Alexander Smith


Program: PhD

Previous education:

  • B.E.S., Geography, University of Waterloo
  • M.Sc., Geography, University of Waterloo, Thesis titled: An evaluation of high-resolution land cover and land use classification accuracy by thematic, spatial, and algorithm parameters

Research: Machine Learning and Agent-Based Modelling

My previous topics of study have been driven by my two passions, the environment and programming. I completed my Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo majoring in Geomatics with a minor in Computer Science. In this program I developed my programming skills through the development of GIS applications. The most notable application of my Bachelors was a speech recognition application I developed for use in a mobile mapping platform for the collection of data during field work. I also completed my Master of Science at the University of Waterloo where I conducted a combinatorial study of the affects of spatial and thematic resolutions and classification methods on land cover and land use classification from aerial imagery. This study was part of a larger project aiming to create an agent-based model of land-use change in Southwestern Ontario for use in carbon storage and economic applications.

My doctoral research is on integrating machine learning into agent-based modelling of spatial features. My research is focused on the methods and techniques of modelling rather than the topics which are being modeled. Although at the time of writing this I do not have the modelling topic confirmed, I am leaning towards modelling land-use change for the purposes of the environmental impacts of population growth.