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Univ of Md: CMSC 734 Information Visualization – Syllabus (January 18, 2011) Subject to change

Prof. Ben Shneiderman, Teaching Asst. Gleneesha Johnson

Date Topics, Papers/Readings, Demos and Assignments Due
26- 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 (Spotfire, Tableau)
  • Visual Info Seeking mantra: Overview First, Zoom and Filter, then Details-on-Demand
  • Evaluation methods (controlled experiments, observations, case studies)

1) 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

Course Introduction (PPT): Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery

Demonstration of Spotfire/TIBCO

2- Feb Topic: Introduction Visual Analytics and Evaluation

Assignment Due: Homework #1 New York Times visualization critique

2) Keim, D., Kohlhammer, J., Ellis, G., and Mansmann, G. (Editors), Mastering the Information Age: Solving Problems with Visual Analytics, Eurographics Association, Goslar, Germany (2010). Available as free download (25MB, 175 pages).

3) A Tour through the Visualization Zoo, Jeffrey Heer, Michael Bostock, Vadim Ogievetsky. Communications of the ACM, 53(6), pp. 59-67, Jun 2010.

Demonstrations Tableau QlikView

(Background): 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]] )

(Background): Shneiderman, B. and Plaisant, C., Strategies for evaluating information visualization tools: Multi-dimensional In-depth Long-term Case Studies, In Proc. Beyond time and errors: novel evaluation methods for Information Visualization, Workshop of the Advanced Visual Interfaces Conference, Available in ACM Digital Library (2006), 1-7.

Evaluation Methods (PPT): HCI Research Methods

Tableau/Qliktech Demonstrations

Project idea discussions

9- Feb Topic: Evaluation

Assignment Due: Homework #2 Report on collaborative visualization by uploading to ManyEyes

4) Heidi Lam, Enrico Bertini, Petra Isenberg, Catherine Plaisant, and Sheelagh Carpendale, Seven Guiding Scenarios for Information Visualization Evaluation

(Background): Plaisant, C., Grinstein, G., and Scholtz, J., Visual-Analytics Evaluation, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 29(3): 16-17 (2009)

(Background) Plaisant, C., Grinstein, G., Scholtz, J., Whiting, M., O'Connell, T., Laskowski, S., Chien, L., Tat, A., Wright, W., Gorg, C., Liu, Z., Parekh, N., Singhal, K., Stasko, J., Evaluating Visual Analytics: The 2007 Visual Analytics Science and Technology Symposium Contest IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 28, 2, 12-21 (2008) [Published Version] HCIL-2008-04

5) Purvi Saraiya, Chris North, Karen Duca, 2004. An Evaluation of Microarray Visualization Tools for Biological Insight, IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization 2004 (2004), 1-8.

(Background): Purvi Saraiya, Chris North, Vy Lam, Karen Duca, An Insight-based Longitudinal Study of Visual Analytics, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 12(6) (November 2006), 1511-1522.

(Background, short & interesting): Chris North, Visualization Viewpoints: Toward Measuring Visualization Insight, IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, 26(3) (May/June 2006), 6-9.

Project idea discussions

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

6) Jinwook Seo and Ben Shneiderman, Knowledge Discovery in High Dimensional Data: Case Studies and a User Survey for the Rank-by-Feature Framework, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2006), 311-322.

(Background): 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).

(Background): Alfred Inselberg, Lecture Notes on Parallel Coordinates and Inselberg Home Page and Wikipedia: Parallel Coordinates Book: Parallel Coordinates

Topic: 2D vs. 3D

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

Assignment Due: Application Report Proposal (email to Dr. Shneiderman February 15, Tuesday 10am

23- Feb Topic: Temporal data visualization (VizTree, TimeSearcher)

7) Lin, J., Keogh, E., Lonardi, S., Visualizing and discovering non-trivial patterns in large time series databases, Information Visualization 2005, Vol 4, No 2 Journal version Alternate version Keogh’s slides VizTree download

8) Wang, T., Plaisant, C., Quinn, A., Stanchak, R., Shneiderman, B., Murphy, S. Aligning temporal data by sentinel events: Discovering patterns in electronic health records Proc. ACM CHI2008 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference, ACM, New York (April 2008), 457-466.

