Somayeh Dodge

I am Somayeh Dodge. I serve as an Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and run the MOVE Research Lab at the Department of Geography at the UC Santa Barbara. I received my Ph.D. in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich in November 2011. I hold an MS in GIS Engineering and a BS in Geomatics Engineering from the KNT University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. Before joining the UC Santa Barbara faculty in July 2019, I worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2016-2019) and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (2013-2016). Prior to that, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University (2012-2013) and at the University of Zurich (2011-2012) on Computational Movement Analytics. My research focuses on understanding and modeling of movement in human and ecological systems. I develop computational data analysis, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study how movement patterns are formed in dynamic systems across spatial and temporal scales. For more information about my research and teaching please see

Current Postdoctoral Researchers

Crystal Bae

My name is Crystal Bae, and I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the MOVE Lab, working at the intersection of geographic movement visualization and spatial cognition. I hold a Ph.D. in Geography with an emphasis in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. My dissertation work focused on how dyads (pairs) and individuals carried out wayfinding plans during situated navigation. My previous work includes the assessment of residents’ cognitive boundaries of Koreatown, Los Angeles with relation to home locations, socio-demographics, and travel behavior. More information is available on my personal website.

Current Graduate Students

Seonga Cho

My name is Seonga Cho. I am a graduate student with a focus on Geographic Information Science at the Geography Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. I received my MA and BA degree from the Department of Geography, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. My research focus is on urban spatiotemporal movement data and accessibility analysis. Also, I am interested in spatial optimization and housing problem in urban areas.


Evgeny Noi

My name is Evgeny Noi. I am a quantitative geographer doing research on locational theory pertaining to urban environment. My current focus is on geoAI and smart city policies. Previously, I worked in consulting capacities at the United Nations, Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU) and the city of Moscow. Prior to joining the lab, I was merging big spatial data and machine learning analysis in prototyping smart city solutions for Moscow IT Department. I hold a BA in Political Science from Irkutsk State University, Russia and an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, USA.

MertTokaMert Toka

I am Mert, a media engineer and computer scientist who researches computational creativity through programming, systems design, data analysis, and visualization. I use custom tool-making, immersive media, and emerging technologies to create audiovisual systems as my media arts practice. As a Ph.D. student at UCSB Media Arts and Technology program, I am currently researching generative art systems from the lens of information aesthetics. I hold an M.S. in Media Arts and Technology from UCSB and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. More information is available on my website.

Rongxiang Su photoRongxiang Su

I am Rongxiang Su, a Ph.D student at the Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara. I obtained my M.S. degree in GIS from Wuhan University, China and my B.S. degree in GIS from Hefei University of Technology, China. My research is focused on understanding human mobility patterns, travel behavior and urban dynamics using spatiotemporal analytics, discrete choice modeling, and machine learning techniques. More information can be found on my personal website.

Zijian Wan

My name is Zijian Wan. I am a graduate student with a focus on movement modeling and analysis, often in a big geospatial data context and using approaches in spatiotemporal data mining. My research interests lie at the intersection of GIScience, spatial data science and machine learning. I received my BS in Geographic Information Science from Wuhan University, China, in 2020. With the increasing availability of a massive amount of movement data and the advancement of data analytics to explore the full potential of spatiotemporal data, we can investigate movement for a variety of application domains, such as transportation and wildlife migration study in which behaviors and movement patterns are key topics. Please find more information about me on my personal website.

Vania Wang

My name is Vania, and I’m interested in using spatial and computational tools to understand human movement and health. Prior to joining the MOVE team, I was conducting my dissertation fieldwork in southeast Africa, studying daily movement as it pertains to HIV treatment and prevention. I received my BS in microbiology from the University of Washington, Seattle; and a master of public health from the University of California, Berkeley in infectious diseases and vaccinology.

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Jovany Cota photoJovany Cota

My name is Jovany Cota and I am a third year student at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Geography (GIS emphasis) and a minor in Architecture & Urban history. My academic interests include: GIS, data visualization, income inequality & mobility. I am currently working with MOVE on COVID-19 transmission and mobility in wildfire impacted areas. My research is supported by CAMP – California Alliance for Minority Participation.

