Krzysztof Janowicz Wins the Harold J. Plous Memorial Award

The Harold J. Plous Memorial Award is given annually to a faculty member of the rank of Assistant Professor from the fields of the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences who has demonstrated outstanding performance as measured by creative action or contribution to the intellectual life of the college community. Established in 1957 to honor Harold J. Plous, an Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara from 1950 until his death in 1957, it is the highest honor the College of Letters and Science can bestow upon a junior faculty member.

The 2014-15 Plous Award recipient is Krzysztof Janowicz, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography. Jano is the first member of the UCSB Department of Geography to win this award in its 57 year-long history. Professor Janowicz will deliver the annual Harold J. Plous Lecture in winter or spring quarter, 2015. Professor Janowicz works on computational methods to improve the publishing, retrieval, reuse, and integration of data without the need to restrict the semantic heterogeneity of these data which results from different cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, granularities, and so forth. His STKO lab investigates the role of Space and Time for Knowledge Organization. Within the realm of the Semantic Web, Linked Data, Web Science, and ontology research, Jano is especially interested in studying what human behavior reveals about place categories and how to leverage similarity and analogy reasoning models from cognitive science to improve geographic information retrieval. Methodologically, his niche is the combination of theory-driven (e.g., semantics) and data-driven (e.g., data mining) techniques.

Jano feels very honored and would like to thank the Geography Department, his colleagues, and his students for their support and the research collaborations that made this award possible. They, in turn, consider it an honor and a privilege to have Jano as part of the Geography team.

Editor’s note: Also see the article in the UCSB Current here.

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Dr. Krzysztof Janowicz joined the UCSB Geography Department as an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science in 2011. Before that, Krzysztof was an Assistant Professor at the GeoVISTA Center of the Department of Geography at Pennsylvania State University, and before moving to the U.S., he was working as postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster in Germany for the international research training group on Semantic Integration of Geospatial Information. Krzysztof did his PhD on similarity-based information retrieval for the Geospatial Semantic Web at the Münster Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL). Before starting his academic career, Krzysztof was working as a software developer and Internet security consultant and was also running his own Information Technology company. To ensure that he did not have to spend his entire life in front of a computer (as he put it), Krzysztof also studied Ecology at the University of Münster, Germany.