Reza Samavi

Department of Computing and Software McMaster University

1280 Main St West

Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1  Canada

Assistant Professor


I joined the Department of Computing and Software in July 2014 as an Assistant Professor and the Department Leader for the M.Sc. eHealth program. My research interests are broadly in the fields of data management including information privacy and security, health data management, scientific data management, ontology engineering, Semantic Web and information integration, Linked Data and big data analytics.

I completed my PhD in April 2013 in Information Engineering at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. From August 2013 to April 2014 I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Parametric Human Project at Autodesk Research. As a member of the multidisciplinary research group I played in helping to address data management and privacy challenges of collection, storage, and retrieval of semantically annotated large human anatomical datasets.

In my PhD dissertation I focused on developing solutions for the users’ task of privacy self-management, and providing the basis of a technology standard for privacy auditing. These two objectives were related, addressing the basic premise of online users’ privacy concerns from the complimentary point of views of users and providers. The process of designing a solution to achieve these objectives led me to conduct an empirical study to understand privacy concerns, attitudes and behaviour of personal health record (PHR) users. The study designed in collaboration with the Canadian Association for People-Centred Health. I developed the Privacy Goals and Settings Mediator (PGSM) model as a way to help users comprehend privacy settings when employing multiple services over a web platform and help privacy experts contribute their privacy knowledge to the users’ privacy decision-making task. To address the privacy auditing problem, I developed two RDFS ontologies, L2TAP and SCIP, that were designed for deployment as Linked Data ( L2TAP (Linked Data Log to Transparency, Accountability and Privacy) provides flexible and extensible provenance-enabled logging of privacy events. SCIP (Simple Contextual Integrity Privacy) provides a simple target for mapping the key concepts of Contextual Integrity and enables SPARQL query-based solutions for two important privacy processes: compliance checking and obligation derivation.

For my research on information privacy I received the NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - CGS D (2009 and 2010). I have also received the Privacy Technologies Research Award from the IBM Center for Advanced Studies (2009) and the Privacy By Design Research Award from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (2010). In 2012 I was designated as a Privacy by Design Ambassador by the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Previously I obtained my Master in Industrial (Information) Engineering from University of Toronto in 2007. My research work focused on developing a framework and ontology for bridging business models and corporate strategies (see ISEBj09). I obtained my B.Sc. in Industrial (Information) Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic in 1987. Between 1987 to 2003 I have been active in the software industry as the co-founder and director of a successful software start-up,.

I am a licensed Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario and a member of IEEE and IAAP


Office: ITB213

Email: samavir AT mcmaster DOT ca

Phone: +1 (905) 525-9140, x. 24895

Department of Computing and Software, McMaster University

Information Technology Building - ITB 213

1280 Main St West, Hamilton ON L8S 4K1, Canada