Photo of Cruz, Isabel

Isabel Cruz


Department of Computer Science


Building & Room:

1134 SEO


851 S. Morgan St, MC 152, Chicago, IL, 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 355-1141

Related Sites:


University of Illlinois Faculty Scholar (2011-2014)
Great Cities Institute Faculty Scholar (2014-2015)
Distinguished Researcher of the Year (Natural Sciences and Engineering) (2017)

I joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science at UIC in 2001. My main areas of research include data science/big data, databases, geographic information systems, semantic web, information visualization, and computer security. Current and past topics of research include information extraction and matching, big data (e.g., for geographical and biomedical information), visual analytics, context-aware role-based access control, data linking for urban resilience and sustainability, graph query languages, and constraint-based graph drawing. I direct the ADVIS Lab. Here is my biosketch. Here are my publications: Google Scholar, DBLP.

Biographical Sketch:

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).


Seminar - Juan F. Sequeda: "Integrating Relational Databases with the Semantic Web" (November 2015)
Visit by ADVIS alumn Venkat Raghavan to CS586 and the ADVIS Lab as part of the IBM Watson visit to UIC (October 2015)
AgreementMakerLight: (again) best ontology matching system at OAEI! (October 2015)
The ADVIS Lab has four presentations at ISWC: two at the Voila! Workshop and two at the Ontology Matching Workshop (October 2015)
Keynote at NSF funded workshop at the University of Michigan (October 2015)
UIC CS Data Science Curriculum: Introduction to Data Science course to be offered for the first time in Spring of 2016! (September 2015)
UIC CS Data Science Curriculum: Data and Web Semantics graduate course is offered for the 11th time!(August 2015)
Congratulations to PhD student Iman Mirrezaei for best paper at Know@LOD: The Triplex Approach for Recognizing Semantic Relations from Noun Phrases, Appositions, and Adjectives (July 2015)
Isabel Cruz gives keynote talk at the 8th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science titled "Big Data Integration to Enable Citizen Participation in Smart Cities" (June 2015) 
Ning Ai and Isabel Cruz give talk at the Great Cities Institute titled "Neighborhood-based Sustainable Food Waste Management" (May 2015)
Three undergraduate students receive NSF REU scholarships to work over the summer on the NSF CyberSEES and Visual Analytics projects: Manasa Bandapalle, Stephen Selke, and Akhil Thuthika (May 2015)
Isabel Cruz gives talk at the Urban Data Analytics/City of Chicago SmartData Platform Workshop at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago titled "You Cannot Take the Data Integration out of the Analytics (Nor Can You Take the Analytics out of the Data Integration)" (May 2015)
Paper by PhD student Iman Mirrezaei gets accepted (full paper) at the Know@LOD Workshop: "The Triplex Approach for Recognizing Semantic Relations from Noun Phrases, Appositions, and Adjectives" (April 2015)
Meeting between the CyberSEES team and top representatives from the City of Chicago featuring presentations of WindyGrid (by Tom Schenk, CDO, City of Chicago) and of GIVA (Isabel Cruz, UIC) (March 2015)
Isabel Cruz attends NetApp University Day in Sunnyvale, CA (February 2015)
Isabel Cruz becomes Associate Editor of ACM TOIT (January 2015)
Our paper Pay-As-You-Go Multi-User Feedback Model for Ontology Matching is presented by Matteo Palmonari at EKAW in Sweden (November 2014)
Isabel Cruz gives a Civic Engagement talk at the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at UIC(October 2014)
AgreementMakerLight is again first at OAEI (September 2014)
Riccardo Porrini, a PhD student from the U. of Milano-Bicocca, is visiting the ADVIS Lab for the Fall semester (August 2014)

