Campus & Community

Fisher Prize in Geographical Information Science awarded

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Committee recognizes graduate and undergraduate with honors

The Committee of the Howard T. Fisher Prize in Geographical Information Science (GIS) recently announced this year’s prize recipients.

In the graduate category, Eric Beaton will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 for his entry “Network-Based Analysis of Transportation and Land Use in the Boston Region.” Beaton’s project was undertaken as an independent study in spring 2006.

According to the judges for the prize, “The submission shows effective use of innovative spatial analysis, particularly in the creation of accessibility points and polygons. It is immediately clear how the results of this project might be of practical use … the analysis method is innovative and makes a real contribution … clear and convincing graphical presentation.”

In the undergraduate category, Fran Moore ’06 will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 for her entry “A Spatial Analysis of the Causal Factors of Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency.” Moore’s entry described a project undertaken in the course Engineering Sciences 103, “Spatial Analysis of Social and Environmental Systems,” spring 2006.

About Moore’s entry, the judges commented: “Her use of geospatial tools to further her knowledge with sound data analysis of the causes of the insurgency takes her to a new level of understanding … cartographic presentation of her data is excellent … a very innovative attempt at relating socio-economic variables with a spatial pattern to a specific issue of policy relevance like violence.”

The Fisher Prize was established in 1999 by the Harvard University GIS User’s Group to promote and reward both undergraduate and graduate student work in this broad and potentially interdisciplinary area.

Howard T. Fisher, a geographer and mathematical cartographer, founded the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1965. The initial endowment for the fund was provided by a generous contribution from Jack Dangermond (M.L.A. ’69) of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Inc.