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Short Bio

Leila De Floriani is a full professor at the University of Maryland with a joint appointment with the Department of Geographical Sciences and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies  (UMIACS).  She is also affiliated with the Department of Computer Science,  with the Center for Geospatial Information Science, and with the UMIACS Center for Automation Research.  Since  Fall 2021, she is the Director of Graduate Studies in Geographical Sciences. 

De Floriani has previously been a professor of Computer Science at the University of Genova (Italy), where she developed the first undergraduate and graduate curricula in computer graphics in Italy, and served as Director of the Ph.D. program in Computer  Science for eight years. During her career, she has also held positions at the University of Nebraska, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and at the Italian National Research Council.

De Floriani was the 2020 President of the IEEE Computer Society. She is the IEEE Division VIII Division Director since January 2023. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society since 2017.  She  is a member of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board, and of the IEEE Conferences and Conference Publications Committees.

She is a Fellow of IEEE,Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), a Fellow of the Eurographics Association,  a Pioneer of the Solid Modeling Association, and an inducted member of the IEEE Visualization Academy. She has been awarded the IEEE Computer Society Golden Core and an inducted member of the IEEE Honor Society IEEE-HKN.

She has been the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG) for two terms from 2015 to 2018 and served as an associate editor for IEEE TVCG from 2004 to 2008. De Floriani is currently an editor of ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems, Computers & Graphics,   Computer Science Review, GeoInformatica, Graphical Models, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, and International Journal of Spatial Information Science. She has served on the program committees of over 150 leading international conferences, contributing in several conferences in a leadership capacity.

De Floriani has authored over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications in data visualization, spatial data representation, and processing, computer graphics, geometric modeling, shape analysis, and understanding, garnering several best paper awards and invitations as a keynote speaker. Her research has been funded by numerous national and international agencies, including the European Commission and the National Science Foundation.

Please visit for a description of her research, teaching and service activities. 




Areas of Interest

  • Geospatial data visualization
  • Topology-based data visualization
  • Spatial data structures
  • Spatial big data representation and analysis
  • Terrain modeling and analysis
  • Topological data analysis
  • Geometric modeling and processing
Teaching Philosophy
I am offering the following course in Spring 2023 (Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:30pm – 1:45pm)

Algorithms for Geospatial Computing
GEOG 470/770/CMSC 401

Course Description

• Introduction to fundamental geometric algorithms for spatio- temporal data processing and analysis.
• Managing and clustering point clouds for processing and analysis of LiDAR data.
• Terrain modeling: representations, query algorithms, visibility and morphological analysis.
• Applications: terrain reconstruction, urban modeling, forest management and coastal data management and analysis
• Algorithms for road network analysis and reconstruction.
• Scalable algorithms and representations for big geospatial data.

Prerequisites. Some programming background in Python or C++ is required for this course.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon a successful completion of the course the students will be able to:
• Acquire in-depth knowledge of fundamentals of algorithms for geospatial data science.
• Learn techniques for efficiently encoding, manipulating and querying geospatial data.
• Gain substantial understanding of how geospatial data are actually processed in modern geographical information systems.
• Learn how to design, use and implement algorithms dealing with geospatial data, with emphasis on point data processing and analysis, on terrain modeling and on road network analysis.
• Apply algorithms for discrete and continuous geospatial data to LiDAR data processing and analysis, and algorithms for road network routing and reconstruction to real-world data sets
• Learn how to use open-source software to solve geospatial data analysis problems
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GEOG788i Data Structures for Geospatial Computing Spring 2018 Syllabus
I served as the 2020 President of the IEEE Computer Society (CS), which was a year of unprecedented challenges and transformative changes, yet also a year filled with great and numerous accomplishments, such as: the creation of a new permanent CS committee on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), and a dedicated fund to support it; new D&I activities, from an interview series of prominent female scientists and professionals, to best practices for Society activities and against the use of racist, biased, and culturally insensitive language in Society products; a restructuring of the Society governance to enhance bottom-up participation of volunteer leaders in decision-making; an expansion of the open access publication portfolio; a reinvigorated effort and focus on open science and reproducibility; a successful temporary transition to virtual conferences; a multilingual translation program for the CS website to fully engage non-English-speaking members; a novel recognition program to honor Society members; a new conference series, IEEE InTech Forum, targeted at industry. Despite the ongoing difficult worldwide economic situation, in 2020 the CS generated a high budget surplus, nearly doubling its reserves.

I served as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), the top journal in visualization, virtual reality and computer graphics, for two terms from 2015 to 2018. My service as editor-in-chief of IEEE TVCG (has provided me with invaluable experience on both publications and conferences, because of the peculiar characteristics of this publication, unique in the CS and IEEE portfolio.I have developed and experimented a new model of close collaboration between journals and conferences. Such model builds on the strengths of these publication modes, in which conference presentations are fundamental for visibility and dissemination while journal publications are directed to archival purposes and mostly academic career advancement. This initiative has generated a significant higher standing of TVCG among top peer reviewed publications, with a high increase in its impact factor, in the number of downloads and submissions as well as an increase in conference participation, especially IEEE Visualization, where almost half of the papers presented in 2018 have been TVCG regular papers.

Over the last several years I have been actively involved in open science and research reproducibility. As the 2020 CS President, I promotes such activities through an adhoc committee of leading experts in reproducibility from inside and outside IEEE, which conducted an assessment and analysis of reproducibility activities in IEEE and inside the Computer Society and produced a set of recommendations publicized in the community through a webinar, and a publication. I 2017-2018, as editor-in-chief of IEEE TVCG, I started one of the two pilot projects inside the Computer Society in reproducibility, participating in the graphics community replicability initiative, enhancing the papers published in the Society Digital Library with their reproducible code and data.

  • International
    2020 IEEE Computer Society President
  • Professional
    Editor in Chief - IEEE Transcactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (2015-2018)
  • International
    Founding Chair, IEEE Computer Society Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 2021
  • International
    Member of the Computer Society Board of Governors, since 2017 (Chair in 2020)
  • Professional
    Associate Editor - Graphical Models, since 2010
  • Professional
    Associate Editor, ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems, since 2013
  • Professional
    Associate Editor, GeoInformatica, since 2004
  • Professional
    Associate Editor, Computers & Graphics, since 2020
  • Professional
    Member of the Editorial Board, Computer Science Review, since 2021
  • Professional
    Member if the Editorial Board, International Journal of Geo-Information, since 2019
  • Professional
    Member of the Editorial Board, International Journal of Spatial Information Science, since 2014
  • National
    Board Member, Computing Research Association (CRA), since 2020
  • Campus
    Member of BSOS College Council

Current Students

Former Students

  • Federico Iuricich
    Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Clemson University
  • Riccardo Fellagara
    Senior Scientist, German Aerospace Institute (DLR)
  • Ulderico Fugacci
    Tenured Scientist at the Italian National Research Council, Genova (Italy)
  • Sara Scaramuccia
    Postdoc, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.
  • Kenneth Weiss
    Computer Scientist, Lawrence Livermore Research Laboratory, US.
  • Paola Magillo
    Associate Professor, University of Genova (Italy)
  • Enrico Puppo
    Full Professor, University of Genova, Italy

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Noel Dyer
  • Yuehui Qian
  • Yunting Song
  • Xin Xu
Leila De Floriani
1135 LeFrak Hall
Department of Geographical Sciences
deflo [at]