Sustainable Planet Data Analysis at the UMD Data Challenge

The annual UMD Data Challenge this year boasted a huge success with 146 participants and some of the most advanced analysis and visualization the challenge has seen to date. 

The challenge is a week-long data exploration event at the University of Maryland hosted by The College of Information Studies, The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and The Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

There are different levels of datasets available so that even those with little to no knowledge in data science can participate. With five levels total, the highest level involves advanced data analysis knowledge and skills. The problem statement includes requirements of modeling, and the dataset has a complex structure, numerous variables of interest, and spatial-temporal dimensions.

National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) PhD Assistant, Frank Zou, plays a central role in organizing the UMD Data Challenge. Zou says that participants, mentors, judges, and dataset providers all had favorable responses about the outcome of this year’s event. Zou looks forward to a Data Challenge that is the largest yet in 2021. 

NCSG is a sponsor of the UMD Data Challenge and had numerous faculty involved in the event as mentors and judges. 

View the 2020 UMD Data Challenge Winners here.

Read More

Lung-Amam Honored at Maryland Research Excellence Celebration

University of Maryland researchers and scholars were honored at the inaugural Maryland Research Excellence Celebration on February 26, 2020. 

Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth and Research Education, Willow Lung-Amam, was recognized for her distinct, high-impact accomplishments of the campus’ scholarship and research community.

To select the 2020 Exemplary Researchers, the deans of each college and school selected one faculty member who best exemplifies research excellence, relative to the honoree criteria. 

Dr. Lung-Amam is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Her work has included serving as a steering committee member of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition, and with the NSF Smart Cities project on West Baltimore. 

Her research appears in various journals, such as the Journal on Urban Affairs, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and many popular media outlets. She is a current fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 

Find recent published works here

Read More

Research Assistant Positions at Univ. of Maryland on Transportation Planning, Modeling and Policy Analysis

The University of Maryland, College Park, Urban and Regional Planning and Design Ph.D. program has graduate research assistant positions available with a focus on transportation planning, modeling and policy analysis. The position is offered through the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education (NCSG), a multidisciplinary research institution affiliated with four academic schools (Engineering, Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Public Policy).
The research assistant will join the transportation focus group at the NCSG.
Please click the following link to access full description and application instructions .
Please feel free to circulate within your network, and to contact Sevgi Erdogan at for questions or further information.

Read More