Vanessa Frías-Martínez

Professor, College of Information Studies

University of Maryland

Dr. Vanessa Frías-Martínez is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and UMIACS at the University of Maryland, where she leads the Urban Computing Lab. Her research focuses on the design of data science and AI tools for decision making in high stakes settings including disaster response, transportation and public health. Leveraging insights from spatio-temporal data sources, Frías-Martínez and her team have designed computational models of human behavior in the built environment to explain and predict human behavior. In addition, she also works on the design of methods to audit and mitigate the impact of data bias on the output of these computational models. Ultimately, her research can help local governments and non-profit organizations better understand the spatial dynamics of cities and communities - offering additional behavioral insights beyond more traditional sources of information - and assisting them in the design of more equitable, resilient and humane cities. Dr. Frías-Martínez is the recipient of multiple National Science Foundation awards, including the prestigious NSF CAREER award. She is also the PI for the $2.5M NSF S&CC BALTO project focused on understanding the barriers that low-income residents in Baltimore face when using public transit. Prior to academia, she spent five years as a staff researcher at Telefonica Research. She received her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University. @VFriasM.