Caglar Koylu, PhD



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My name is pronounced as Cha-lar Koy-lu, and I am an assistant professor of Geographic Information Science (GIScience) in Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa. I am also a cluster faculty at Iowa Informatics Initiative (UI3)  and faculty member of two interdisciplinary graduate programs: (1) Informatics (also a coordinating committee member for the Geoinformatics program) and (2) Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences

My research focuses on developing new theories, methodologies and applications to help extract and understand complex patterns from large geo-social networks, i.e., networks embedded in geographic space and time such as migration, human mobility, commodity flows and information flows. Geo-social networks are formed by flows of physical entities (e.g., movements of humans, vehicles, sensors, animals), and communication (e.g., information, ideas, innovation, personal communication) that connect places to places and individuals to individuals. Given the complexity introduced by highly interacting systems of geo-social networks, solving a real-world problem often need to simultaneously consider the geographic, temporal and network components that form the system and relationships among them. For example, disease spread is influenced by many factors such as human mobility, social ties, population dynamics, transportation infrastructure and seasonal changes in weather, and the relationships among these factors. Human migration is driven by not only the availability of jobs or average temperature at a destination place but also the availability of family and friendship ties. During an emergency, knowing how information diffuses among geographic locations and through a network of social actors is crucial for managing situational awareness and assisting emergency management. 

My research falls into three major areas:

  1. Space-time analysis and visualization of big mobility and geo-social networks as well as other geospatial data sets
  2. Geovisual analytics and human-computer interaction
  3. Big data analytics for social media and networking applications

 Check out the word cloud below to see my research focus created by common words in my articles.

Research Focus
Besides teaching and research experiences, I worked more than three years as a database specialist at Inta SpaceTurk in Ankara, Turkey between 2005 and 2008. I led the development of a 3D visual database for a helicopter simulation project. My job was to develop, integrate and test the simulation database; train and manage the team members for developing the various components of the database. The majority of the development tasks included 3D model development and integration with the database and the simulator's image generators, spatial anaylsis, and many aspects of digital image processing (e.g., visual image enhancements, synthetic image production such as infrared and seasonal images, and image segmentation to detect surface materials). Click on the link to have more information:

3D Visual Databases for Simulation and Training