Prof. Liz Marai
Struggling News Editor

New $3M NIH UG3 award!

Oct 1, 2023

I am a relatively small cog in a new NIH UG3 award to UIC, which is a bit over $3M over three years, made to PI Jeffrey Loeb (Neurology and Rehabilitation) and the rest of the team Title: Integration and interoperability of complex data and tissues from the human brain (UG3 TR004501). PI: Jeffrey Loeb (Neurology and Rehabilitation), who is heading a Chicago Epilepsy Cooperative Agreement between UIC, Rush University, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Lurie Children's Hospital. UIC team: Site PI Anna Serafini (Neurology and Rehabilitation), Co-Is: Biswajit Maharathi (Neurology and Rehabilitation), Liz Marai (CS), Fozia Mir (Neurology and Rehabilitation), Ahmad Daher (Neurology and Rehabilitation). Brief description: This cooperative agreement aims to: 1) build and deploy a federated INTUITION platform at multiple sites to standardize data extraction, integration, and exchange; 2) perform epilepsy specific multimodal data and tissue harmonization and set up training programs for coherent data and tissue collection across all sites; and 3) build and integrate analytical tools for automation and analysis.

NIH Study Section service

Sep 30, 2023

Honored to serve on the CIDH panel at NIH. Huge responsibility, reviewing thousands of pages of project proposals, most with multi-million budgets of taxpayer funding.

New NSF award to EVL!

Sep 20, 2023

Happy to be on the team awarded another $1.5M from the National Science Foundation for a Major Research Instrumentation project. NSF CNS-2320261 Research Infrastructure: MRI: Track 2 Acquisition of Data Observation and Computation Collaboratory (DOCC). PI: A. Johnson, Co-PIs: M. Papka, G.E. Marai, F. Miranda, N. Soni.

Workshop presentation at ISC 2023

Sep 15, 2023

Glad to see this work presented at the HPC Precision Medicine workshop at ISC 2023: S. Gawane, X. Zhang, G. Canahuate, A. Wentzel, A. Mohamed, L. van Dijk, C.D. Fuller, G.E. Marai, Interpretable Transformer-based Meta-Reinforcement Learning for Longitudinal Head-and-Neck Cancer Treatment, Sixth ISC Workshop on HPC Applications in Precision Medicine, Oct 2023. Congratulations, Sarang, Xinhua, and team!

Paper accepted at the Vis4PandEmRes, colocated with IEEE VIS'23

Sep 1, 2023

Our paper describing the constrained design process we followed during the pandemic to enhance knowledge about the efficacy of Stay at Home orders in the US has been accepted by the Vis4PandEmRes workshop: A. Wentzel, L. Levine, V. Dhariwal, Z. Fatemi, A. Bhattacharya, B. Di Eugenio, A. Rojecki, E. Zheleva, G. E. Marai, A Lens to Pandemic Stay at Home Attitudes, IEEE VIS Workshop on Visualization for Pandemic and Emergency Responses 2023 (Vis4PandEmRes), Oct. 2023, Melbourne, Australia. Congratulations, Andrew and team!

Carla awarded Travel Scholarship by the UI Cancer Center

Aug 30, 2023

Congratulations to Carla Floricel for receiving a travel scholarship of $500 from the University of Illinois Cancer Center, to help support her VIS'23 trip to Melbourne, Australia.

Juan Trelles defends thesis

Aug 24, 2023

Congratulations, Dr. Trelles! So proud of your accomplishments. Juan will be joining Epsilon as a data scientist.

Siyuan Zhao and Nasibeh Heshmati join our group

Aug 16, 2023

Welcome to the group and to EVL, Siyuan and Nasibeh! Siyuan joins us from WPI, and Nasibeh joins us from Iran, both as junior graduate students.

