CS 7450 - Information Visualization

Instructor: John Stasko
Spring 2011
Tu,Th 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Whitaker 1103

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 have two textbooks for the course: Interactive Data Visualization by M. Ward, G. Grinstein, and D. Keim, A.K. Peters 2010 and Now You See It by Stephen Few, Analytics Press 2009. Also highly recommended is Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte, Graphics Press 1990. Additionally, we will read recent research papers about the field.

Grading will be based on class participation, 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 class, but some prior background in human-computer interaction will be helpful. Programming experience is not required but will be useful.