Tais Bellini from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil is visiting the ADVIS Lab funded by an undergraduate scholarship from the CAPES/CNPq (May-August 2014)
Three of UIC's best undergraduate students: Lakulish Gandhi, Eson Musabelliu, and Taleb Omar are REU NSF recipients working on the CyberSEES project and the Visual Analytics project (May-August 2014)
ICDE 2014 (March-April 2014)
Great Cities Institute Scholar Award (2014-2015) (February 2014)
Mattteo Palmonari from U. of Milan-Bicocca visits the ADVIS Lab for one month to collaborate on the NSFCyberSEES project (January 2014)
Update: "GIVA: A Semantic Framework for Geospatial and Temporal Data Integration, Visualization, and Analytics" received the Best Demonstration Paper Award at the ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013 Conference (November 2013)
Devina Dhawan in the news (October 2013)
AgreementMakerLight is a resounding success at OAEI 2013 ( final results) (October 2013)
Our second paper on GIVA "Semantic Extraction of Geographic Data from Web Tables for Big Data Integration" has been accepted to the GIR '13 workshop (October 2013)
Data Integration for Urban Metabolism (September 2013)
Our demo paper "GIVA: A Semantic Framework for Geospatial and Temporal Data Integration, Visualization, and Analytics" has been accepted to the ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013 Conference(September 2013)
Francesco Loprete from U. of Milan-Bicocca starts a six month visit to the ADVIS Lab (August 2013)
New results for NSF Award "Visual Analytics for Ontology Matching" (August 2013)
Big Data Integration to Enable Citizen Participation in Smart Cities (July 2013)
Isabel Cruz gives talk at Microsoft Research (June 2013)
ICDE 2014 Web site (June 2013)
International Symposium on the Design of Urban Systems of the Future (May 2013)
Visit of Tina Eliassi-Rad (May 2013)
Anna Anderson and Matt Dumford join the ADVIS Lab as NSF REU recipients (April 2013)
Launching of AgreementMakerLight at SOMER meeting, University of Lisbon (April 2013)
Isabel Cruz made associate editor of ACM Trans. on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (March 2013)
Isabel Cruz receives ACM Recognition of Service Award (February 2013)
REU-recipient Devina Dhawan receives Scholarship for Service, CyberCorps (January 2013)
AgreementMaker still at the top! (December 2012)
WISE 2012 (November 2012)
ACM SIGPATIAL GIS 2012 (November 2012)
Invited talk at Chesapeake Large-Scale Analytics Conference (October 2012)
Moving Objects Databases for Exploration of Virtual and Real Environments (September 2012)
ODBASE 2012 (September 2012)
Alessio Fabiani and Matteo Palmonari present paper on an automatically configurable architecture for ontology matching using machine learning techniques at ESWC 2012 (May 2012)
Four students graduate from the ADVIS Lab: Rigel Gjomemo (PhD), Joel Booth (PhD), Federico Caimi (MS Thesis), Alessio Fabiani (MS Thesis) (May 2012)
Isabel Cruz and Cosmin Stroe give demo of an interactive ontology matching system at ICDE 2012(March 2012)
Isabel Cruz gives Reginald Golledge Distinguished Lectureship at UCSB "Big Data in Geographic Information Science Panel 2012" (February 2012)
UIC Area of Excellence Award: Building Urban Resilience and Sustainability (BURST): Integrating Adaptive Infrastructure Systems with Institutional and Ecological Functions (January 2012)
Interview: "Complexity of simple answers" (December 2011)
NSF features research by Isabel Cruz and Rigel Gjomemo "Computer Scientists Advance Secure Emergency Response Systems"(November 2011)
Isabel Cruz is the General Chair of ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS (November 2011)
AgreementMaker is again the best ontology matching system at OAEI (October 2011)
Isabel Cruz is Program Chair of IDEAS 2011 (September 2011)
The ADVIS Lab welcomes Alessio Fabiani (visiting from "La Sapienza") and welcomes back Matteo Palmorari (from Milano-Bicocca) and Federico Caimi (graduate student at UIC) (August 2011)
New project on Visual Analytics for Ontology Matching (July 2011)
AgreementMaker on Linked Open Data Paper at IJCAI LHD-11 (July 2011)
Catia Pesquita visits the ADVIS Lab (July 2011) Invited Talk
Isabel Cruz receives the University of Illinois Faculty Scholar Award (June 2011)
Rigel Gjomemo receives the Outstanding TA Award (May 2011)
The AgreementMaker system is first in matching biomedical ontologies (November 2010)
The ADVIS Lab welcomes Matteo Palmonari and Michele Caci (August 2010)
The ADVIS Lab is now on twitter (July 2010)
Isabel Cruz delivers keynote talk at the IV Alberto Mendelzon Workshop on Foundations of Data Management (May 2010) Slides
The AgreementMaker ontology matching system ranks high among peers (October 2009) Paper
Postdoc Angela Maduko joins the ADVIS lab (July 2009)
Isabel Cruz named general chair of the 2011 ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS conference (June 2009)
Isabel Cruz receives Great Cities Institute Faculty Scholar award (April 2009)
Launch of (December 2008)
NSF grant on schema and ontology matching (August 2008)
List of NSF ITR publications (August 2008)
AgreementMaker in the OAEI 2007 campaign
Call for participation: ACM GIS 2007
Program chair of ISWC 2006
UIC teaching award
AP2PC 2004 (New York)
COE faculty research award
National Academies Mapping Science committee
Invited talk on semantic data integration
Undergraduate research
Feihong and Lu win TA prizes
Tutorial at Supercomputing 2002
Invited talk at GIScience 2002
dg.o demo