RA TeresaTeresa Gonzalez

My name is Teresa Gonzalez and I am a third year Environmental Studies and Physical Geography B.S. major. My academic interests include hydrology, data analysis, and oceanography. I am currently working as Crystal Bae’s research assistant studying how humans perceive movement patterns using information from surveys and data analysis through R.

Amanda Ho

My name is Amanda and I am a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After transferring with an A.A. in Mathematics from West Valley Community College, I am now finishing a B.S. in Statistics with a concentration on Applied Statistics, and a B.A. in Philosophy: Ethics and Public Policy. Some of my academic interests are environmental conservation, social epistemology, and applications of data science to address social inequality. I am currently aiding research for the MOVE Lab’s analysis and modeling of tiger movement in Thailand.

Kyle Johnson

My name is Kyle Johnson, I am a senior at University of California Santa Barbara and I am pursuing a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Geography with an emphasis in GIS. My academic interests include data visualization, spatial analysis, and economic growth. I have a passion for learning about the relationship between the natural environment and society. I am currently working with the MOVE team on developing data visualization software.

Alex Rudolph photo

Alex Rudolph

My name is Alex Rudolph and I am a second year at the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a B.S. in Statistics and Data Science, and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. My academic interests include data science and data visualization especially for the web. I am currently helping the MOVE lab to analyze different metrics of mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Students

Jack Holbrook photoJack Holbrook

My name is Jack Holbrook and my pronouns are He/him/his. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara in December 2020. I am currently a certificate student studying computer science at Seattle University. I assist the MOVE Lab’s analysis of tiger movement through running the Object-oRiented Time-Geographic Analytical Approach (ORTEGA) model. My academic interests include statistics, software development, and geometry.

Karen Gao

Karen Gao

My name is Karen Gao and I am a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am finishing my B.A. in Geography with emphasis in Geographic Information Science. My academic interests include GIS, remote sensing and utilizing programming for geospatial applications. I am currently aiding Dr. Dodge with research in implementing visualization techniques for mapping movement data using programming and web development.

Thomas Rayner

My name is Tom, and I am a fourth year student at UCSB pursuing a degree in Statistics and Data Science as well as a certificate in the Technology Management Program. My interests include machine learning, data science, software development, business analytics, and finance. I am currently helping the MOVE lab to analyse movement trends of different population segments throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kate Carlson

Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota Honors Program. She received her B.S. in Geography in 2019. Her interests include Geographic Information Science, geovisualization, and cartography. Kate worked on DYNAMOvis project between 2018-2019 as her senior thesis project. After her work on DYNAMOvis, Kate started a MS in Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Wing Yi (Pinki) Wong

Pinki graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Computer Science in Fall 2018. Her research interests are software engineering, GIS, and Visualization. Pinki worked on DYNAMOvis project from Summer 2017 to Spring 2019 . Her work was supported by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). After graduation, Pinki took a job as a Software Engineer at Be The Match.

Kin (Nathan) Chan

Nathan was born and raised in Hong Kong. He graduated from Shoreline Community College and transferred to the University of Minnesota in 2016. He was a senior in the Computer Science Department at the University of Minnesota, when he started working on DYNAMOvis project. Nathan’s interests are operating systems, artificial intelligence, and GIS. He worked on DYNAMOvis from Summer 2018 to Spring 2018 as an independent research study.

Kerri Newcomer

Kerri was a student in the University of Minnesota’s honors program majoring in Plant and Microbial Biology with a minor in Computer Science, when she worked on DYNAMOvis in the Spring of 2018 as a part of the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

Glenn Xavier

Glenn began developing the pilot visualization tool that would become DYNAMOvis in Spring 2014. His later work was supported by several research awards and grants from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). Glenn graduated from UCCS in Fall 2015 with a BA in both Geography and Anthropology and is currently pursuing a Master of GIS from Penn State University. He later started a job with the Center of Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University as the Environmental GIS Analyst for Scott, McConnell, and Whiteman AFB.