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We are creating a COVID-19 Research Hub for San Diego Region: ming2020uctv

Professor Tsou gives a discussion on the Challenges of Social Media and Big Data by UCSD TV.


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Outbreak, AAG 2020 has shifted to an online virutal presentation.

Please join us at the 2019 AAG annual meeting in Washington D.C. to learn more about the research with Social Media and Big Data!

Join the 2019 Big Data Hackathon @SDSU on March 09 and 16 to Win BIG $ Prizes and have FUN! Register HERE

Professors Shoichiro Hara and Tasuki Sekino from Kyota University visited the HDMA Center on 10/24/2018

Professors Shoichiro Hara from the Center for Integrated Area Studies (CIAS), Kyoto University, Japan, and Professor Tasuki Sekino from International Research Center for Japanese Studies, visited SDSU campus and the HDMA Center to exchange research experiences on Web-based Big Data with Professors Tsou and Nara.

Taiwan's NCDR Researchers visited the HDMA Center and County's OES on 12/15/2017

Taiwan's National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) researchers (Dr. Chih-Hao Liu, Dr. Chy-Chang Chang, Bau Jeng-Fen, Sung-Ying Chien) visited the HDMA center and San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES) and 2-1-1 San Diego on 12/15/2017.

Professor Tien-Yin (Jimmy) Chou and faculty members visited the HDMA Center on 7/13/2017

Professor Tien-Yin (Jimmy) Chou and faculty members from the GIS Research Center, Feng Chia University, Taiwan. visited the HDMA Center on 7/13/2017

Professor Chih-Hong Sun visited the HDMA Center on 3/24/2017

Professor Chih-Hong Sun, Department of Geography, National Taiwan University visited the HDMA Center on 3/24/2017 and met with Prof. Tsou to discuss the future academic collaboration opportunities between the two institutes and research projects.

2017 SPRING HDMA Lightning Talk Series

Professor Takashi Oguchi visited the HDMA Center on 2/17/2017

Professor Takashi Oguchi, Director of the Center for Spatial Information Science (CSIS), University of Tokyo, visited the HDMA Center and met with Profs. Tsou and Nara to discuss the GIS education projects on 2/17, 2017


Professor Jianya Gong, Professor Wenxiu Gao, and Dr. Yuanzheng Shao visited the HDMA Center on 11/30/2016

Prof. Gong is the director of Wuhan University’s State Key Lab of Information Sciences in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing. Wuhan University, China. Prof. Gao is Professor at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Shenzhen University.


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. Jean Mark Gawron (Board member)

Dr. Jean Mark Gawron(Professor of Linguistics) Areas of research include Computational Linguistics (parsing and semantic interpretation, vectorbased semantics, combining semantic and social network information) and Theoretical Semantics (logic-based approaches to semantic interpretation).

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.