Department Personnel

Wei Luo

    Wei Luo

       Davis Hall, Room 120

       Presidential Research Professor
       Ph. D. Washington University,
       St. Louis

Research Emphasis:
Hydrology, Geomorphology,GIS, Remote Sensing, and China







Specific Research Endeavors

I am a broadly trained Physical Geographer with an interdisciplinary perspective. I am interested in terrestrial and Martian geomorphology and GIS applications in various fields. The intellectual cores that are common to my research interests are space and time. I use advanced computational methods (GIS, remote sensing, computer modeling, statistics, and machine learning) and a systems approach to investigate various phenomena in which space or location plays an important role (e.g., watershed hydrologic responses to rainfall and access to health care). I also attempt to infer past processes that were interacting as a dynamic system based on present spatial forms or patterns (e.g., landform evolution, linguistic geography).

  1. My current research centers around the following three general areas:
  2. Hydrologic and geomorphic processes on the surfaces of Earth and Mars: applying advanced computational methods and quantitative morphometric analysis techniques to investigate past surficial processes and environmental conditions that lead to the present landform.
  3. GIS applications: e.g., measuring spatial accessibility to health care with a "Two Step Floating Catchment Area (2SFCA)" method to reveal true physician shortage areas; quantitatively characterizing the spatial patterns of Tai language change and Tai place names in southeast Asia and southern China and investigating their relationship with physical environment, water resources, and wet-rice agriculture (

Web-based technology in enhancing the teaching and learning in classroom: e.g., WILSIM JavaApplet (, MARS WebGIS (  and Stream Extraction Web Service in GeoBrain (

For a complete list of my publications (some with PDF download) and courses I teach (with recent syllabi) click here