We're more than halfway into the Spring semester but we can't forget about this month's Student Spotlight in the Geography and the Department - first year graduate student Shwarnali Bhattacharjee. Shwarnali began her studies at the University of North Texas in August 2021 and she is working with Dr. Pinliang Dong. Her thesis project is to build a digital twin of UNT using ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS CityEngine, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. A digital twin is a virtual representation of the real world, including physical objects, processes, relationships, and behaviors. She will be using Python programming to enhance the possibilities of CityEngine, and a new programming language, Computer-Generated Architecture (CGA), to generate three-dimensional (3D) geometry in City Engine. Read on to get to know Shwarnali better!
Shwarnali came to geography late in her undergraduate years after learning about the prospects of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing in solving problems related to natural and human environments. These days, Shwarnali is passionate about obtaining her Master's degree in Geography, mainly concentrated on GIS and remote sensing. She is also a Teaching Assistant in several Geology labs. Shwarnali is from Bangladesh, a south-east Asian country, which has the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world called "Sundarban". She specifically chose UNT's Department of Geography and the Environment because of the course contents dedicated to GIS and remote sensing. She was also intrigued by Dr. Dong's research on LiDAR remote sensing, which made her confident to apply for our program.
To Shwarnali, the best part of being a graduate student at UNT is the capability of making close connections with her instructors. They are all very supportive and give her the assurance to be the best academic student she can be. Shwarnali is also appreciative of being able to make good friends here in Texas after leaving her old friends in her native country. After obtaining her graduate degree from UNT, Shwarnali will pursue a Ph.D. degree in Geography and would like to develop her career in the research and development sector related to GIS and remote sensing. As a graduate student, one of the biggest lessons she has learned is how to maintain her academic and personal life and be patient with herself. Doing so helps her to improve her time management skills.
Although she has not had the chance to go trekking in the USA, this is a hobby she has always enjoyed no matter where she is. One of these days, she'd like to make it out to Big Bend National Park. During leisure time, Shwarnali loves to crochet and play and sing songs with her ukulele. Because she loves reading books, she recommends Recycled Books on the Square as a hidden gem in Denton. This bookstore has a huge selection of used books and rare books as well as CDs, DVDs and vinyl, which she believes you will enjoy!