John Alexis Guerra Gómez


  • 2008-2013 Computer Science PhD under the supervision of Dr. Ben Shneiderman and Dr. Catherine Plaisant. University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland USA.

    Thesis: Exploring differences in multivariate datasets using hierarchiesAn interactive information visualization approach.

    GPA 3.7/4.0

    Courses (in chronological order):

- CMSC634 - Empirical Research Methods for Computer Science, professor Dr. Vibha Sazawal
- CMSC752 Concrete Complexity, professor Dr. William Gasarch
- CMSC838K How to do Research, professor Dr. Steven Salzberg
- CMSC711 Computer Networks, professor Dr. Neil Spring
- CMSC724 Database Management Systems, professor Dr. Amol Deshpande
- CMSC734 Information Visualization, professor Dr. Ben Shneiderman
- CMSC737 Fundamentals of Software Testing, professor Dr. Atif Memon
- CMSC828X Nature Inspired Artificial Intelligence, professor Dr. James Reggia
- CMSC818G Information-Centric Design of Systems, professor Dr. Ashok Agrawala
- CMSC726 Machine Learning, professor: Dr. Lise Getoor
- CMSC838C Advanced Topics in Programming Languages: Social Computing, professor Dr. Ben Bederson
- CMSC838B Future of HCIL seminar, professors Dr. Jon Froelich, Dr. Leah Findlater and Dr. Ben Bederson
  • 2012 Honorary Mention, HCIL Google Best Student Research Award.
  • 2011 Master in Science in Computer Science, University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland USA. GPA 3.7/4.0
  • 2008 Winner of the "International Science and Technology Scholarship for Outstanding Foreign Students " Fulbright Scholarship for PhD Studies. 32 recipients in the world.
  • 2007 Master in "Enseñanza de la Matemática" (Teaching of Mathematics) . Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Pereira, Colombia. Thesis pending. GPA 4.5/5.0
  • 2004 Jorge Roa Martínez Scholarship for master studies in the "Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira", for undergrad GPA over 4.5/5.0.
  • 2004 Bachelor in "Ingeniería de Sistemas y Computación" (Computer Science Colombian equivalent). Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. Five years program. GPA 4.64/5.0. Honored Thesis: "Proyecto IRIS, un periférico para que personas con limitaciones visuales puedan sentir imágenes por medio del tacto" (IRIS Project, a system to allow blind people to feel images with their touch).
  • 1997 Best student of the class, High School 1997. "Colegio de la Salle Pereira". Best score in the school in the government standardized tests (ICFES) 348/400.


  • English Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking. TOEFL (CBT) 240/300, July 14 2006 GRE General Exam Verbal 410 34%, Quantitative 750 82%, Analytical 3.0 7%
  • Spanish Native


  • 2015-2016 Research Scientist at Yahoo Labs. Conducting research on information visualization techniques to facilitate the exploration of big photo respositories.
  • 20013-2014 Research Scientist at PARC. Lead the information visualization research effort Theory and Technology for Agile Organizations in the Intelligent Systems Lab, under the management of Dr. Marc Stefik. Develooped visual analytics systems for social network analysis and fraud waste and abuse.
  • 2011-2013 Research Assistant, Center for Advanced Transportation Technology laboratory, CATT Lab, under the supervision of Michael L. Pack (PackML[-at-]  University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, USA.
  • 2010-2011 Research Assistant, Human Computer Interaction Lab, under the supervision of Catherine Plaisant (plaisant[-at-] and Ben Shneiderman (ben[-at-] University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, USA.
  • 2008-2010 Teaching Assistant, Computer Science Department University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, USA. Courses (in chronological order):
- CMSC421 Introduction to Arti#cial Intelligence, professor Dr. Dana Nau
- CMSC330 Organization of Programming Languages, professor Dr. Vibha Sazawal
- CMSC451 Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms, professor Dr. Carl Kingsford
- CMSC433 Programming Language Technologies and Paradigms, professor Dr. Bill Pugh
  • 2004-2011 Chief Software Developer DUTO, Parquesoft Pereira, Colombia. Co founder. Developer of the IRIS software. In charge of the networking of the company. Oficial speaker. Server admin. Some distinctions of the company:
Winner of the Fan Favorite Video, in the Video Contest: Calling All Social Innovators from Mckinsey & Company
2011 Recognized by "Risaralda Emprende" a project of the Risaralda's Governement, for the contribution to the entrepreneurism in the region.
2010 Winners Inter American Development Bank's call for projects: "A world of solutions", with a project for US$50.000 to implement the IRIS system.
Featured in the book "Young World Rising" by Rob Salkowitz.
Recognized by the Colombian association of SMEs ACOPI, and Pereira's government council
Pilot test implementation project for US$40.000 (approx.) with Pereira's local government.
Featured in the book "Historias de Superación y Éxito" by Universia a network of universities in Spanish speaking countries.
2008 Sale of 10 IRIS devices to Pereira's local government.
Winners TIC Americas Entrepreneur Superstar, from the Young Americas Business Trust of the Organization of American States.
2007 Winners BiD Challenge Colombia.
Winners Global Young Social Entrepreneurs Competition, in Malaysa.
Winners VENTURES 2007, Colombia's biggest and most important business plan competition, in the categories general and best exporting potential.
Recognized with the "Orden del Mérito Empresarial" from the Risaralda's government (State level equivalent), and the "Cruz de Los Fundadores" the most important recognition given by the Pereira's local government.
Winners of The Best Social Entrepreneurship Award in the GLOBAL TiC 2007 competition in Taiwan.
Winners of the Social Entrepreneurship Award in the TIC Americas 2007 competition from the Young Americas Business Trust from the Organization of American States, in Panamá.
2006 Winner "Agentes de Cambio" from the MTV network, the Interamerican Development Bank and Ashoka.
2005 First place in the national call for projects "Call 021" of 2005 from the governmental organization SENA, with a project for US$90.000 (approx.)
  • 2007-2008 Chief Software Developer Keb Solutions. Co founder. Leader developer and trainer in Ruby on Rails.
  • 2005-2007 Full time computer science undergrad Teacher. Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Pereira, ColombiaCourses: Client/Server Arquitecture, Software Engineering Lab, Operative Systems I and II, Logic, Programming II, Informatics, and Introduction to the Informatics. Creator of the research groups: PYROX, Pyragua and PULPA
  • 2005 Chief Systems' Division. "XV Juegos Bolivarianos" Pereira - Armenia - Cartagena. Regional Olimpic Games.

Publications and Presentations


  • 2012 Main author Colombian Software Registration 13-34-484 "IRIS version 1.0", registered on October 9th 2012.
  • 2011 Main author Colombian Software Registration 13-28-205 "IRIS version 3.0", registered on March 2nd 2011.
  • 2007 USA Patent application number 20080174566. System for the perception of images through touch. Registered in April 2006 (Abandoned).
  • 2006 International patent registration PCT/IB2006/001502 System for the perception of images with touch. In process with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) since June 2006.
  • 2006 Colombian "IRIS" Trademark registration, class 9 valid from December 22nd 2008 through 2018.
  • 2005 Colombian Patent No. 05-037765 "Sistema para la percepción de imágenes por medio del tacto por medio de un guante de imanes" (System for the perception of images by means of touch using a glove of magnets). Resolution 18963 of April 5 2011. Authors: María Fernanda Zúñiga Zabala, John Alexis Guerra Gómez and Felipe Restrepo Calle