Deborah McGuinness Is Honored for Contributions to Knowledge Technologies

February 9, 2024

Deborah McGuinness, Ph.D.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Deborah McGuinness, Ph.D., has been elected a fellow of the ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, “for contributions to knowledge technologies including ontologies and knowledge graphs.” McGuinness is one of 68 fellows selected by her peers to receive the honor for transformative contributions to computing science and technology. 

“The ACM Fellow status recognizes Prof. McGuinness’ outstanding contributions to ontologies and knowledge graphs, Semantic technologies, and their applications in health and other domains,” said Mohammed Zaki, Ph.D., head of Rensselaer’s Department of Computer Science. “This recognition further underscores RPI’s excellence in computing and its emerging applications.”

McGuinness is an endowed chaired professor in computer science, cognitive science, and industrial and systems engineering. She also co-chairs the Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) and is the founding director of the RPI Web Science Research Center. McGuinness has a longstanding history of leadership in fundamental and applied Semantic Web research, bridging artificial intelligence (AI) and eScience, and creating explainable, provenance-aware AI environments and applications. With her teams, she has designed and deployed applications in a wide range of areas including health informatics, personalized medicine, environmental ecosystems, manufacturing, configuration, materials design, drug repurposing, smart product design, and intellectual property litigation.

McGuinness’ achievements include over 700 publications including books such as Description Logic Handbook (2nd edition 2010), Ontology Engineering (2019), Provenance in Data Science (2021), and Health Web Science (2014). She holds four patents. McGuinness has served as an expert witness in numerous cases including deposition and testimony. She has chaired or co-chaired international conferences on the Semantic Web (ISWC-2021), web science (WebSci-2017), information and knowledge management (CIKM-2007), AI (AAAI-2004), and knowledge representation and reasoning (KR&R-2002).

McGuinness’ research is supported by the Intelligence Advanced Research Agency (IARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), IBM, Cisco, LGS, CACI, and more. She is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). McGuinness received a lifetime achievement award from the Knowledge Graph Conference (KGC) for “outstanding contributions to the field of knowledge engineering” and has been recognized with the Robert Engelmore award from AAAI for “leadership in Semantic Web research and in bridging AI and eScience, significant contributions to deployed AI applications, and extensive service to the AI community.”

“I am honored to receive this recognition along with such a distinguished group of recipients,” said McGuinness.  “I would like to thank my many mentors who have guided and inspired me over the years. Increasingly, scientific contributions are interdisciplinary and collaborative, and over my years of employment at Bell Labs, Stanford, and RPI, I have had the privilege to work with some of the best and brightest.”

Written By Katie Malatino
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