Faculty Profile: Qing Tian

Qing Tian

Qing Tian

Assistant Professor

Primary Research: Land use, development, human-environment systems, and complex adaptive systems

Office: 374 Research Hall, MS 6B2 
Phone: 703-993-1405
Primary Website: http://mason.gmu.edu/~qtian2//index.html

Current Research Interests

Much of Dr. Tian’s research in land use and development is oriented around three principal questions:

  • What is the current state of a system (which suggests where the problems are and how we may improve the system)?
  • How do individual actions and interactions embedded within local and broader social and environmental settings shape the state of the system?
  • How may the system evolve further in the future, and how can policies facilitate moving the system toward more desirable states?

Teaching Interests

  • CSS 605: Object-Oriented Modeling of Social Science
  • CSS 643: Land-Use Modeling Techniques and Applications
  • CSS 665: Complex Adaptive Systems and Policy
  • CSS 692: Social Network Analysis


  1. Ph. D., 2011, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment (Advisor: Daniel Brown)
  2. Sc., 2002, George Mason University, Computer Science
  3. Sc., 1993, Chinese Academy of Sciences, GIS and Remote Sensing
  4. Sc., 1990, Beijing University, Computer Science

Academic Appointments

  • 2012 – present, Assistant Professor, tenure-track, Department of Computational Social Science, George Mason University
  • 2012 – 2013, Research Associate, Center for Social Complexity, Mason-Smithsonian Joint Project on Climate and Society
  • 2001 – 2005, Software Engineer, Veritas Software, Reston, VA
  • 1997, Research Fellow, International Center for Science and High Technology (ICS), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Trieste, Italy
  • 1993 – 1999, Assistant Research Professor, Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Dr. Tian’s full curriculum vitae can be viewed here.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Tian, Q., Brown, D.G., Bao, S, Qi, S. (2015). Assessing and mapping human well-being for sustainable development amid flood hazards: Poyang Lake Region of China. Applied Geography, 63, 66-76. Download here.
  2. Tian, Q., Brown, D.G., Zheng, L., Qi, S., Liu, Y., Jiang, L. (in press).The role of cross-scale social and environmental contexts in household-level land-use decisions, Poyang Lake Region. Annals of Association of American Geographers. DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2015.
  3. Tian, Q., Holland, J. H., Brown, D.G. (in review). Social and economic impacts of subsidy policies on rural development in the Poyang Lake Region, China: insights from an agent-based model. Agricultural Systems.
  4. Qi, S., Brown, D.G., Tian, Q., Jiang, L., Zhao, T., Bergen, K. 2009. Inundation extent and flood frequency mapping for the Poyang Lake, China, floodplain using Landsat TM and DEM. GIScience and Remote Sensing, 46(1), 101-127.
  5. Jiang, L., Bergen, K.M., Brown, D.G., Zhao, T., Tian, Q., Qi, S. 2009. Land-cover change and vulnerability to flooding near Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Province, China.Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 74(6), 775-786.
  6. Tian, Q., Feoli, E. 1999. A new algorithm for improving remote sensing image classification with other spatial data based on GOODALL’s affinity index. Journal of Remote Sensing, China, 3(3), 187-192, 246.
  7. Yan, S. Y., Xiao, C. S., Tian, Q., Zhou, Y., Wang, S. X. 1997. Chinese agricultural statistical geographic information system and its applications. Journal of Remote Sensing, China, 1(2), 152-156.
  8. Yan, S. Y., Tian, Q., Wang, S. X. 1996. Preliminary study on development of general software tool for spatial decision support system. Remote Sensing on Environment, China, 11(1), 68-78.

Contributions to Books

  1. Institute of Remote Sensing Applications/Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1997. Agricultural Atlas of China (English Version), Star Map Press: Beijing. “joint co-author”
  2. Institute of Remote Sensing Applications/Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1997. Agricultural Atlas of China (Chinese Version), Star Map Press: Beijing. “joint co-author”
  3. Tian, Q. 1992. Attribute data management in GIS, in Yan, S. (ed.) Theory and Technology of GIS (in Chinese).

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