Teaching

My teaching portfolio comprises lectures, seminars and labs at both undergraduate and graduate level. The modules offered convey a whole range of GIScience, geography, and spatial analysis concepts, methods and skills, which I regularly teach to diverse interdisciplinary audiences. The following overview introduces the modules I have been teaching in the last couple of years:

Seminar and colloquium
Digital cities: Interdisciplinary perspectives
Postgraduate level, taught at the University of Warwick, UK
The Digital Cities module shows students how to apply urban analytics in practical contexts. External speakers are invited to report on concrete projects. These illustrate an interdisciplinary spectrum of urban topics using the frameworks of data analytics and Big Data. Each colloquium is followed up in the form of an interactive seminar discussing the previously presented topics in greater depth. In this way the students not only get to know the practical side of urban analytics. They also develop a critical approach to the use of data and quantitative methods with regard to the investigation of human everyday life and possible implications this may entail.
 
Lecture, seminar, and lab
Spatial methods and practice in urban science
Postgraduate level, taught at the University of Warwick, UK
This module integrates urban geography with GIS and spatial analysis. By using lectures, seminars and lab exercises, this integrated approach allows the conveyance of subject content and methodological knowledge in a closely aligned form. The interdisciplinary target audience thus achieves a holistic understanding of urgent urban problems, even without prior geographical knowledge. The students are enabled to address urban challenges in a practical as well as a scientific context. This content is complemented by the teaching of communicative and analytical skills. Through group projects, the writing of technical reports, as well as blog posts, a number of more advanced soft skills are taught.
 
Masterclass
Spatial analysis and geographic thinking in computing
Postgraduate level, taught at the University of Warwick, UK (invited)
The course offers students from the social sciences (and beyond) a comprehensive overview and a first practical introduction to spatial analysis. The structure of the course is based on the typical spatial analysis workflow, covering concepts of space, spatial methods and their application to actual data. The contents are taught in an applied form so that students can see how they can benefit from the integration of the contents into their own work. The seminar combines spatial analysis with the students‘ previous knowledge during the entire course and enables them to apply methods from this area to their own future questions by introducing suitable software tools.
 
Lecture
Introduction to spatial analysis
Postgraduate level, taught at Heidelberg University, Germany
This lecture focusses on a thorough introduction to concepts and methods for the statistical, geospatial investigation of social phenomena. It enables students to critically weigh up the correct choice of spatial analysis methods for geographic data exploration, hypothesis construction, and modelling. The students also learn how to interpret spatial statistical results and to combine the acquired skills with other methodological fields. A unique feature of the chosen teaching approach which distinguishes this course from comparable courses is the non-technical geographical teaching style to communicate an actually technical topic. This makes it possible to teach a wide range of students, including geographers, sociologists and computer scientists. While maintaining the necessary rigor, the students see directly their application relevance. The use of a strong visual communication style further supports the lively teaching of abstract and theoretical concepts.
 
Seminar and lab
Spatio-statistical data exploration
Postgraduate level, taught at Heidelberg University, Germany
The entire spatial data analysis pipeline is introduced, including reading inquiries, designing and conceptualizing an analysis, performing it and presenting the results to different audiences. Different software packages, including GeoDa and R, are used to equip both technical and non-technical students with the tools they need to analyse their own datasets. The teaching approach is based on interdisciplinary case studies which are worked on in groups. This enables students to work on realistic scenarios with a high practical relevance. Since students interpret colloquial analysis requests, hypothesise spatial processes and reflect on the presentation of results, this teaching method strengthens the development of transferable skills in terms of analytical capacity, teamwork and the strengthening of interdisciplinary and unconventional thinking and communication.
 
Seminar and lab
Introduction to computer science for geographers
Undergraduate level, taught at Heidelberg University, Germany
The major aim of this seminar is to introduce students with non-technical backgrounds to the abstract kind of thinking that is prevalent in computer science. This skill is transferrable in that it is useful to a range of scenarios across different disciplines and helps the students to approach their problems in a most structured way. The students further learn about the computer science knowledge necessary to make strong quantitative contributions to their own substantive fields. The seminar thus supports the interdisciplinary mind-sets of the participants and, on a more practical note, their ability to develop their own software solutions. The teaching conveys the technical knowledge based on practical examples from the students‘ curricula. This link supports the development of a strong attachment of the students to the taught topics and motivates them to integrate the acquired skills into their future work. This teaching method makes it further possible to find common ground for heterogeneous groups of students to overcome their disciplinary boundaries and thus fosters collaboration, which his strengthened by intense group work in the end-of-term assignments.
 
Lab
Geographical information systems
Undergraduate level, taught at Heidelberg University, Germany
Geographic information occurs in almost all empirical disciplines. It is therefore important to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners with solid skills in geographic data handling. The students are taught how to apply concepts from geographical information science in practice. This includes training with the software packages ArcGIS (the quasi-standard GIS software) asn Quantum GIS (an important open source GIS software), regular exercise sheets, and individual final end-of-term assignments. The lab is organized into discussions of weekly practical tasks that show how geographical information can be used in practical scenarios to support answering questions across the social and natural sciences. The course contains a strong practical component making it easier for students to handle data and software, thus taking the hurdle out of getting started with complex GIS software. In addition to conceiving the course, it has also been my responsibility to supervise ten student assistants.