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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2014-15 Harold J. Plous Award

Krzysztof Janowicz - Geography

The Harold J. Plous Memorial Award is given annually to a faculty member of the rank of Assistant Professor or Instructor from the fields of humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences who has demonstrated outstanding performance or promise of performance as measured by creative action or contribution to the intellectual life of the college community. Established in 1957 to honor Harold J. Plous, an Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara from 1950 until his death in 1957, it is the highest honor the College of Letters and Science can bestow upon a junior faculty member.

The 2014-15 Plous Award recipient is Krzysztof Janowicz, an assistant professor in the Geography Department. Professor Janowicz’s contributions to the intellectual and educational life on campus have been impressive and promise to bring lasting benefits, as have his efforts to convey the values of scientific learning and research to the broader public. Alongside this scholarly productivity is an outstanding record of teaching, mentorship, and service to the profession and the university. Professor Janowizc will give the annual Harold J. Plous Lecture in Winter or Spring quarter 2015.

Professor Janowicz’s works on the development and use of computer technologies to produce, disseminate, and translate knowledge about geography; his specializations include semantics and ontology as they relate to the ability to search the internet to retrieve, translate and name geographic phenomena based on their location. His work is also relevant to research that focuses on big data, searching for patterns in large observational or behavioral data bases. Professor Janowicz’s work is a major contribution to people and societies around the world whose engagements with smart, portable technologies, sensor networks, and cyber-infrastructures continue to grow exponentially.

Professor Janowicz has been a highly productive junior scholar. Over the last three years, he has published fifty items, including eleven refereed journal articles, twenty-four refereed proceedings, a refereed book chapter, and several editorials and reports. His scholarship appears in the top journals of his field. According to Google Scholar, his work already has been cited almost 1,400 times, which represents an increase of 500 citations in a year, an amazing accomplishment for a junior scholar. He also has had great success in receiving grants for his research; since joining the UCSB faculty, he has been awarded eleven grants totaling over $400,000.

Professor Janowicz’s teaching record is impressive, and his department commends him as one of the most valued young instructors. He has taught introductory, upper-level, and graduate courses which have resonated extremely well with his students, as reflected in their course evaluations. As a mentor of graduate students, he has served on three MA committees, and ten PhD committees for doctoral students at UCSB and other institutions, four of which he chairs or co-chairs.

As a still-junior scholar, Professor Janowicz’s record of professional service is inspirational. Since 2011, he has organized or co-organized academic conference panels and workshops at a rate of four per year. He has given twelve invited lectures, several of which were keynotes. He is the editor-in-chief of the Semantic Web Journal, and serves on the editorial board of International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Notwithstanding the Geography Department’s general discouragement of excessive university service for junior academics prior to tenure, Professor Janowicz has been positively excessive in this area, too. Between 2011 and 2014, he has served on the department’s Graduate, Computing, and Affirmative Action Committees. He also served on the search committee for the Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair, and as the Departmental Representative to the Academic Senate. In 2013, he began serving as one of two Undergraduate Advisors for the Geography Department.

We are honored to have such a distinguished and generous colleague and congratulate Professor Janowicz on behalf of the campus and the College of Letters and Science for winning the 2014-15 Harold J. Plous Award.