CS 4460/7450 - Information Visualization

Instructor: John Stasko
Spring 2009
Tu,Th 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Klaus 2447

Information visualization is a research area that focuses on the use of visualization techniques to help people understand and analyze data. While fields such as scientific visualization involve the presention of data that has some physical or geometric correspondence, information visualization focuses on abstract data without such correspondences such as symbolic, tabular, networked, hierarchical, or textual information sources.

The objectives of the course are

  • Learn the principles involved in information visualization
  • Learn about the variety of existing techniques and systems in information visualization
  • Develop skills in critiquing different visualization techniques as applied to particular tasks
  • Learn how to evaluate visualization systems
  • Gain a background that will aid the design of new, innovative visualizations

The course will follow a lecture/seminar style with much discussion of assigned readings, as well as viewing of videos and hands-on experience with research and commercial information visualization tools.

We will not have a primary textbook. Instead, we will read recent research papers about the field. Additionally, we will use the book Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte, Graphics Press, 1990.

Grading will be based on class participations, class presentations, short homeworks, assignments involving use and analysis of some information visualization tools, and a semester project. The weight of each assignment can be found on the assignments page.

Students from a variety of disciplines are invited to take the course, but some prior background in human-computer interaction will be helpful. Programming experience is not required but will be useful.