CS Director of Graduate Admissions and Co-Director of Graduate Studies

Aug 15, 2023

Honored to continue serving as the CS Director of Graduate Admissions and Co-DGS. Some accomplishments from the past year: Admissions data analysis, fee negotiations, active recruitment, and faculty coordination, resulting in a 2-month process shift, 14.7% more doctoral applications, a 20% increase in the number of doctoral offers made, a 15.1% doctoral yield increase, and an 70% increase in the incoming doctoral cohort, all compared to the average over the prior 8 years.

Paper accepted by Bioinformatics Advances

July, 2023

The journal Bioinformatics Advances has accepted our paper: J. Trelles Trabucco, C. Arighi, H. Shatkay, G. E. Marai, "Enhancing biomedical search interfaces with images", Bioinformatics Advances, July 2023. This work presents CORD-19 IMAGE SCHOLAR: a publication retrieval system for the CORD-19 documents from the Allen Institute collection that contain both the desired text and desired image modalities (such as "cell" and "microscopy"), and which presents the document information along with the relevant images in those documents. See the system here. Congratulations, Juan and team, and we miss you so much, Hagit.

Paper accepted at VIS 2023 and by TVCG

July, 2023

IEEE VIS'23 has accepted our paper: C. Floricel, A. Wentzel, A. Mohamed, C.D. Fuller, G. Canahuate, G.E. Marai, Roses Have Thorns: Understanding the Downside of Oncological Care Delivery Through Visual Analytics and Sequential Rule Mining, pp. 1-11, IEEE Trans. Vis. Comp. Graphics, Jan 2024 / VIS 2023. Congratulations, Carla, Andrew, and team! Carla will be presenting this work in Melbourne, Australia in October.

IEEE VIS'23 Best Paper Awards Committee chair

July, 2023

Honored to chair the IEEE VIS Best Paper Awards Committee this year. What a privilege to read such a large number of nominated papers. And what a pleasure to work with the committee and with the paper chairs this year.

Paper accepted by the Frontiers in Oncology Journal

July, 2023

Frontiers in Oncology has accepted our paper: A. Wentzel, A. S. R. Mohamed, M. Naser, L. V. van Dijk, K. Hutcheson, A. Moreno, C. D. Fuller, G. Canahuate, G.E. Marai, "Multi-Organ Spatial Stratification of 3-D Dose Distributions Improves Risk Prediction of Long-Term Self-Reported Severe Symptoms in Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients Receiving Radiotherapy: Development of a Pre-Treatment Decision Support Tool",
Frontiers in Oncology journal, section Head and Neck Cancer, July 2023. Congratulations, Andrew and long-time and dear collaborators!

Paper accepted by ICHI 2023

June, 2023

The International Conference on Healthcare Informatics has accepted our paper: Y. Wang, L. Van Dijk, A. S. R. Mohamed, M. Naser, C. D. Fuller, X. Zhang, G. E. Marai, G. Canahuate, Improving prediction of late symptoms using LSTM and patient-reported outcomes for head and neck cancer patients, pp. 1-10, IEEE-ICHI The 11th IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics 2023, Houston TX. Tommy (Y. Wang) will be presenting the work at the conference. Congratulations!

Grace Hopper Scholarship to Sanjana

June 2023

Congratulations to Sanjana Srabanti for receiving a Grace Hopper Scholarship to attend GHC'23!

University of Illinois Scholar and $45K award!

May 20, 2023

I can scarce believe it, but I have been recognized as a University of Illinois Scholar (across the three campuses, Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana Champaign)! From the College announcement: "Professor G. Elisabeta (Liz) Marai is a scientist, inventor, and leader in the field of visual computing. Marai excels both in core computer science, where her work has led to breakthroughs in theoretical research and citations in textbooks, and in interdisciplinary research. Her ongoing work with oncologists, leading to better treatments for neck cancers, is an outstanding example of interdisciplinary, data-driven translational research." The award comes with a $45K fund over three years. It wouldn't have happened without great colleagues, including my advisees.

