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Univ of Md: CMSC 734 Information Visualization – Syllabus (Jan 28, 2008) – Prof. Ben Shneiderman

Date Topics, Papers/Readings, Demos and Assignments Due
29-Jan, 31-Jan Topic: Introduction, definitions, scope, Comparison with SciViz
  • 7 types (1-, 2-, 3-, multi-dimensional, temporal, tree, and network data)
  • 7 tasks (overview, zoom, filter, details-on-demand, relate, history, and extract)
  • Direct manipulation (visual representation of the objects and actions of interest and rapid, incremental, and reversible operations)
  • Dynamic queries (HomeFinder, Dynamap, Spotfire)
  • Visual Info Seeking mantra: Overview First, Zoom and Filter, then Details-on-Demand
  • Evaluation methods (controlled experiments, observations, case studies)

Readings: Illuminating the Path: The Research and Development Agenda for Visual Analytics Concentrate on Chapter 2, 3, and 4.

  1. Grand Challenges (500K PDF)
  2. The Science of Analytical Reasoning (1.9MB PDF)
  3. Visual Representations and Interaction Technologies (4.6MB PDF)
  4. [ Data Representations and Transformations[108K PDF)

Other sources: Chapter 14 DTUI & First chapter of Readings in Info Visualization book

05-Feb Topic: Multidimensional, multivariate and geo-spatial data, Scatterplot matrices, Parallel Coordinates

1) MacEachren, A., Dai, X., Hardisty, F., Guo, D., and Lengerich, G. Exploring high-D spaces with multiform matrices and small multiples. Proc. IEEE Symp. Info Visualization (2003), 31–38. Slides

07-Feb Topic: Show example of collaborative visualization using repository data or your own and putting on ManyEyes

Assignment Due: Homework Number 1

12-Feb Topic: Multidimensional and multivariate data (HCE), Parallel Coordinates

2) J. Seo and B. Shneiderman. A Rank-by-Feature Framework for Interactive Exploration of Multidimensional Data. Information Visualization, 4, 2 (June 2005), 99-113. (HCIL-2004-31). Slides

Assignment Due: Application Presentations and Web Page Proposal

14-Feb Topic: Guest Lecture by Adam Perer: Social Network Analysis


Assignment Due: Homework Number 2: Critique ManyEyes website (positives and suggestions for improvement)

19-Feb Topic: Temporal data visualization (VizTree)

3) Lin, J., Keogh, E., Lonardi, S., Visualizing and discovering non-trivial patterns in large time series databases, Information Visualization 2005, Vol 4, No 2 Slides

21-Feb Topic: Temporal data visualization (TimeSearcher)

4) Buono, P., Aris, A., Plaisant, C., Khella, A. and Shneiderman, B., Interactive Pattern Search in Time Series, Proc. Conf. on Visualization and Data Analysis, VDA 2005, SPIE, (2005) 175-186. Slides

Topic Evaluation for Info Vis

Ben Shneiderman slides HCI Research Methods

5a) Plaisant, C., The Challenge of Information Visualization Evaluation. Proc. of Conf. on Advanced Visual Interfaces AVI’04 (2004), p.109-116 (HCIL-2004-19). (Published version at [1]] )

5b) Purvi Saraiya, Chris North, Karen Duca, 2004. An Evaluation of Microarray Visualization Tools for Biological Insight. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). []

26-Feb Topic: Hierarchical and tree structured data

6) Bederson, B.B., Shneiderman, B., and Wattenberg, M., Ordered and Quantum Treemaps: Making Effective Use of 2D Space to Display Hierarchies. ACM Trans on Graphics (TOG) , 21, (4), October 2002, pp. 833-854 (HCIL-2001-18).

Assignment Due: Proposal for Term Project (email to Dr. Shneiderman

28-Feb Discussion of Term Projects

Assignment Due: Application Presentations and Web Page (Plan for a 6-minute presentation)

04-Mar Assignment Due: Application Presentations and Web Page (Plan for a 6-minute presentation)
06-Mar Topics: Hyperbolic tree vs Windows Explorer vs Spacetree

7) Plaisant, C., Grosjean, J., and Bederson, B. (April 2002). SpaceTree: Supporting Exploration in Large Node Link Tree, Design Evolution and Empirical Evaluation. IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, 2002: 57 -64, Boston, October 2002 (HCIL-2002-05). Also available from CiteSeer

Review of GRIDL and Lifelines

11-Mar Discussion of Application Projects & Midterm review
13-Mar Midterm exam
18-Mar, 20-Mar --- Spring Break ---
25-Mar Topic: Network information visualization

8) Heer, J., Boyd, D.,Vizster: visualizing online social networks, IEEE Info Visualization 2005, 32- 39 Slides

27-Mar Topic: Networks

9) MatLink: Enhanced Matrix Visualization for Analyzing Social Networks Nathalie Henry and Jean-Daniel Fekete, In Proc. IFIP TC13 Int’l Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (Interact 2007), Sept 2007. Springer Verlag, pp. 288-302. Slides

01-Apr Topic: Networks

10) Shneiderman, B. and Aris, A., Network Visualization by Semantic Substrates, IEEE Info Visualization 2006

03-Apr Topic:

11) Bill Kules, Max L. Wilson, Monica Schraefel, Ben Shneiderman. Visualization of Web Search Results

08-Apr Guest Lecture

Grad Student David Wang, Visualizing Electronic Patient Histories: Search and Summaries LifeLines2

10-Apr Guest Lecture

Prof. Ben Bederson, Zooming User Interfaces: Software Design & Evaluation Piccolo

15-Apr Topic: 2D vs. 3D

12) Shneiderman, B. (November/December 2003). Why not make interfaces better than 3D reality?. In IEEE-CG&A 2003. Discussion-2D-3D

Progress Reports on Team Projects


Topic: Showing missing values and uncertainty

Materials: Class Presentation by Ben Shneiderman (Web) (PPT)

Progress Reports on Team Projects


Topic: Color Design 13a) MacDonald, L. (July/Aug 1999). Using Color Effectively in Computer Graphics. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications.

13b) Few, S. (2008), Practical Rules for Using Color in Charts (Untracked)

ColorBrewer —




Topic: Training & Learning

14) Plaisant, C. and Shneiderman, B. Show Me! Guidelines for Producing Recorded Demonstrations Proc 2005 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, (VL/HCC'05), 171 - 178. [TechSmith Camtasia]


Topic: Sonification, haptification & alternative output devices [iSonic]


Topic: Animated Transitions & Labels [SpaceTree] [BabyNameVoyager] [Color Code] [Heer et al.]

[Golan Levin's Life of Numbers]

Assignment Due: Project Draft — Due on the web by 6pm

Assignment Due: Term Project Draft Critiques — Sent to Dr. Shneiderman ( and authors by 6pm, May 4. Final papers due on the web, class time Thursday May 8.


Topic: User interfaces for brushing, marking, selecting and annotating

Topic: Universal usability [Student Project] [Resources]

Topic Privacy & Social Impact

08-May , 13-May Term Project Presentations both days.

Final papers due on the web, class time Thursday May 8.

15-May Final Exam