Biographical Sketch

(Shorter bio).

Isabel F. Cruz is Professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds PhD and MS degrees in Computer Science from the University of Toronto [*]. In 1996 she received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, in 2000 the best paper award at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, in 2005 the College of Engineering Faculty Research Award, in 2009 the Great Cities Institute Faculty Scholar Award, and in 2011 the University of Illinois Faculty Scholar Award. She received several other awards for research, teaching, and service, including a Government of Canada Award for research, the Teaching Recognition Program Award from the UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the Association for Computing Machinery Recognition of Service Award (1998 and 2013). She has been invited to give more than 60 talks worldwide and has more than 120 refereed publications in databases, geographic information systems, semantic web, visual languages, graph drawing, user interfaces, multimedia, information retrieval, and security.

She directs the Advances in Data, Visual, and Information Science (ADVIS) Research Lab, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 1996. In addition, she has been funded by the Department of Defense, NATO, CRA, and corporate gifts. She has graduated 20 students in their PhD and Master theses. She works regularly with undergraduate students and has co-authored papers with 15 of them [**]. The broader impact of her research has been demonstrated in several real-world scenarios, including biomedical and geospatial interdisciplinary applications, and in many teaching innovations.

She has edited 19 journals and books, including, respectively, the ACM SIGMOD Digital Symposium Collection (as Founding Editor since 1998) and The Emerging Semantic Web (2002). Her advisory activities have comprised the steering of six scientific organizations, including ACM GIS and participation on several strategic planning initiatives, including the Mapping Science Committee of the National Academies (2004-2006) and of the NSF workshops on Geo-Spatial and Geo-Temporal Informatics (January 2009), on Data and Applications Security (February 2009), and on Confidential Data Collection for Innovation Analysis in Organizations (co-chair, September 2009).

She has been named general chair of the 2012 ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS Conference. She has chaired 16 program committees and served as member of more than 170 program committees including those of the main conferences in databases, geographic information systems, multimedia, visual languages and web such as ACM SIGMOD, IEEE ICDE (co-chair in 2014, vice chair in 2009), VLDB, ACM GIS (co-chair in 2004), GIScience, International Conference on GeoSpatial Semantics (co-chair in 2005), ACM Multimedia (associate chair in 1997), IEEE Visual Languages, ISWC (co-chair in 2006), ESWC (vice chair in 2009), IDEAS (chair in 2011), WISE (co-chair in 2012), ODBASE (co-chair in 2012), and WWW.

She was the WISEST (Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation) facilitator for the Department of Computer Science (2003-2012) and the Head Facilitator (elected) in 2010-2011 [***]. The goal of WISEST is to increase the number, participation and leadership status of women in academic science and engineering through institutional transformation at UIC. The WISEST program was funded by two NSF ADVANCE grants (2003-2006, 2006-2012). Other leadership roles at UIC include being chair of the CS faculty search committee, member of the dean of engineering search committee twice, member of the College of Engineering executive committee, and member of the Provost's Sustainability Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee (SSTAC) since its inception (Fall 2012).


Academic genealogyPhD advisor in Toronto: Alberto Mendelzon [****]. Through Alberto, I belong to the academic tree of Jeff Ullman.
Postdoc mentor at Brown: Paris Kanellakis [*****]
City/country of originLisbon (Lisboa), Portugal
Logos A few logos I have designed for fun.

I am an avid runner, cross-country skier, swimmer (and several other sea-related activities, the latest being stand up paddling), and reader (in English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish). I love all great music, but tend to concentrate on classical music.

I have traveled extensively. I have visited 34 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico in the US, several provinces in Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia), Mexico, most of Western Europe (still to be visited: Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and San Marino), a couple of East European countries (Hungary and Slovenia), South America (Brazil and Argentina), Africa (Egypt), Australia, and many beautiful islands in the Atlantic (North and South) and Pacific (North and South) Oceans and in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and North Seas. Most memorable trips include: excursion into (communist) East Berlin (through Checkpoint Charlie), helicopter flight over an active volcano crater (meaning spitting fire and lava), close humpback whale watching from a kayak and more recently on a paddle board (no pictures, though), and seaplane landing in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef.

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