Dr. May Yuan

Professor of Geospatial Information Sciences

Ashbel Smith Professor

Dr. May Yuan joined UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences  in fall 2014 as a professor of geospatial information sciences (GIS).

Before her arrival at UT Dallas, Yuan was a Brandt Professor and Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and served as director of the Center for Spatial Analysis.

Yuan’s more than 75 publications span fundamental and applied GIS science by developing new data models and analysis methods to address problems, such as wildfire risk, tornado hazard, air pollution, species distribution, infectious disease, hazardous waste transport and offender monitoring. Her recent work expands to cyber GIS and spatial big data.

Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, various state government agencies and the industry.

Yuan serves as the associate editor for the International Journal of Geographic Information Science. She is also a member of the Geological Remote Sensing Group, North American Committee;  the editorial boards of Annals of American Association of Geographers and Cartography and Geographical Information Science; and the academic committee of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.

Yuan earned her bachelor’s degree in geography from National Taiwan University. She holds a master’s degree and a PhD in geography from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. May Yuan

School of Economic, Political
and Policy Sciences


The University of Texas System supports the professorship.


Yuan is interested in using GIS data to find direct social implications for policymaking and decision-making in everyday life.


“Geospatial revolution has changed the ways we think, behave and interact through location-aware devices, location-based services, Web mapping applications and crowd-sourced or volunteered geographic information. We have access to so much information about where we are, what is nearby and how to get to places. There are great opportunities for us to develop effective approaches to making sense of the data, analyzing alternative scenarios, communicating geographic dynamics and collaborating on what we can do to make the world a better place.”