Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia
Degrees: MS - GIS and Geomatics Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Current Academic Pursuit: PhD - Geospatial Information Sciences
Expected Graduation Date: December 2014
UT Dallas Achievements & Activities
- GIS Student Organization
- First Place Winner, Poster Competition, GIS Day, November 2012
Deciding on GIS
I took a GIS class when I studied Urban and Regional Planning at Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia. That was the first time I was introduced to GIS, and I have been interested ever since. My interest in GIS grew stronger as I worked as an urban planner and implemented GIS for urban planning applications. In 2007, I enrolled in a Master's degree in GIS and Geomatics Engineering at Universiti Putra Malaysia. There are lots of things about GIS that I wanted to explore, yet not all of them could be covered just within two years of my master's program. Therefore, I was hunting for a scholarship to continue my studies to the PhD level. Thankfully, in 2011, I received a Fulbright grant to pursue a PhD degree in the U.S. I chose UT Dallas because the GIS program is housed in its own department, something rarely found in other universities in the U.S.
My EPPS Success
I came all the way from Indonesia to the U.S. because I want to learn more about GIS. Hence, I try to gain as much knowledge as possible in every class I take. Sometimes I do more work than the course requires so that I can explore beyond what is covered in the class. As I take my studies very seriously, I am in a good shape to be successful. Surely, my professors and fellow PhD students also play an important role in my success. Professors in the GIS department are very kind, smart, and helpful. My fellow PhD students are good partners to share ideas and inspirations for my research. I really enjoy being a GIS student in this school.
Plans for the Future
Currently, I am a lecturer at Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jakarta, Indonesia. I used to teach GIS-related courses for undergraduate students in Faculty of Computer Science. Upon completing my studies, I plan to return to my country and develop GIS program and GIS activities in my institution. In the long run, I plan to make a contribution to my country by applying GIS for natural resource management. Indonesia is actually rich in natural resources, yet these resources are not fully explored. Thus, I plan to apply GIS to better manage natural resources so that they can give more benefits to Indonesian people.
Advice to Prospective EPPS Students
As a GIS student, I can say that GIS is a really interesting, challenging, and promising field of study. All fields of work involving spatial information will need GIS, like transportation, forestry, urban planning, agriculture, geology, or even business and economics. Hence, GIS will fit for people from various backgrounds. If you are a GIS developer, your challenges are to design better techniques, models, or algorithms to solve spatial problems. If you are a GIS user, your challenges are to apply GIS to minimize cost and maximize benefits of your projects. Either way, learning GIS is a fun thing to do.
I am interested with web development. Once during my college days, I took an informal course on web programming and web design. When I graduated from college, I created a website for my college class to replace a conventional paper yearbook. This website lasted for several years and updated from time to time to keep in track of our class members. Now that I have learned internet mapping at UT Dallas, I plan to create a web-based GIS application that provides mapping services covering the region of Indonesia.