Mike McGuire

Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Sciences
Alumnus: Geography ’96

Mike McGuire

“The environmental and climate data sets collected by satellites are enormous,” explains Michael McGuire, whose interest in geographical information systems (GIS) and database management led him to pursue a master’s and doctoral degree in information systems. McGuire returned to his alma mater more than five years ago to help Towson University students tap into the field of data analytics.

“Big data has been around for decades,” says McGuire. “GIS and remote sensing are, by their very nature, big data, collecting terabytes of data on a daily basis.” McGuire creates algorithms to better characterize data associated with climate and weather events.

In a recent project, he and a doctoral student are working with faculty in TU’s Department of Geography and Environmental Planning to design a system that will allow climatologists to analyze the spatio-temporal patterns of large tornado outbreaks in the United States and the meteorological conditions that contribute to tornado clusters.

GIS and remote sensing are, by their very nature, fields that work with big data, where sensors are collecting terabytes of data on a daily basis. ”

Michael McGuire

In addition to courses on data mining, data analytics and database management, McGuire also teaches the Information Technology Capstone course, which gives students valuable experience working on projects for real-world clients. “Thus far, IT Capstone students have worked with more than 50 organizations on some 70 projects,” describes McGuire. “Our sweet spot is nonprofits who need IT help, but do not have an IT budget. That’s where our students can make an impact.”

Last spring, capstone students created a cloud-based system for the Maryland chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “We created a searchable database of the breast cancer resources throughout Maryland that plugged into the Komen Foundation website,” says McGuire.

McGuire’s TU roots run deep. His grandmother and parents graduated from Towson, and his grandmother’s Class of 1924 diploma hangs in his office. “Towson University is a great institution with a lot of history for me,” says McGuire, who is struck by the number of students wearing TU gear around campus. “Students are truly taking great pride in attending TU.”