John Alexis Guerra Gomez, PhD

ColombiaFulbright S&T awardee 2008 | University of Maryland, College Park | Computer Science


John is a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland at College Park. At Maryland, he investigates ways to create visual overviews of hundreds of thousands of temporal categorical records, like personal health events or traffic incidents.

Temporal categorical data is information that has time data associated with it. An example includes the history of all the medical events (doctor’s visits, lab tests, etc.) in the life of an individual. Although previous research in this area has been completed, John’s work is unique because it creates overviews of huge sets of this data, like records for all of the patients that a hospital might have. These overviews represent a powerful tool that can be used by the hospital or health care provider to discover common patterns and abnormalities that would be excessively difficult, if not impossible, to recognize without the this type of data system.

John is also interested in issues of accessibility and has worked to provide blind students with better access to visual pedagogical materials. For more than six years, in support of these students, he has helped to build IRIS, a system that allows blind students to see colors and shapes with their hands. IRIS is the principal product of DUTO (, a Colombian based company that John co-founded along with his wife and a group of research colleagues. After years of research and development, DUTO has started to implement IRIS in some of Colombia’s local schools, thanks to the support of the local government and of international organizations such as the International Development Bank


Current Affiliation

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia



PhD (2013, Computer Science) University of Maryland, College Park, MD
MS (2008, Mathematical Computing) Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia
BS (2004, Computer Science) Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia