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Yuan An

Associate Professor and Director of International Programs

Information Science

Dr. An's research interests include health and biomedical information integration, extraction, and analysis; requirements analysis and engineering for healthcare information systems; semantic and ontology mapping; knowledge representation and reasoning. He has conducted research on discovering and using semantic mappings between different data representations including relational schemas, XML DTDs/schemas, ontologies, and other conceptual models. His current projects include helping healthcare providers gather and retrieve healthcare information in structured databases, indexing and searching biological Web interfaces, creating online schema repositories, and developing a case-based approach for schema design. His teaching interests include systems analysis and design, requirements engineering, software development, and database management systems.


  • PhD, Computer Science University of Toronto
  • Master of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
  • Master of Engineering, Systems Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Tsinghua University

Research/Teaching Interests

Conceptual modeling, schema and ontology mapping, information integration, knowledge representation, requirements engineering, healthcare information systems, semantic web

Select Publications

  • I. Burstyn, A. Slutsky, DG. Lee, AB Singer, Y. An, YL. Michael. Beyond crosswalks: Reliability of exposure assessment following automated coding of free-text job descriptions for occupational epidemiology. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2014, 58 (4): 482-492.
  • Yuan Ling, Yuan An, Mengwen Liu, and Xiaohua Hu. An Error Detecting and Tagging Framework for Reducing Data Entry Errors in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) System. In the IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM) 2013. pages 249-254. Shanghai, China. Dec. 18-21, 2013.
  • Yuan An, Xiaohua Hu, Il-Yeol Song. Learning to Discover Complex Mappings from Web Forms to Ontologies. In the 21st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM'12), pages 1253-1262, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2012, Maui, Hawaii.
  • Ritu Khare, Yuan An, Jiexun Li, Il-Yeol Song and Xiaohua Hu. Exploiting Semantic Structure for Mapping User-specified Form Terms to SNOMED CT Concepts. 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium (IHI 2012). Miami, Florida, USA.
  • Ritu Khare, Yuan An, and Il-Yeol Song. Understanding Deep Web Search Interfaces: A Survey. ACM SIGMOD Record, 39(1):33-40, 2010.

Grant Awards

  • Title: Semantic-Driven Information Extraction and Integration for Big Data Analytics. Source: NSF IU/CRC CVDI Center; My Role: PI; Co-PI: Xiaohua Hu (CCI at Drexel); Amount: $98,000; Dates: 07/01/2013 - 06/30/2014.
  • Title: NSF I/UCRC Phase I: Center for the Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI). Source: NSF; My Role: Co-PI; PI: Xiaohua Hu (iSchool at Drexel); Amount: $275,000; Dates: 02/15/2012 - 02/14/2017.
  • Title: Computational Algorithms for Data Quality Control in Electronic Medical Record Systems. Source: Drexel Jumpstart Grant for Health Informatics; My Role: PI; Co-PI: Longjian Liu (SPH at Drexel), Edgar Chou (DUCOM), and Xiaohu Hu (iSchool at Drexel); Amount: $48,600; Dates: 04/01/2012 - 03/31/2013.
  • Title: Data Analysis and Reporting for the Patient Wellness Tracking System at the11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University. Source: Pew Fund; My Role: PI; Co-PI: None; Amount: $23,800; Dates: 02/01/2012- 01/31/2013.
  • Title: Initial Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Autism Navigator in Early Intervention Settings. Source: Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) My Role: Co-PI; PI: Craig Newschaffer (SPH); Amount: $49,503; Dates: 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013.
  • Title: Multi-Industry Semantic Discovery Tool Sets for Data Integration, DataWarehousing, and E-Science. Source: NSF IU/CRC CVDI Center; My Role: PI; Co-PI: Xia Lin (iSchool at Drexel); Amount: $120,000; Dates: 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013.
  • Title: Advanced Data Mining Techniques for Predicting Exposure to Workplace Hazards. Source: Drexel Engineering Cities Initiative; My Role: PI; Co-PI: Igor Burstyn (SPH at Drexel) and Xiaohu Hu (iSchool at Drexel); Amount: $6,000; Dates: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012.
  • Title: Integrating and Mining Bio-Data from Multi Sources in Biological Networks.
    Source: NSF; My Role: senior personnel; PI: Xiaohua Hu (iSchool at Drexel); Amount: $355,000; Dates: 10/01/2009 - 09/30/2012

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Student Paper Award (authored by an advised student) in the IEEE
    International Conference on Biomedical and Bioinformatics (BIBM) 2013.
  • Outstanding Service Award from the 18th International Conference on
    Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) 2009.
  • Canadian Institute for Robotics and Intelligent System and Precarn
    Scholarship (national research funding by Precarn Incorporated; 70
    student recipients per year across Canada.) 2004 – 2005.
  • Beijing SIWA Group Most Valuable Employee Award 1995, 1997. 

Professional Activities & Associations

  • Program Committee Member, IEEE International Conference on Biomedical and Bioinformatics (BIBM), 2008-2014.
  • Program Committee Member, International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE), 2014.
  • Program Committee Member, The International Conference on Ontologies, Databases, and Applications of Semantics (ODBAES), 2013.
  • Program Committee Member, International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER’13), 2013.
  • Program Committee Member, IEEE International Conference on Health Informatics (ICHI), 2013.
  • Program Committee Member, Int’l Conf. on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development (KEOD), 2013.
  • Program Committee Member, InternationalWorkshop on Data Mining for Healthcare (September 11 2013) Held in conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI 2013) September 09-11, 2013, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
  • Program Committee Member, The First International Workshop on Modeling and Management of Big Data (MoBiD) to be held In conjunction with ER2013 (The 32nd International Conference on Conceptual Modeling), Hong Kong, Nov. 11-13, 2013.