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Personal profile

Office Phone

+1(217) 244-4853

Personal profile

I am a Professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science. My research interests include environmental health, human mobility, access to healthcare, neighborhood  effects, sustainable travel and cities, and application of GIS methods in geographic research. I am interested in understanding how social differences (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, and religion) shape urban residents' everyday experiences and perceptions/use of the built environment. I have received over $24 million grants as PI or Co-PI from sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. I has served as Editor of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers for 12 years. 


  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A., Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.SoSci. Geography, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Honors & Awards

I have received many prestigious honors and awards, including the Distinguished Scholarship Honors (2011), the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography (2018), and the E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award (2016) from the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Alan Hay Award in Transport Geography (2017) from the Transport Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (U.K.), the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Research Award (2005), the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS) (2017), the Edward L. Ullman Award from the AAG Transportation Geography Specialty Group (2005), and the Melinda S. Meade Distinguished Scholarship Award (2016) from the AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group. I was recognized in 2009 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2016 I was named a Guggenheim fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

I have published 37 edited or co-edited volumes (including two encyclopedias, five books and 30 journal special issues) and over 185 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. I have delivered over 200 keynote addresses and invited lectures in 18 countries. I have served as an advisory panelist or reviewer of grant proposals for 14 U.S. National Science Foundation programs, U.S. National Institutes of Health, European Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Australian Research Council, Austrian Science Fund, Research Foundation of Flanders, Royal Geographical Society (U.K.), Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Research Output

A graph convolutional network model for evaluating potential congestion spots based on local urban built environments

Qin, K., Xu, Y., Kang, C. & Kwan, M. P., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Transactions in GIS.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Assessing personal noise exposure and its relationship with mental health in Beijing based on individuals’ space-time behavior

    Ma, J., Li, C., Kwan, M. P., Kou, L. & Chai, Y., Jun 2020, In : Environment International. 139, 105737.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Capturing what human eyes perceive: A visual hierarchy generation approach to emulating saliency-based visual attention for grid-like urban street networks

    Zhen, W., Yang, L., Kwan, M. P., Zuo, Z., Wan, B., Zhou, S., Li, S., Ye, Y., Qian, H. & Pan, X., Mar 2020, In : Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 80, 101454.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Open Access