My main areas of research are in Database and Information Systems. Some of my particular interests are in the following topics (note about manuscripts here provided and other relevant links):

  • Semantic Data Integration
  • Semantic Desktop for Personal Information Management
    • A Multi-Ontology Approach for Personal Information Management (with Huiyong Xiao). 1st Workshop on The Semantic Desktop - Next Generation Personal Information Management and Collaboration Infrastructure, Galway, Ireland, November 2005 (in association with ISWC).
    • Semantically-Driven Multimedia Querying and Presentation (with Olga Sayenko). Managing Multimedia Semantics, Idea Group Publishing, 2005.
    • Semantic Organization of Multimedia Data for Meaningful Display (with Olga Sayenko). HCI International Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2005.
    • A Layered Framework Supporting Personal Information Integration and Application Design for the Semantic Desktop (with Huiyong Xiao), VLDB Journal, vol 17, no. 6, pp 1385-1406, November 2008.
  • Schema and Ontology Alignment
  • Semantic Web and Security
  • Geospatial Information Systems
    • Object Interoperability for Geospatial Applications. First Semantic Web Working Symposium, SWWS, Stanford, California, 2001.
    • Querying Heterogeneous Land Use Data: Problems and Potential (with Nancy Wiegand, Daniel Patterson, Naijun Zhou, Steve Ventura). dg.o 2002, Los Angeles, California, 2002.
    • Handling Semantic Heterogeneities using Declarative Agreements (with Afsheen Rajendran, William Sunna, and Nancy Wiegand). ACM GIS 2002.
    • A Web Query System for Heterogeneous Geospatial Data (with Nancy Wiegand, Naijun Zhou). Scientific and Statistical Database Management, SSDBM, July 2003, pp. 262-265.
    • Data Integration for Querying Geospatial Sources (with Huiyong Xiao). Geospatial Services and Applications for the Internet, eds. John Sample, Kevin Shaw, Shengru Tu, and Mahdi Abdelguerfi, Springer, pages.113-137, 2008.
  • User Interfaces for Multimedia Information Systems
    • A User Interface for Distributed Multimedia Database Querying with Mediator Supported Refinement (with Kim James). International Database Engineering and Applications Symposium, IDEAS '99, Montreal, Canada, pp. 433-441, IEEE Press, August 1999.
    • A Framework for the Dynamic Presentation of Fused Multimedia Databases (with Haiyan Lin, Yuan Feng Huang). International Workshop on Multimedia Information Systems, Ischia, Italy, pp.13-22, 2003.
    • A Layered Architecture for the Exploration of Heterogeneous Information Using Coordinated Views (with Yuan Feng Huan). IEEE Visual Languages, pp. 11-18, 2004.
  • Visualization for the Semantic Web
    • Web Rendering Systems: Techniques, Classification Criteria, and Challenges (with Tiziana Catarci and Stephen Kimani). Visualizing the Semantic Web, eds. V. Geroimenko and C. Chen, Springer Verlag, 2002.
  • Visual Query Languages
    • Implementation of a Constraint-Based Visualization System (with Peter Leveille, IEEE Visual Languages, pp. 13-20, 2000). Best Paper Award.
    • As You Like It: Personalized Database Visualization Using a Visual Language (with Peter Leveille, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 2001).
  • Information and Algorithm Visualization
    • Visualizing Geometric Algorithms over the Web (with James Baker, Giuseppe Liotta, and Roberto Tamassia, Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, 12(1-2), pp. 125-152, 1999).
  • Graph Drawing, and in particular Declarative or Contraint-based Graph Drawing
    • Graph Drawing Tutorial (with Roberto Tamassia)
    • 3D Graph Drawing with Simulated Annealing (with Joseph P. Twarog). Graph Drawing 1995: 162-165
    • Drawing Graphs by Example Efficiently: Trees and Planar Acyclic Digraphs (with Ashim Garg). Graph Drawing 1994: 404-415
  • Web Information Systems



Program Committee Member: EDBT, WWW.


