Liz Marai
G. Elisabeta (Liz) Marai

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Electronic Visualization Lab:
Department of Computer Science
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL


I am a computer scientist working in scientific modeling and data visualization. My work draws on and extends ideas from computer graphics and visualization, medical imaging, differential geometry, and applied mathematics. Collaborative work with colleagues across different departments leads to richer computer science research and provides a mechanism for evaluating the usefulness and robustness of results.

I am the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Visualization Research Lab. The lab's research pages are the best place to learn more about my work, my group, our projects, results, publications, and sponsors. My research has raised (or directly helped raise) more than $2.6M in federal grants. Two of these grants are large, Big Data, multi-disciplinary NSF awards.

I have received a NSF CAREER Award in 2010, an IEEE BioVis 2011 Best-Paper Award, an IEEE LDAV 2012 Best Paper Runner-Up Award, an IEEE BioVis 2013 Data Contest Visualization Award and multiple Teaching Awards for courses which blend teaching and research.

I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago as of January 2015. Prior to that, I was Research Faculty in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and Joint Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Computer Science---thanks, Pitt, I quit. I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University in May 2007. Before that, I was an intern at Philips Research in the Netherlands. And first, I received a M.Sc. and a B.S. in 1998, respectively 1997, from the Computer Science Department of the Politehnica University of Bucharest in Romania.


I have received six Teaching Awards in five years of teaching (one at the Provost level; two for student evaluations in the top 4% in the Pitt School of Arts and Sciences; and three more for highest student evaluations in the department at specific undergraduate and graduate levels); although, or perhaps because, I often choose to experiment with my teaching and learn from the results :-). My lab's teaching portfolio showcases some of the work produced by my awesome students.

Service and Outreach

Please see my CV for a complete list of professional service and outreach activities. You may know me from my BioVis Program co-chairing, multiple IEEE program committees, organizing committees, or reviewing service. Or you may know me as the founder and faculty coordinator of the Pitt Women in Computer Science organization (which aims to compensate for the 7% (!) female undergraduate enrollment in the department), as a collaborator of the Pitt CS K-12 outreach Technology Leadership Initiative (Tonya Groover Edmonds' diversity outreach initiative at Pitt CS), or as the creator and organizer of the IEEE VisWeek 2011 Compass activities; for which I've been called (on the webs)"indefatigable".


WiCS: Pitt Women in Computer Science
TLI: Technology Leadership Initiative
Compass: IEEE VIS Compass