Image of Patti

Co-Leader, ECEP Puerto Rico Chapter
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras
San Juan, PR 00936-8377
Phone: 787-764-0000 ext. 88352
Email: patricia DOT ordonez AT upr PERIOD edu or pattiordonez AT gmail

Former National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  I am an Associate Professor in the Computer Science faculty at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras and thereby fulfilling two lifelong and one unexpected midlife dreams - living in a Spanish speaking country, having the opportunity to make a greater difference in the world, and becoming a professor. My research interests are in applying machine learning, data mining, and visualization to multivariate time series analysis, specifically to large repositories of clinical data (now know as Biomedical Data Science). There are so many techniques that have been applied to financial and marketing data that can make a significant impact to improve the way medicine is practiced today. Through collaboration among computational scientists, medical professionals, and others, tools can be developed to create clinical decision support systems so that medical providers make better diagnosis and treatment plans by learning from the experience of previous providers who have had similar patients. I founded the Symposium of Health Informatics for Latin America and the Caribbean as a major step in addressing that objective through international collaboration. I am passionate about making quality health and education accessible to all. I am also passionate about diversifying the field of computer science and thereby am active in mentoring and developing mentoring communities at the elementary, middle, and high school level, college and graduate school level, and in creating assistive technologies for programming and communication so that computer science is for all.

I received a PhD from the department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I defended my dissertation on March 29, 2012 and my doctoral degree was conferred on May 18, 2012. I was a non-traditional student, meaning I took a huge leap of faith while experiencing a close to mid-life crisis. Ages ago as an undergraduate, I was scared off by electrical engineering (computer science was just starting then). After years of teaching high school math and Spanish and even more years being a technical trainer, I decided to go back to school full-time to pursue a graduate degree and explore my mind's fullest potential. I applied for the PhD program realizing that without external funding I would not be able to accomplish this task. UMBC took a chance on me and accepted me with full funding in Fall of 2005 even though I did not have a degree in Computer Science. Thank you, CSEE department at UMBC! After two years, I was blessed and pleasantly surprised to win a fellowship from the National Science Foundation while I struggled to keep up with all the twenty somethings in graduate school. Thank you, NSF! It's hard to believe I am now a tenured Associate Professor. But, this road was not traveled alone. I have to give credit to UMBC's PROMISE program and to my family, friends, peers, mentors, and advisors for all the support I received from them. Credit also goes to the CRA-W, the CDC, Google, and the Anita Borg Institute for the wonderful programs they have to keep the underrepresented motivated. Thank you to the National Science Foundation, the CSEE department, the eBiquity laboratory, Verizon, Xerox, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for helping to fund my graduate school experience.

Other interests include traveling (see Education), dancing, and biking.