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Czamanski Dissertation Award

Award of Czamanski Dissertation Award in 2015

by David Boyce, Kieran Donaghy and Rachel Franklin

In mid-October, 2015, our committee met by telephone to recommend the winner of the 2015 award of the Czamanski Dissertation Award for the best Ph.D. dissertation proposal approved during the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. The six candidates for this award were the following:

Steven R. Gehrke, PortlandStateUniversity, Portland, Oregon, USA

Sarah Howe, RMIT University, Victoria, Australia

Victor Iturra Rivera, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Dávid Krisztián Nagy, PrincetonUniversity, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Natalya Rybnikova, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Samuel Stehle, PennStateUniversity, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

One other candidate by Xize Wang, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA, was submitted early for the 2016 competition. He was asked to resubmit his documents in June 2016. Finally, one additional candidate, Hyun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, was submitted on September 30, 2015. This submission was not judged in the 2015 competition.

In reviewing the six submissions, the following statement was carefully considered:

“Professor Czamanski’s research exemplified the analysis of social problems with regional and spatial dimensions. In doing so, he chose judiciously the right combination of analytical and empirical research methods from his tool box to address the specific issue at hand. Many of his papers illustrated how particular combinations of methods could be used most aptly to study particular problems.”

In our review, we agreed unanimously that the proposal of Steven Gehrke best represented the approach of Professor Czamanski. Gehrke’s proposal was entitled “Active Travel Behavior and Spatial-temporalLand Use Mixing.” The letter by Professor Kelly Clifton was helpful in reaching this conclusion.


Czamanski Dissertation Award 


Deadline:  March 31, 2018 (contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The Czamanski Dissertation Award is awarded by the Regional Science Association International in memory of Professor Stan Czamanski, an early recipient of a Ph.D. in regional science (1963), a member of the University of Pennsylvania regional science faculty (1963-1966), a member of the regional science faculty of Cornell University (1966-1988), and a past-president of the Regional Science Association (1975-1976).

 The annual prize is awarded to author of the best Ph.D. dissertation proposal judged to exemplify the philosophy and approach of Professor Czamanski, as described below.

  1. The US$1,000 prize is awarded to the student and a plaque to the student’s advisor.
  2. The selection will be made by a panel of three persons: a senior and long-standing member of the regional science community, a representative of the field of Regional Science at Cornell and a member of the RSAI Council. 
  3. Students writing dissertations on problems in regional science from around the world are invited to enter the competition, in the spirit of Stan’s all-embracing philosophy.

 To be eligible, the dissertation proposal must have been defended and approved during the past 12 months.


Each applicant will submit the following:

  1. A statement in six pages or less that clearly sets out the research question(s) and issues to be addressed, approach to be used, and product expected from the dissertation research. The six-page limit is exclusive of references, tables and figures. This text and references should be in 12 point or larger font and single-spaced. In addition, a summary (maximum one page) describing the intellectual merit of the proposed research and why the proposed approach may be regarded as implementing Professor Czamanski’s philosophy and approach, as described below.
  2. A curriculum vita of no more than two pages.
  3. Copies of the candidate’s transcripts for all graduate study. Unofficial copies are acceptable.
  4. A separate, confidential letter from the dissertation supervisor assessing the quality and significance of the proposed dissertation research.


Philosophy and Research Approach of Professor Stan Czamanski

In his Introduction to Regional Science (Prentice-Hall, 1975, p. 2), Walter Isard wrote:

In brief, regional science as a discipline concerns the careful and patient study of social problems with regional or spatial dimensions, employing diverse combinations of analytical and empirical research.

Professor Czamanski’s research exemplified the analysis of social and economic problems with regional and spatial dimensions. In doing so, he chose judiciously the right combination of analytical and empirical research methods from his tool box to address the specific issue at hand.  

Dissertation proposals submitted for the Czamanski Dissertation Award will be judged with regard to how the student proposes to bring an appropriate combination of analytical and empirical methods to bear on a social and economic problem with spatial or regional dimensions, and how this combination of methods is expected to deliver greater insights into the problem in question.

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