February 3rd, 2015
G. Elisabeta (Liz) Marai, PhD, has joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as an associate professor. Liz‘s research interests span data visualization, computational modeling and medical imaging. At UIC, she is blending her research interests with EVL‘s initiatives; teaching computer graphics, visualization and HCI courses; working with students on several funded projects; and, mentoring and advising students. In addition, she continues to be involved with professional societies; she is co-chair of the BioVis 2015 conference, the premier venue in biology data visualization, and co-chair of the Doctoral Colloquium for IEEE Vis 2015, the premier conference that covers all aspects of visualization.
Liz comes to EVL after spending a sabbatical at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was a Research Faculty member. Prior to that, she held a Joint Assistant Professor position in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her PhD in Computer Science from Brown University, and received her MSc and BS from the Politehnica University of Bucharest in Romania.
Liz‘s research explores novel geometric representations, computational modeling, and visual analysis tools required to simulate and analyze complex scientific phenomena. The tools and collaborations she has built have helped solve practical scientific problems in disciplines such as biology, orthopaedics, epidemiology, natural language processing, mechanical engineering and astronomy. She has encouraged broad use of these tools as well; for example, RuleBender, her open-source software package for biological models, was downloaded over 1000 times in 2012.
Her passion for teaching is evident in her having received six teaching awards within the past five years as well as Outstanding Paper awards for refereed journal articles and peer-reviewed conference papers. While at Pittsburgh, Liz obtained National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to support undergraduate research, advised graduate students, and served as PhD advisor to several students, one of whom won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Liz was also involved in K-12 workshops through Pitt‘s Technology Leadership Initiative and the Pitt Women in Computer Science organization.
“Liz‘s accomplishments in multidisciplinary scientific research, her strong teaching credentials and her commitment to broader outreach and engagement make her a perfect fit for EVL‘s interdisciplinary, collaborative culture,” says EVL director Maxine Brown. “We are very excited to have her join the EVL ‘family’.”
The feeling is mutual, and Liz is excited to be part of EVL. “Collaborative work with researchers across different departments leads to richer computer science research, provides a mechanism for evaluating the usefulness and robustness of results, and enables stronger educational opportunities,” she explains.
At UIC, Liz looks forward to furthering her research in scientific, information and data visualization by working with computer science and engineering faculty members and students, as well as with the many domain sciences for which visualization systems are created.
See Liz‘s research projects and publications.