Selection to the CRA Leadership Workshop

May 15, 2023

So proud to have been selected for the 2023 CRA (Computing Research Association) Leadership Workshop. I've learned so much, and it was such a privilege to meet all these amazing people.

Paper accepted by the Oral Oncology Journal

May 5, 2023

The Oral Oncology journal has accepted our paper: G. Canahuate, A. Wentzel, A. S. R. Mohamed, L. V. van Dijk, D. M. Vock, B. Elgohari, H. Elhalawani, C. D. Fuller, G. E. Marai, "Spatially-aware clustering improves AJCC-8 risk stratification performance in oropharyngeal carcinomas", Oral Oncology, 2023. Congratulations, team!

Co-Chairing the IEEE VIS Test of Time SciVis 2023 committee

May 1, 2023

Honored to co-chair the IEEE VIS'23 Test of Time Award committee for Vis/SciVis, together with Helwig Hauser. What a privilege to read these amazing 25-year old, 14-year old, and 13-year old papers, and see history unfolding. And what a pleasure to work with the committee and with the other ToT chairs this year.

Chairing the EuroVis'23 Best Paper Committee

Apr 30, 2023

Honored to chair the EuroVis'23 Best Paper Award Committee. What a privilege to read great papers before the conference, and to work with the BPA committee.

UIC Senate appointment

Apr 15, 2023

Proud to serve as a UIC senator starting this month.

Honors College award to Farah Kamleh

Apr 5, 2023

Congratulations to Farah Kamleh, for receiving a research grant from the Honors College for her CAVE2 work! Farah's project examines the benefits of mindfulness in a CAVE2 environment versus a regular display. Farah has been accepted into our Masters of Science program at UIC CS.

Paper accepted at EuroVis'23 and by CGF

Mar 5, 2023

EuroVis 2023 has accepted our submission: A. Wentzel, C. Floricel, G. Canahuate, M. Naser, A. Mohamed, C.D. Fuller, L. Van Dijk, G.E. Marai, DASS Good: Explainable Data Mining of Oncology Imaging and Toxicity Data, pp. 1-13, Computer Graphics Forum 2023 / EuroVis 2023. DASS is a visual computing system designed to help scientists build machine learning models that classify head and neck cancer patients into groups, based on their risk of developing permanent side effects from radiation therapy. Its visual interface helps data scientists to build a model for each side-effect by visualizing the patients' anatomical and other clinical data, and to figure out what parameters the model should consider, such as which organs may be damaged when side effects occur, what amount of radiation dose causes the damage to the organs, and how many risk groups to create. DASS also has features for explaining to clinicians the finished models and examining whether their predictions perform well, and the reasons behind why a given patient belongs in a certain risk group. DASS was created by visual computing researchers at EVL, in collaboration with clinicians at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and data mining specialists at University of Iowa, and is supported by funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH awards NCI-R01-CA258827 and NLM-R01-LM012527), and US National Science Foundation (NSF awards CDSE-1854815 and CNS-1828265).

NIH Study Section service

Feb, 2023

Honored to serve on the CIDH panel at NIH. Huge responsibility.

Paper accepted by BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Dec 5, 2022

The journal BMC Pulmonary Medicine has accepted our submission "Alveolus Analysis: A Web Browser-based Tool to Analyze Lung Intravital Microscopy", by A. L. Politowicz; A. T. Burks; Y. Dong; Y. M. Htwe; S. M. Dudek; G. E. Marai; P. Belvitch. So glad to see this interdisciplinary work accepted for publication. The work stems from a CS529 VDS project with wonderful graduate students Alex Politowicz, Andrew Burks, and Yushen Dong, and the project is open source.

Hosting sabbatical

Nov 28, 2022

So happy to host at UIC/EVL Guadalupe Canahuate's sabbatical break this term! Prof. Canahuate (University of Iowa) will present her research on "Scalable high-dimensional similarity searches using a query driven dynamic quantization" in a departmental colloquium on Nov 30th 2022.

