templo Room, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, SDSU

2014 FALL HDMA Lightning Talk Series

Dr. John Elder (Board Director) received multiple grants recently.

Dr. John Elder (Board Director) received multiple grants recently, including “Control of Latino Childhood Asthma in Primary Care” (PCORI), Principal Investigator, $4,000,000, 2014-2018, and NIAID P01, “Quantifying Heterogeneities in Dengue Virus Transmission Dynamics”, $7,319,879; (T. Scott Principal Investigator Project 1) (John Elder Principal Investigator Project 2); Co-Principal Investigator Program Project.

September 2, 2014: Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (Director) received the NSF-IBSS Award.

September 2, 2014: Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (Director) received the NSF-IBSS (Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research) Award. The project entitled: "IBSS: Spatiotemporal Modeling of Human Dynamics Across Social Media and Social Networks."( This is a four-year award (2014-2018) for $999,887. One key contribution of this project is to build a prototype for the San Diego Office of Emergency Services (OES) social media outreach platform, which may be applicable for other U.S. cities in the future. The design of the prototype is to facilitate rapid dissemination of official alerts and warnings notifications from OES during disaster events via multiple social media channels to targeted population (typically in certain area). The platform can identify and recruit top 1000 social media volunteers based on their social network influence factors and help government agencies communicate more effectively to the public and be better prepared for both natural disasters and human-made crises.

New Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA)

On May 07, 2014, the Academic Deans Council at San Diego State University approved the proposal of the new Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA). The Human Dynamics center has become an official academic unit at the College of Arts and Letter, SDSU.

An Area of Research Excellence

In 2013, one of the major initiatives in the San Diego State University's strategic plan is to support areas of excellence, largely through cluster faculty hires. With 28 full proposals submitted from different departments and colleges, only four proposals were funded by the University. Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) is one of the four selected proposal. This new HDMA research cluster will focus on the research opportunities that spring from the convergence of new developments in spatial science, mobile technology, big data, and social behavior research. There is the growing recognition of the importance of spatial and temporal dynamic relationships in explaining processes relevant to human behaviors, public health, and social activities, which has become known as the "spatial turn." A maturing of mobile technology and smart phone devices enables social scientists to collect data on human activities and behavior digitally and to transform their research from qualitative analysis to computational modeling, simulation, and predictions with the focus on dynamic spatial and temporal relationships. Four new faculty lines (in Public Health, Geography, Sociology, and Communication) will be created in 2014 and 2015 to enable synergetic research collaboration among different colleges and departments.


Human Dynamics is a transdisciplinary research field focusing on the understanding of dynamic patterns, relationships, narratives, changes, and transitions of human activities, behaviors, and communications. Our vision for developing HDMA area of excellence, across the Colleges of Arts and Letters, PSFA, and CHHS, is to generate new multiple large-size, collaborative human dynamics research projects (from NSF, NIH, DoD, NICHD, National Institute of Justice, and private sectors) involving the new hires, the core faculty members, and other faculty members participating in the HDMA cluster. San Diego State University will become the national leading research institute in the area of human dynamics, public behavior health, spatial science, big data, and social behavior science.

Five Core Faculty

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (Director)

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou(Director of HDMA Center, Professor of Geography) 2012 SDSU President's Leadership Fund (PLF) Awards for Excellence, expert in Web GIS, Mobile GIS, Cartography, Social Media, and Big Data.

Dr. Sheldon Zhang (Board member)

Dr. Sheldon Zhang( Past Chair of Sociology, Professor ), expert in Human Trafficking, Transnational Organized Crime, Juvenile Delinquency, Probation and Parole, etc.

Dr. John Elder (Board member)

Dr. John Elder(Distinguished Professor of Public Health; former director and Senior Core Investigator, Institute for Behavioral and Community Health [IBACH]) 2012 SDSU President's Leadership Fund (PLF) Awards for Excellence, expert in randomized trials for chronic disease prevention in Latino communities.

Dr. Piotr Jankowski (Board member)

Dr. Piotr Jankowski(Chair of Geography), expert in Spatial Decision Support Systems. Public Participation GIS, Visual Analytics, Geocomputation Methods, Volunteered Geographic Information, and Water Resource Modeling and Management.

Dr. Brian Spitzberg (Board member)

Dr. Brian Spitzberg(Senate Distinguished Professor, School of Communication), expert in communication theories, communicative (in)competence, obsessive relational intrusion.

Along with other 33 founding HDMA faculty members from 14 different departments in 5 colleges.