Hanan Samet

Hanan Samet

Hanan Samet is a computer scientist who has specialized in computerized geographic information storage procedures. He is the world's foremost expert on a structure known as the quadtree, a method of organizing spatial information that is economical and yet facilitates analysis. This work has profoundly affected Geographic Information Science through his published books and many lectures.

Professor Samet received his education in engineering and computer science in California at UCLA and Stanford University. After graduating in 1975 with a PhD degree he joined the computer science department at the University of Maryland and has remained there since, rising to professor in 1986. He has supervised of over two dozen PhD students, and served on many more PhD and Masters committees. He has been invited to lecture, and serve as external examiner, in many countries in Europe and several in the Far East. It is through these contacts that his uniquely deep knowledge of Geographic Information Science has been spread worldwide.

Dr. Samet is not only a speaker on GIS topics and a prolific writer on the same subject (his six books don't show up until page 39 of his vita), but of particular note also an organizer and catalyst within the engineering/computer science community with respect to geographic and spatial information research. This includes founding of the special interest group ACM SIGSPATIAL in the Association of Computing Machinery, and participation in related groups of the IEEE computer society. His interests go beyond the quadtree into pattern recognition, image analysis, and related studies. He is frequently an invited consultant to industry and governmental agencies. His funded studies display a versatility of topics related to Geographic Information.

Amongst all of these achievements, or because of them, in the year 2009 Hanan Samet received the UCGIS Research Award.  For his dedication to the objectives of Geographic Information Science throughout his career, this consortium honors Hanan Samet by adding him to its roster of UCGIS Fellows.

Awarded Year: