The Role of Semantics in Data Science

November 16, 2017
2:50pm - 4:00pm
Halligan 102
Speaker: Isabel Cruz, University of Illinois at Chicago
Host: Diane Souvaine


Semantic data modeling dates back to the mid seventies. More recently, the semantic web paradigm has brought back data modeling to data science research. This topic is gaining increased traction in data integration, a cornerstone of data science, and its applications to a wide range of domains, including smart cities and bioinformatics. In this talk, I will describe some of the projects that I have been leading where data integration and semantics play a central role, including AgreementMaker, for schema and ontology matching, GIVA, for geospatial and temporal data integration, visualization, and analytics, and GUIDES, for urban infrastructure data engineering solutions.


Isabel F. Cruz is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. She has received numerous awards for teaching, service, and research including the NSF Career Award in 1996 and, more recently, the University of Illinois Faculty Scholar award (2012-2015) and a Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Explorations grant (2017-2018). She has 140 refereed publications in data management, data integration, geographic information systems, semantic web, information visualization, and information extraction. She has led several interdisciplinary NSF grants in high profile programs, including ITR, CyberSEES, and Cyber Physical Systems. Her AgreementMaker and AgreementMakerLight ontology matching systems have been leading the field since 2009, winning recently the IBM Research First Prize (2017) and previously the Pistoia Alliance First Prize (2016). She has been program committee chair of premier conferences in her fields of expertise, including IEEE ICDE, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS, and ISWC, and has participated in strategic committees including the Mapping Sciences committee of the National Academies. She directs the Advances in Data, Visualization, and Information Science (ADVIS) Lab, which has been continuously funded by NSF since 1996. Her leadership roles at UIC include lead facilitator for the NSF Advance-funded WISEST program (to increase the number, participation and leadership status of women in academic science and engineering), chair of the CS faculty search committee, member of the dean of engineering search committee (twice), and member of the College of Engineering executive committee.