University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to SlateConnect.

Marshall (Xiaogang) Ma, Ph.D.

Marshall (Xiaogang) Ma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor | College of Engineering Dean's Distinguished Fellow (2022–2024)


Janssen 230



Mailing Address

Computer Science Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1010
Moscow, ID 83844-1010

  • Ph.D., Earth Systems Science and GIScience, ITC, University of Twente, 2011
  • D.Eng., Geoinformatics Engineering, China University of Geosciences, 2009
  • B.Eng., Land Resources Management, China University of Geosciences, 2002

  • Semantics and knowledge graph
  • Data interoperability and provenance
  • Exploratory data analytics and visualization
  • Geoinformatics

Xiaogang (Marshall) Ma is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Idaho. He received his doctorate of Earth Systems Science and GIScience from University of Twente, Netherlands in 2011. Before joining U of I he was an associate research scientist of Data Science and Semantic eScience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on deploying data science in the Semantic Web to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and scientific discovery, with broad interests in participatory knowledge engineering, data interoperability and provenance, and visualized exploratory analysis of Big and Small Data. Ma is active in several international societies of data science and geoinformatics, and is experienced in research management and community service. He received the IAMG Vistelius Research Award in 2015 and the inaugural ICSU-WDS Data Stewardship Award in 2014. He won the ESIP Funding Friday Competition Award twice in 2013 and 2012.

  • Ma, X., 2019. Geo-Data Science: Leveraging Geoscience Research with Geoinformatics, Semantics and Open Data. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition), 93(s1), 44-47. [article for invited keynote talk | open access]
  • Ma, X., Fu, L., West, P., Fox, P., 2018. Ontology Usability Scale: Context-aware metrics for the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of ontology uses. Data Science Journal, 17, 10. [open access]
  • Wang, C., Ma, X., Chen, J., 2018. Ontology-driven data integration and visualization for exploring regional geologic time and paleontological information, Computers & Geosciences, 115, 12-19.
  • Wang, C., Ma, X., Chen, J., Chen, J., 2018. Information extraction and knowledge graph construction from geoscience literature. Computers & Geosciences, 112, 112-120.
  • Ma, X., Hummer, D., Golden, J.J., Fox, P.A., Hazen, R.M., Morrison, S.M., Downs, R.T., Madhikarmi, B.L., Wang, C., Meyer, M.B., 2017. Using Visual Exploratory Data Analysis to Facilitate Collaboration and Hypothesis Generation in Cross-Disciplinary Research. International Journal of Geo-Information 6 (11), 368. [open access | feature paper]
  • Ma, X., 2017. Linked Geoscience Data in practice: where W3C standards meet domain knowledge, data visualization and OGC standards. Earth Science Informatics, 10(4), 429-441.
  • Ma, X., Beaulieu, S.E., Fu, L., Fox, P., Di Stefano, M., West, P., 2017. Documenting Provenance for Reproducible Marine Ecosystem Assessment in Open Science. In: Diviacoo, P., Glaves, H.M., Leadbetter, A. (eds.) Oceanographic and Marine Cross-Domain Data Management for Sustainable Development. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA. In Press.
  • Ma, X., Erickson, J.S., Zednik, S., West, P., Fox, P., 2016. Semantic specification of data types for a world of Open Data. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 5 (3), 38.
  • Ma, X., Chen, Y., Wang, H., Zheng J.G., Fu, L., West, P., Erickson, J.S., Fox, P., 2015. Data visualization in the Semantic Web. In: Narock, T., Fox, P., (eds.) The Semantic Web in Earth and Space Science: Current Status and Future Directions. IOS Press, Berlin. pp. 149-167.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., Narock, T., Wilson, B., (Eds.) 2015. Semantic e-Science. Special Issue of Earth Science Informatics, Volume 8, Issue 1, Springer, 146 pp.
  • Zheng, J., Fu, L., Ma, X., Fox, P., 2015. SEM+: tool for discovering concept mapping in Earth science related domain. Earth Science Informatics 8 (1), 95-102.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., Narock, T., Wilson, B., 2015. Semantic e-Science. Earth Science Informatics 8 (1), 1-3.
  • Ma, X., 2015. Geoinformatics in the Semantic Web. In: Schaeben, H., Delgado, R.T., van den Boogaart, K.G., van den Boogaart, R. (eds.) Proceedings of IAMG 2015, Freiberg, Germany, pp 18-26. [Andrei B. Vistelius Award Invited Article]
  • Tilmes, C., Wolfe, R.E., Duggan, B., Aulenbach, S., Goldstein, J.C., Ma, X., Zednik, S., 2015. Supporting Trust with Provenance of the Findings of the National Climate Assessment. In: Proceedings of the Method Workshop at ISWC 2015, Bethlehem, PA. 4 pp.
  • Ma, X., West, P., Erickson, J., Zednik, S., Chen, Y., Wang H., Zhong H., Fox, P., 2015. From data portal to knowledge portal: Leveraging semantic technologies to support interdisciplinary studies. In: Proceedings of the Diversity++ Workshop at ISWC 2015, Bethlehem, PA. 6 pp.
  • Wang, H., Zheng, J.G., Ma, X., Fox P., Ji, H., 2015. Language and Domain Independent Entity Linking with Quantified Collective Validation. Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP2015). 10 pp. [Best Paper Nomination]
  • Ma, X., Zheng, J.G., Goldstein, J., Zednik, S., Fu, L., Duggan, B., Aulenbach, S., West, P., Tilmes, C., Fox, P., 2014. Ontology engineering in provenance enablement for the National Climate Assessment. Environmental Modelling & Software 61, 191-205.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., Tilmes, C., Jacobs, K., Waple, A., 2014. Capturing and presenting provenance of global change information. Nature Climate Change 4 (6), 409-413.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., 2014. A jigsaw puzzle layer cake of spatial data. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union 95 (19), 161–161.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., Rozell, E., West, P., Zednik, S., 2014. Ontology dynamics in a data life cycle: challenges and recommendations from a geoscience perspective. Journal of Earth Science 25 (2), 407–412.
  • Tilmes, C., Fox, P., Ma, X., McGuinness, D., Privette, A.P., Smith, A., Waple, A., Zednik, S., Zheng, J., 2013. Provenance representation for the National Climate Assessment in the Global Change Information System. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 51 (11), 5160-5168.
  • Ma, X., Fox, P., 2013. Recent progress on geologic time ontologies and considerations for future works. Earth Science Informatics 6 (1), 31–46.

  • 2016, Councilor (2016-2020), International Association for Mathematical Geosciences
  • 2015, NSF-EarthCube Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2015, Andrei Borisovich Vistelius Research Award, International Association for Mathematical Geosciences
  • 2015, Best Paper Nomination, Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
  • 2015, Vespucci Institute 2015 - Spatial Ontologies for e-Science
  • 2014, Inaugural WDS Data Stewardship Award, International Council for Science-World Data System
  • 2013, Funding Friday Award, Federation of Earth Science Information Partners
  • 2012, Funding Friday Award, Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

Contact Us

Computer Science

Physical Address:
Janssen Engineering Building 236

Mailing Address:

Computer Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1010
Moscow, ID 83844-1010

Phone: 208-885-6592

Fax: 208-885-9052


Web: Computer Science