Shaowen Wang


  • PhD, University of Iowa
  • MCS, Computer Science, University of Iowa
  • MS, Geography, Peking University
  • BS, Computer Engineering, Tianjin University, China

Shaowen Wang is a Professor and Head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, and affiliated faculty of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He serves as Associate Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) for CyberGIS and Lead of NCSA’s Earth and Environment Theme, and Founding Director of UIUC’s CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies. He received a BS in computer engineering from Tianjin University, an MS in geography from Peking University, and an MS of computer science and a PhD in geography from the University of Iowa. He was a visiting scholar at Lund University sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2006, and NCSA Fellow in 2007. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2009. He was named a Helen Corley Petit Scholar for 2011-12, and Centennial Scholar for 2013-16 by UIUC’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

His research interests include geographic information science and systems (GIS), advanced cyberinfrastructure and cyberGIS, complex environmental and geospatial problems, computational and data sciences, high-performance and distributed computing, and spatial analysis and modeling. He has received research funding from a number of U.S. federal agencies (e.g., CDC, DOE, EPA, NASA, NSF, USDA, and USGS) and industry; and served as Principal Investigator (PI) for more than $15 million competitive research grants, and co-PI and investigator for contributing to sponsored research supported with tens of millions of U.S. dollars. He pioneered cyberGIS and has led several multi-institution interdisciplinary projects to advance cyberGIS and related scientific problem solving in agriculture, bioenergy, emergency management, geography and spatial sciences, geosciences, and public health. He has published numerous peer-reviewed papers including articles in more than 20 journals.

He has served as an Action Editor of GeoInformatica, Associate Editor of SoftwareX, and guest editor or editorial board member for multiple other journals, book series and proceedings. He served on the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012, and President of UCGIS from 2016 to 2017. He is serving on the advisory board of the NSF Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program. He is a current member of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 480 - Principles of GIS
  • GEOG 595 - Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies
  • GEOG 479 - Advanced GIS
  • GEOG 379 - Introduction to GIS