U-M China Data Center hosts most visiting scholars ever

February 20, 2014

ANN ARBOR—The visiting scholars program at the University of Michigan China Data Center has accepted a record 16 participants in the current academic year.

China Data Center

The center was founded in 1997 to advance the study and understanding of China, with a primary goal of integrating historical, social and natural science data of China into a robust geographic information system that advances a range of quantitative and spatial research.

“Not many scholars understand what kind of data are available, and what kind of methodology can be applied to the main research areas they are interested in,” said China Data Center director Shuming Bao. “They learn the spatial technology here, and spatial methodology. We provide the data support and training to do this kind of research.”

Spatial information services incorporate a variety of data into a computer system that can be used to generate maps overlaid with visual information, as well as charts. Data types include demographic and economic statistics, industrial censuses, geographic and environmental data and administrative maps.

Spatial tools such as those developed by the China Data Center help researchers visualize connections among data and geographic regions. This facilitates data-driven decision making in the areas of regional planning, business investment, demographic trends, public health and religious adherence. Additionally, as data often cover multiple years, trends can be observed.

“The University of Michigan has significant long-term connections with China,” Bao said. “Many people in China know U-M is a top university and would like to visit it with this kind of hosting opportunity.”

This year, all of the visiting scholars are studying spatial economy—the analysis of the location of economic activity and allocation of resources over geographic areas. In prior years, scholars explored the field of spatial religion, relating spatial methods and statistical data on religion in China to their primary research interests, such as urbanization or international trade.

This year’s China Data Center visiting scholars include:

  • Liwei Fan, Wuhan University
  • Zhuojuan Hu, Xiamen University
  • Xiang Kong, East China Normal University, Shanghai
  • Jinjuan Li, Lanzhou University
  • Hao Luo, Sun Yat-sen University, Canton
  • Haiying Ma, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai
  • Jianxun Rui, Shanghai Normal University
  • Renli Shao, Xianyang Normal University
  • Miao Shui, Wuhan University
  • Juergen Symanzik, Utah State University
  • Xiaojuan Wang, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
  • Ruan Xiaobo, Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences
  • Kailiang Yu, Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Fayong Zhang, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan and Beijing
  • Xueliang Zhang, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
  • Yexi Zhong, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang

The China Data Center is affiliated with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the Institute for Social Research, but reports to the U-M Office of Research and is operated as an independent data service.


Contact: Mark Thompson-Kolar, (734) 615-7904, [email protected]


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