Senior Program Committee Member: ACM SIGSPATIAL
Program Committee Member: WWW, PVLDB, ISWC, SDSC.


Senior Program Committee Member: ACM SIGSPATIAL
Program Committee Member: ISWC, AGILE, VOILA!


Program Committee Member: EDBT (Demo program), SIGMOD (Demo program), PVLDB, ISWC, GIScience, AMW, VOILA!.


Program Committee Member: AAAI, AGILE, AMW, EDBT, ISWC, OM, SSN-TC, VOILA!, WOP.


PC Chair: ICDE 2014.
Program Committee Member: AAAI, ESWC, GIScience, VLDB (PhD program), ISWC, OM, Terra Cognita, AIMSA, ER.


Program Committee Member: EDBT, AMW, K-CAP (Workshop and Tutorials), ESWC, ER, IDEAS, IJCAI, AAAI (Special Track on Artificial Intelligence and the Web), PriSMO (Privacy and Security for Moving Objects), ISWC, OM, AAAI-S4BD.


PC Chair: WISE and ODBASE.
Distinguished Talk: Reginald Gollege Distinguished Lectureship, "Big Data in Geographic Information Science,'' University of California at Santa Barbara, February 2012.
Program Committee Member: EDBT, ICDE, AMW, ESWC, AAAI (Special Track on Artificial Intelligence and the Web), GIBDA, ISWC, Terra Cognita.
Invited Participations: EarthCube Semantics/Ontology Workshop, EarthCube Charrette Meeting, CRA Conference at Snowbird, GeoVoCampSB2012.


PC Chair: IDEAS.
Program Committee Member: ACM CODASPY, AGILE, GeoS, ESWC, SIGMOD, SSDBM, DMSN, VLDB (PhD Program), CollaborateCom, Terra Cognita, ISWC (Research Track and Visionary Committee), ER.




  • Executive Committee of the College of Engineering


  • Provost's Sustainability Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee (SSTAC)


  • GCI Faculty Scholars Program Review Committee


  • WISEST Head Facilitator (elected) WISEST Facilitator


  • Chair, WISEST Assistant Professor Initiative (WAPI)


  • WISEST Facilitator Committee (2008-2009 Subcommittees: Post Doc Institute and STEM Faculty Women Retention)

2003-2004, 2007-2008

  • Search Committee for the Dean of the College of Engineering



  • Chair, Faculty Search (hires: Tanya Berger-Wolf, Venkat Venkatakrishnan, and Lenore Zuck).


  • Chair, Director of Departmental Business Affairs Search


  • Chair, PR Committee

2001-2004, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2010-2012

  • Advisory Committee to the Department Head (elected)


  • Tenure and Promotion

2001-2004, 2011-2012

  • Faculty Search

2004-2009 and 2010-2011

  • Graduate Committee


  • Undergraduate Recruiting


  • PR and Visibility

Spring 2008, 2008-2009

  • Colloquium Committee


  • Qualifying Examination (Chair of the Software Systems Area, Fall 2002). To graduate students: the departmental qualifying examination that was last offered in 2003 will resume in 2008.

2008-2009 and 2010-2011

  • (New) Qualifying Examination (Software Systems Area and Theory Area).

