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Univ of Md: CMSC 734 Information Visualization – Syllabus (January 12, 2015) Subject to change

Prof. Ben Shneiderman

Dates are for the Tuesday class

Date Topics, Papers/Readings, Demos and Assignments Due
27- 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, Qlikview)
  • Visual Info Seeking mantra: Overview First, Zoom and Filter, then Details-on-Demand
  • Implementation tools: Java, d3, ProtoVis, etc.
  • Evaluation methods: controlled experiments, observations, case studies, etc.

1) Readings: Illuminating the Path: The Research and Development Agenda for Visual Analytics (27MB) Concentrate on Chapter 2, 3, and 4.

  1. Grand Challenges
  2. The Science of Analytical Reasoning
  3. Visual Representations and Interaction Technologies
  4. Data Representations and Transformations

Course Introduction (42MB PPT): Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery

Robert Kosara on State of InfoVis 2015

For those interested in history: Friendly, M., Milestones in the History of Data Visualization: A Case Study in Statistical Historiography and his website

03- Feb Topic: Introduction Visual Analytics and Evaluation

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) Interaction Dynamics for Visual Analytics, Heer, J. and Shneiderman, B., shorter version in Communications of the ACM 55, 4 (2012), 45-54.

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

(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.

Information Visualization Galleries

Evaluation Methods (PPT): HCI Research Methods

Tableau/QlikView/Spotfire Introductions Tableau Intro QlikView Intro Spotfire Intro

Project idea discussions

10- Feb Topic: Evaluation

Assignment Due: Homework #1 New York Times visualization critique (due: Monday 6pm, February 9, 2015)

4) Michael Sedlmair, Miriah Meyer, Tamara Munzner, Design Study Methodology: Reflections from the Trenches and the Stacks, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. InfoVis 2012), 18(12): 2431–2440, 2012.

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 PDF from VA Tech, 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.

[Choosing HCI research methods - Alternative link]

Project idea discussions

17- 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 Wikipedia: Parallel Coordinates

Topic: 2D vs. 3D

Assignment Due: Application Report Proposal (email to Dr. Shneiderman Monday 6pm, February 16, 2015

24- Feb Topic: Temporal data visualization (TimeSearcher)

(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 Monday 6pm, February 23, 2015

03- Mar Topic: Temporal event sequences (EventFlow)

7) Monroe, M., Lan, R., Lee, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Temporal Event Sequence Simplification, IEEE VAST Conference (October 2013).

(Background on LifeLines2): 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, Project due: Monday 6pm, March 2, 2015)

Assignment Due: Create Project Wiki entry with Revised Project Proposal and Annotated Reference list posted by Wednesday 6pm, March 4, 2015

10- Mar Midterm exam

Topic: Hierarchical and tree structured data

Visual Bibliography 2.0 of Tree Visualizations

8) 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).

(Background) 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).

  • VIDEO demos of SpaceTree 1 2

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

Discussion of Application Projects & Midterm review

17- Mar

Spring Break

24- Mar Topic: Network information visualization

9) Read Book Chapters 1-9: 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 Slides Background papers and Download: NodeXL website: NodeXL Teaching Resources

Network Visualizations from Manuel Lima

31-Mar Topic: Networks

Team Project Progress Reports

07- Apr Topic: Color Design

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

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

ColorBrewer —

Color presentation (PDF)

Assignment Due: Homework #2 NodeXL Application Report, Due on Monday 6pm, April 6, 2015

14- Apr Topic: Hierarchical Aggregation

11) N. Elmqvist, J.-D. Fekete. Hierarchical Aggregation for Information Visualization: Overview, Techniques and Design Guidelines, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 16(3):439-454, 2010.

Guest Speaker April 16: Niklas Elmqvist, iSchool

21- Apr Topic: Large Displays, Interaction models, and Text Visualization

12) Information visualization on large, high-resolution displays: Issues, challenges, and opportunities Andrews, Endert, Yost, North - Information Visualization, 2011

(Background) Andrews, Endert & North (CHI 2010) Space to Think: Large, High-Resolution Displays for Sensemaking

(Background, text analytics): Alencar, Oliveira and Paulovich Seeing beyond reading: a survey on visual text analytics, 2012.

[Parallel Tag Clouds to Explore and Analyze Faceted Text Corpora] Collins, Viegas & Wattenberg InfoVis 2009.

[“Without the clutter of unimportant words”: Descriptive keyphrases for text visualization] Chuang, Manning & Heer, ACM TOCHI 2012.

A survey of text visualization techniques: Paper

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

(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]

28- Apr Topic: Universal usability [Student Project - Alternative link] [Resources]

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

April 30: Visit to Varshney Lab

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

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

(Background): Kong & Agrawala, Graphical Overlays: Using Layered Elements to Aid Chart Reading TVCG (December 2012).

Topic Privacy & Social Impact

05- May

Assignment Due: Project Draft and Video (and demo if possible) — Due on the web by class time Tuesday 9am, May 5, 2015

Assignment Due: Term Project Critiques — Sent to Dr. Shneiderman ( and authors by Friday 6pm, May 9, 2015

Final papers, videos & demos due on the web Monday 6pm, May 11, 2015 Class Presentations (approx 12 minute talks, 8 minutes discussion per project) Project Presentations

15- May Final Exam 10:30am-12:30pm