IO Informatics

Conference on Semantics in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Keynote Speaker - Deborah McGuinness, Ph.D

Updated March 02, 2014

Professor, Computer and Cognitive Science
Founding Director, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Web Science Research Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Troy, NY, USA

Presentation Date and Time:
Thursday, February 27 - 1:00 pm

Presentation Title:

Towards Semantic Health Assistants

- Click here for PDF of presentation.

Abstract:  In this presentation we will present a vision of semantically-enabled health assistants.  We will present three examples of semantics in practice in the areas of drug repurposing, mobile health advisors, and population health.  We will highlight where semantic technologies are adding value and also present some remaining challenges.

Biography:  Deborah McGuinness is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science. She is also the founding director of the Web Science Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Deborah has been recognized with awards for leadership in Semantic Web research and in bridging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and eScience, significant contributions to deployed AI applications, and extensive service to the AI community. Deborah is a leading authority on the semantic web and has been working in knowledge representation and reasoning environments for over 25 years. Deborah's primary research thrusts include work on explanation, trust, ontologies, escience, open data, and semantically-enabled schema and data integration. Prior to joining RPI, Deborah was the acting director of the Knowledge Systems, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Senior Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department of Stanford University, and previous to that she was at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Deborah is also widely known for her leading role in the development of the W3C Recommended Web Ontology Language (OWL), her work on earlier description logic languages and environments, including the CLASSIC knowledge representation system, and more recently, her work on provenance languages and environments, including InferenceWeb, PML, and PROV. She has built and deployed numerous ontology environments and ontology-enhanced applications, including some that have been in continuous use for over a decade at AT&T and Lucent, and two that have won deployment awards for variation reduction on plant floors and interdisciplinary virtual observatories. Recent application thrusts include health informatics and smart environmental monitoring. Some current and recent projects can be explored at She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and has authored granted patents in knowledge based systems, ontology environments, configuration, and search technology.

Deborah also consults with clients wishing to plan, develop, deploy, and maintain semantic web and/or AI applications. Some areas of recent work include: data science, next generation health advisors, ontology design and evolution environments, semantically-enabled virtual observatories, semantic integration of scientific data, context-aware mobile applications, search, eCommerce, configuration, and supply chain management. She is a frequent technology advisory board member, currently with Qualcomm, OrbMedia, SocialWire, and Sandpiper Software. She also advised Applied Semantics, Guru Worldwide, and Cerebra prior to their acquisitions. Deborah has also worked as an expert witness in a number of cases, and has deposition and trial experience. Deborah received her Bachelors degree in Math and Computer Science from Duke University, her Masters degree in Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.