Selected Publications


[SSW] Location-Based Access Control Using Semantic Web Technologies
Rigel Gjomemo and Isabel F. Cruz
Geospatial Semantics, eds. Naveen Ashish and Amit Sheth, Springer Series “Semantic Web and Beyond: Computing for Human Experience”.
[MDB] Ranking Continuous Nearest Neighbors for Uncertain Trajectories
Goce TrajcevskiRoberto TamassiaIsabel F. CruzPeter Scheuermann, David Hartglass, and Christopher Zamierowski, VLDB Journal (to appear).
[AM][SDI] Towards “On the Go” Matching of Linked Open Data Ontologies
Isabel F. CruzMatteo PalmonariFederico Caimi, and Cosmin Stroe, IJCAI Workshop Discovering Meaning On the Go in Large & Heterogeneous Data (LHD-11), Barcelona, Spain, July 2011.
[AM][SDI] Biomedical Ontology Matching Using the AgreementMaker System
Isabel F. CruzCosmin Stroe, Catia Pesquita, Francisco Couto, and Valerie Cross, International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), Buffalo, NY, July 2011.
[AM][SDI] Aligning the Parasite Experiment Ontology and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations Using AgreementMaker
Valerie Cross, Cosmin Stroe, Xueheng Hu, Pramit Silwal, Maryam Panahiazar, Isabel F. Cruz, Priti Parikh, Amit Sheth, International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), Buffalo, NY, July 2011.


[AM][SDI] Using AgreementMaker to Align Ontologies for OAEI 2010
Isabel F. CruzCosmin Stroe, Michele Caci, Federico Caimi, Matteo Palmonari, Flavio Palandri Antonelli, and Ulas C. Keles
Fifth International Workshop on Ontology Matching, co-located with the International Semantic Web Conference, Shanghai, China, November 2010 (OAEI track paper).
[AM][SDI] BLOOMS on AgreementMaker results for OAEI 2010
Catia Pesquita, Cosmin Stroe, Isabel F. Cruz, and Francisco Couto
Fifth International Workshop on Ontology Matching, co-located with the International Semantic Web Conference, Shanghai, China, November 2010 (OAEI track paper).
[SSW] An Interoperation Framework for Secure Collaboration Among Organizations
Isabel F. CruzRigel Gjomemo, and Greg Jarzab
3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Security and Privacy in GIS and LBS (SPRINGL 2010), San Jose, CA, November 2010.
[AM][SDI] Integrated Matching and Evaluation of Large Real-World Ontologies
Isabel F. Cruz
4th Alberto Mendelzon International Workshop on Foundations of Data Management, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2010.


[AM][SDI] Efficient Selection of Mappings and Automatic Quality-driven Combination of Matching Methods
Isabel F. CruzFlavio Palandri Antonelli, and Cosmin Stroe
Fourth International Workshop on Ontology Matching, co-located with the International Semantic Web Conference, Chantilly, Virginia, October 2009 (full technical paper). pdf
[AM][SDI] Using AgreementMaker to Align Ontologies for OAEI 2009 Overview, Results, and Outlook
Isabel F. CruzFlavio Palandri AntonelliCosmin Stroe, Ulas C. Keles, and Angela Maduko
Fourth International Workshop on Ontology Matching, co-located with the International Semantic Web Conference, Chantilly, Virginia, October 2009 (OAEI track paper). pdf
[AM][SDI] Integrated Ontology Matching and Evaluation
Isabel F. CruzFlavio Palandri Antonelli, and Cosmin Stroe
International Semantic Web Conference (Posters & Demos), Chantilly, Virginia, October 2009. pdf
[AM][SDI] AgreementMaker Efficient Matching for Large Real-World Schemas and Ontologies (Demo Paper)
Isabel F. CruzFlavio Palandri Antonelli, and Cosmin Stroe
International Conference on Very Large Databases, Lyon, France, pages 1586-1589, September 2009. pdf
[SDI] Query Sentences as Semantic (Sub) Networks
Joel Booth, Barbara Di Eugenio, Isabel F. Cruz, and Ouri Wolfson
IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing, Berkeley, CA, pages 89-94, September 2009.pdf
[SDI] Ontology Driven Data Integration in Heterogeneous Networks
Isabel F. Cruz and Huiyong Xiao
Complex Systems in Knowledge-Based Environments, eds. Andreas Tolk and Lakhmi Jain, pages 75-97, Springer, 2009. pdf
[MDB] Continuous Probabilistic Nearest-Neighbor Queries for Uncertain Trajectories
Goce TrajcevskiRoberto Tamassia, Hui Ding, Peter Scheuermann, and Isabel F. Cruz
12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology (EDBT), St Petersburg, Russia, pages 874-885, March 2009.pdf
[GIS] A Data Model for Trip Planning in Multimodal Transportation Systems
Joel Booth, Prasad Sistla, Ouri Wolfson, and Isabel F. Cruz
12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology (EDBT), St Petersburg, Russia, pages 994-1005, March 2009. pdf


Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1994