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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Award winning student

Published: 10 February 2014

Michael Allchin, MSc in Geographical Information Systems (Online) student has won joint first prize for his dissertation in this year’s GIScRG Masters Dissertation competition. Titled ‘Application of growing self-organising maps to the data-driven classification of hydrological catchments’, Michael's dissertation explored the potential of Growing Self-Organising Maps, a type of Artificial Neural Network which implements unsupervised data mining, to characterise and classify catchments throughout the Province of Alberta, on the basis of comprehensive descriptions of landscape Form, climate Forcing, hydrometrically-manifested Function, and a combination of all of these.

Dr Julian Leyland, who co-supervised the research with Dr Alison Heppenstall from University of Leeds, comments: "Michael produced a novel piece of individual research that offers genuine insight and advances in the application of SOMs to the classification of hydrological units. We felt his considerable efforts should be recognised externally, so we nominated Michael for the annual GIScRG award. We are delighted that he has won the award."

The GIScience Research Group of the RGS-IBG have established an annual prize for the best postgraduate dissertation on any issue relating to GIS/Sc, spatial analysis, spatial modelling or geocomputation.

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