Background on TimeSearcher: 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.

Assignment Due: Term Project Proposals (email to Dr. Shneiderman by 10am Tuesday Feb 22, 2011

2- Mar Topic: Temporal event sequences (Lifelines2)

Earlier work (Lifelines)

9) Taowei David Wang, Krist Wongsuphasawat, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, Extracting Insights from Electronic Health Records: Case Studies, a Visual Analytics Process Model, and Design Recommendations (2011)

‘’’Application Reports’’’

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

Assignment Due: Create Project Wiki entry with Revised Project Proposal and Reading list posted by 2pm, Wednesday March 2, 2011

9- Mar Topic: Hierarchical and tree structured data

Visual Survery of Tree Visualizations

10) 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).

Topic: Hyperbolic tree vs Windows Explorer vs Spacetree

11) Plaisant, C., Grosjean, J., and Bederson, B. (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

Assignment Due: Add Screen Mockups, Usage Scenarios, and Requirements List

Discussion of Application Projects & Midterm review

16- Mar Midterm exam

Topic: Network information visualization

12) Adam Perer and Ben Shneiderman, Integrating Statistics and Visualization: Case Studies of Gaining Clarity during Exploratory Data Analysis, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (April 2008).

13) Read Book Chapters 1-3: Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B., and Smith, M., Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL. Download and try NodeXL.

(Background): Smith, M., Shneiderman, B., Milic-Frayling, N., Mendes-Rodrigues, E., Barash, V., Dunne, C., Capone, T., Perer, A., Gleave, E. First steps to NetViz Nirvana: Evaluating (social media) networks with NodeXL Proc. Communities & Technologies Conference, Springer (2009) - Link fixed Background papers and Download: NodeXL website:

(Background): 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.

23- Mar --- Spring Break---
30-Mar Topic: Networks

14) Read Book Chapters 4-9: Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B., and Smith, M., Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL

‘’’Team Project Progress Reports’’’

6- Apr Topic: Networks

15) Read Book Chapters 10-15: Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B., and Smith, M., Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL

Assignment Due: Homework #3 NodeXL Application Report

‘’’Team Project Progress Reports’’’

13- Apr Topic: Large Displays and Interaction models

16) L. Shupp, B. Yost, and C. North, Shaping the Display of the Future: The Effects of Display Size and Curvature on User Performance and Insights, to appear in Human-Computer Interaction, (2009).

17) Yi, J. S., Kang, Y. A., Stasko, J., & Jacko, J. A., Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Role of Interaction in Information Visualization, (2007), IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 13(6). Presented in InfoVis 2007, Sacramento, California, October 28 - November 1, 1224-1231.

(Background, Alternate model): Jeffrey Heer and Maneesh Agrawala Software Design Patterns for Information Visualization, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 12(5). Sep/Oct 2006.

20- Apr Topic: Color, Text, and Transitions

18) MacDonald, L. (July/Aug 1999). Using Color Effectively in Computer Graphics. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications.

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

ColorBrewer —



Topic: Text Visualization

Background: Collins, Wattenberg and Viegas, Parallel Tag Clouds to Explore and Analyze Faceted Text Corpora, InfoVis, 2009.

Topic: Animated Transitions & Labels [SpaceTree] [BabyNameVoyager] [Color Code] [Heer et al.] [Golan Levin's Life of Numbers]

27- Apr

Topic: Universal usability [Student Project] [Resources]

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

Topic: Showing missing values and uncertainty Uncertainty (PPT) (Web) (PPT)

(Background, Designing Video Demos): 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. Download: [Camtasia]

4- May

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

Topic Privacy & Social Impact

Assignment Due: Project Draft and Video (and demo if possible) — Due on the web by 4pm

Assignment Due: Term Project Critiques — Sent to Dr. Shneiderman ( and authors by 6pm, May 7, Saturday.

11- May

Final papers due on the web, class time Wednesday May 11. No class.

18- May Final Exam Notice Time *** 1:30-3:30pm ***

Class Presentations Starting 3:45pm till completion (approx 12 minute talks, 8 minutes discussion per project) Term Project Presentations