Images included in new medical vis textbook

Nov 20, 2022

Two images from our group's work (Andrew Wentzel's TSSIM and Carla Floricel's THALIS) have been selected for inclusion in a new medical visualization textbook by R. Raidou and B. Preim. So nice to see these projects have an impact outside our collaboration with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Paper presentation at VIS'22

Oct 22, 2022

Nafiul Nipu, a doctoral student in our group, is presenting our full paper "Visual Analysis and Detection of Contrails in Aircraft Engine Simulations" at VIS'22.

Doctoral Colloquium presentation at VIS'22

Oct 19, 2022

Juan Trelles, a doctoral student in our group, is presenting his work in the Doctoral Colloquium at VIS'22.

Paper accepted in the European Journal of Cancer

Oct 19, 2022

Our HNC-PREDICTOR paper led by Sanne van Dijk, "Head and Neck Cancer Predictive Risk Estimator to Determine Control and Therapeutic Outcomes of Radiotherapy (HNC-PREDICTOR) Development, international multi-institutional validation, and web-implementation of clinic-ready model-based risk stratification for head and neck cancer", has been accepted by the European Journal of Cancer. This paper includes a clinic-ready interactive web-interface for risk prediction, created together with PhD student Nafiul Nipu and myself, and hosted at EVL: HNC-Predictor.

Graduate application fee waivers in effect for Fall'2023

Oct 16, 2022

Thanks to an agreement between the College of Engineering and the Office of Admissions, all applicants for the Computer Science Graduate Program Fall'23 qualify for an application fee waiver (international students will pay $100, and domestic students will pay $0). For instructions, please see our department's graduate admissions page. Proud to have played a small part in brokering this agreement, as the CS Director of Graduate Admissions.

DGA appointment

Aug 16, 2022

I have been officially appointed as Director of Graduate Admissions and Co-Director of Graduate Studies, while Jakob Eriksson is on a sabbatical leave. Big shoes to fill in.

Promotion to full professor

Aug 16, 2022

I have been officially promoted to full professor. It wouldn't have happened without the support of wonderful students and advisees, collaborators, and colleagues in my field and at my institution.

Paper accepted at VIS'22

Aug 1, 2022

Nafiul Nipu's and Carla Floricel's paper on contrail visualization has been officially accepted at VIS'22!

Papers program co-chairing at EuroVis'22

June 4, 2022

I am co-chairing the Papers Program at EuroVis'22 in Rome, together with the wonderful Rita Borgo and Tobias Schreck. We are also co-guest editing the CGF issue correponding to the accepted papers.

Seminar at VRVis

May 19, 2022

I am visiting and giving a colloquium at VRVis in Vienna about the immersive analytics work done at EVL.

Seminar at University of Vienna

May 16, 2022

I am visiting and giving a guest seminar at University of Vienna.

Colloquium at TU Wien

May 13, 2022

I am giving a colloquium at TU Wien to my lovely hosts, about grounding data vis theory in practice.

Paper presentation

March 26, 2022

Sanjana Srabanti presented our paper on healthcare disparities in head and neck cancer at PacificVis'22!


March 5, 2022

I am participating in WinterGraph'22, as a guest of Edi Groller's group.

Seminar at Utah SCI

Jan 26, 2022

I am giving a virtual guest seminar at Utah SCI.

Seminar at NYU Tandon

Dec 9, 2021

I am giving a seminar at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, as a guest of Claudio Silva's group.

Seminar at UI Cancer Center

Dec 2, 2021

I am giving a virtual seminar at University of Illinois Cancer Center, where I am a member.

Sabbatical 2021-2022

Sep 1, 2021

I will be on a sabbatical break Fall 2021 (NYU) and Spring 2022 (TU Vienna).

Test-of-time award

July 10, 2021

Our paper on RuleBender has received a Test of Time Award for the ten-years most impactful biovis paper at ISMB'21! So proud of my team: Adam Smith, Wen Xu, Yao Sun and James Faeder. Miss you all.