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High-Performance Computing and GIS (HPCGIS) Laboratory

The High-Performance Computing and GIS (HPCGIS) Laboratory integrates high-performance computing and geographic information systems to advance geographic information science. Specific research areas include cyberGIS, data-intensive space-time analytics and modeling, big spatial data, parallel and high-performance computing, and geo-enabled social media.

Learn about our projects



LiDAR map of Kent, OH made using PCML

The Parallel Cartographic Modeling Language is a multi-institutional collaborative project aiming to create a novel programming language for cyberGIScientists that is designed for (1) usability, (2) programmability, and (3) scalability. The language is freely available on Github: https://github.com/HPCGISLab/pcml.

Agent-based Models

Map of infection spread across most of US

Agent-based models simulate individuals within artificial societies to understand coupled natural and human systems such as how disease spreads throughout populations of tens of millions of individuals. This research area examines the fundamental challenges posed by large and complex spatially-explicit agent-based simulations executed on high-performance computers. The Parallel Agent-based Modeling software component was released as an open-source CyberGIS software component to provide an illustrative application demonstrating the use of parallel and high-performance computing for agent-based modeling.

More Projects Coming Soon

The HPCGIS Lab has several collaborative projects underway that will be shared shortly.


HPCGIS Lab members

Founding Director

Graduate Students

  • Jayakrishnan Ajayakumar (Geography - PhD)
  • Gordon Cromley (Geography - PhD)
  • Haley Wachholz (Geography - Masters)

Past Students

  • Zhengliang (Ryan) Feng (Computer Science - Undergraduate)
  • Suman Jindam (Computer and Information Science - Masters)
  • Gowtham Kukkadapu (Computer Science - Masters)
  • Sandeep Vutla (Computer and Information Science - Masters)
  • Barton Yadlowski (Applied Mathematics - Undergraduate)


The High-Performance Computing and GIS (HPCGIS) Laboratory is located in McGilvrey Hall at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. It is a state-of-the-art facility that is equipped with cutting-edge technologies.

HPCGIS Lab Facilities and Equipment

  • 65″ 3D LED TV
  • 50 terabyte (50,000 gigabyte) storage system for storing big spatial data (Department-wide system for collaborative data sharing)
  • Multiple virtual machines to support code development and small-scale testing
  • Multiple multi-core desktop machines

Kent State University, College of Arts and Sciences Cluster

The College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University is equipped with a state-of-the-art cluster consisting of 386 computing cores, almost 1.5 terabytes of memory, and more than 30 terabytes of total disk space. It is divided into two sections to adapt to various research needs: one section is a traditional high-performance computing cluster and the other section can be used as a cluster of virtual machines. Each node consists of 16 cores (2.60 Ghz E5-2670 Xeon Processors) and 64 GB of main memory and several nodes also have NVIDIA Tesla M2090 Graphic Processing Units (GPUs).

  • 368 Intel Xeon processor cores (2.60 GHz)
  • 1472 GB Total Memory
  • 32 TB Total Disk Space
  • 4 NVIDIA Tesla M2090 GPUs


The HPCGIS lab is always looking for motivated students and new collaborators.

The High-Performance Computing and GIS Laboratory, directed by Dr. Eric Shook, is looking for highly motivated students that are interested in the areas of cyberGIS, large-scale space-time analytics and modeling, big spatial data, or applying high-performance computing to geospatial problems. Prospective graduate, undergraduate, or high school students interested in high-performance computing and geographic information systems (GIS) should contact Eric Shook (eshook@kent.edu) to chat. Additional information about our department including how to apply to our graduate program is available at the following webpage: http://www.kent.edu/CAS/Geography/futurestudents.

The HPCGIS lab is interested in building multi-disciplinary collaborations to answer novel research questions by leveraging cutting-edge high-performance computing, cyberGIS, and data-intensive analytics or modeling approaches. If you are interested in collaborating with the HPCGIS lab please contact Eric Shook (eshook@kent.edu).

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