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Natalia Villanueva
Rosales, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Co-PI, CyberShare Center of Excellence
University of Texas at El Paso

Ph.D., Computer Science, Carleton University, Canada
M.Sc., Artificial Intelligence, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
B.Sc., Statistical Methods, Center for Mathematical Research
B. Eng., Computer Science, Panamerican University, Mexico   

The intersection of smart devices and big data will inevitably lead to the development of smart cities, and that is exactly the area that Dr. Natalia Villanueva Rosales’ research — focused on automated discovery, integration, analysis, and interpretation of big data and its translation to useful information — leads her to explore and develop.

Described by her colleagues as a fantastically talented individual with outstanding contributions in research, teaching and community service, she has an exciting research program in data science, a proven track record in mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students, is a great teacher of advanced topics in computer science, and exhibits excellent leadership in promoting female participation in sciences and engineering. 

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Computer science at Mexico’s Panamerican University, Dr. Villanueva Rosalescontinued her education at Edinburgh University, one of the premier research universities in the UK, with an M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence, before earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carleton University in Canada.

Her doctorate in hand, Dr. Villanueva Rosaleswas soon hired as a Research Assistant Professor at the Cyber-ShARE Center of Excellence at the University of Texas at El Paso where she led the research efforts in knowledge representation, negotiation, and integration to link human and machine knowledge models.  After two years, she joined the Computer Science Department as an Assistant Professor.  

Dr. Villanueva Rosales’applied researchfocuses on creating data-driven cyberinfrastructure that enables the description and trust in resources and results in cyber-enhanced tools that can be applied to global challenges, such as building smart and connected cities. 

In the context of her work, asmart cityis defined as the ability of a city to integrate people, technology, and information to create a sustainable and resilient infrastructure that provides high quality services for residents. Designing smart cities or transforming current cities to smart cities is an emergent area of research and development worldwide and requires collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts among government, industry, residents and researchers.

Dr. Villanueva Rosales’work has been applied to collaborative research to harness data that can convert cities into smart cities and to enable management of water resources, freight performance, andBiodiversity Models. The Creative Digital City in Guadalajara with 4.6 million residents was designated as the first core city of the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative in 2016, and Dr. Villanueva’s work is being applied to assist people during flooding events and assist seniors commuting in the city.

Besides all of her teaching and research work, Dr. Villanueva Rosales still finds time to give back to the community by encouraging and supporting women and Hispanics pursuing STEM careers and education. She is a founding member of the Advancement of Women in Computing Committee in the CS Department at UTEP and has served as its chair since its inception in September 2014. She also recently was awarded received the prestigious 2019 National Center for Women & Information Technology Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award.