Zengwang Xu

Assistant Professor
 (414) 229-4874
 Bolton Hall 410c


PhD, Geography, Texas A&M University, 2007
MS, Geography, Nanjing University, China, 1998
BE, Surveying Engineering, Southwestern Jiaotong University, China, 1995

Office Hours

2:00-4:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday or by appointment

Courses Taught

Geog 405 – Cartography
Geog 525 – Geographical Information Science
Geog 547 – Spatial Analysis
Geog 625 – Intermediate Geographical Information Science
Geog 960 – Geographical Techniques

Research Interests

My research integrates GIS, complex networks/systems science, and spatial and statistical analyses to study the structure, function, patterns, and evolution of geospatial networks/systems, e.g., complex urban systems, transportation networks, and human social spatial contact networks. My primary interests are to investigate the relation between the persistent system level patterns and the individual based processes, and the effect of spatiality on the structure and function of the evolving complex spatial networks/systems.

One study on Texas urban system showed that the persistent macro level pattern of city size distributions can be better approximated by a spatially and temporally autocorrelated growth process of individual cities. Others addressed the structure and dynamics occurring on transportation networks. In addition, my recent projects applied GIS and spatial analysis to investigate the population vulnerability to hurricane wind and storm surge damages on the U.S. Gulf Coast over past five decades, and the spatial net migration patterns in the United States since 1950.

Representative Publications

Xu, Z., & Harriss, R. (2014). Discontinuities in the evolution of the city system in Texas from 1850 to 2010. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, 43, 14-24.
Logan, J. R., Xu, Z., & Stults, B. (2014). Interpolating U.S. Decennial census tract data from as early as 1970 to 2010: A longitudinal tract database. The Professional Geographer, 66, 412-420.
Xu, Z., & Harriss, R. (2010). A Spatial and Temporal Autocorrelated Growth Model for City Rank-Size Distribution. Urban Studies, 47(2), 321-335.
Xu, Z., & Sui, D. (2009). Effect of Small-World Networks on Epidemic Propagation and Intervention. Geographical Analysis, Geographical Analysis, 41(3), 263-282.
Xu, Z., & Sui, D. Z. (2007). Small-world characteristics on transportation networks: a perspective from network autocorrelation. Journal of Geographical Systems, 9(2), 189-205.