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ASU faculty member elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 19, 2011

Luc Anselin, the Walter Isard chair and founding director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Anselin is among the 212 new members joining one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center of independent policy research.

Academy members contribute to studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and education. The new members will be inducted during a formal ceremony Oct. 1, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Among the 2011 class are astronomer Paul Butler, who has discovered more than 330 planets; cancer researcher Clara Bloomfield, who proved that adult acute leukemia can be cured; and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

ASU’s Anselin is an expert in the analysis of spatial data (i.e., data containing a specific location) ranging from exploration to visualization and modeling. Two current projects show the varied applications of this field.

In one, Anselin is developing new software tools to visualize crime hot spots and determine how the locations of hot spots change over time. Working in collaboration with the Mesa and Tempe police departments, the goal of the project is to develop a spatial decision support system that can be integrated into police practice.

The second project is a collaboration with NCSA at the University of Illinois, the University of California-San Diego Supercomputing Center, University of Washington and Oak Ridge National Labs. ASU is using its GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation (Anselin is director of the GeoDa Center) in this project to port advanced spatial analytical methods and its associated software to a cyber-infrastructure (computing on the web) system that will allow the analysis of massive data sets in real time. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Anselin also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2008).