Final deliverable due April 30 CS 7450 - Information Visualization Spring 2011

Semester Project

This document describes the capstone semester project for the course. Students should work on a project in teams of 2 or 3 people. (Arguments will be entertained for a single person project.) Expectations will be adjusted according to group size.

The idea of the project is to take the knowledge and background that you are learning this semester about Information Visualization and put it to good use in a new, creative effort. A real key to the project, however, is to select a data set that people will find interesting and intriguing. Even better would be to select a data set with a clearly identified set of "users" or "analysts" who care deeply about that data. Select a topic that people want to know more about! I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of your topic and data set. Think about the suite of data visualizations that the NY Times has created over the past few years:

No matter what topic you choose, I am expecting a high-quality project. In particular, I'm seeking creative projects showcasing interesting ideas. A good project should consist of visualization designs and a software artifact that implements the designs. Interaction is key in information visualization, and it is difficult to understand the interaction issues in your project without a running system. I am explicitly NOT expecting user testing and evaluation. Ideally, I would like your efforts to be innovative and to result in some form of potential publication.

You are free to choose any software development environment and graphics/visualization support library that you want. Consider building a system that is web-deployable so that your system can be shown to everyone in the world!

You will have four main milestones or deliverables. First, you must form your team and settle on a topic. Second, you will submit a detailed design summary about halfway through the term. Third, you will make a presentation/demonstration about your project during final exams week. Finally, the software system you build will be delivered to us, along with a paper describing the problem and solution.

Important Milestones:

  • Feb. 8 - Initial project description. One page document listing project members and topic to be addressed.
  • Mar 10 - Project mid-way progress report due. This should be an analysis of the problem along with a detailed design for the system. Describe the development tools you will use. How will you store and manipulate the date?
  • Week of May 2-6 - Project presentations will take place. Each team will meet with the instructors to demo their system and describe what they have done.
  • May 3 - Final deliverable/artifact is due along with a report/paper describing the system.

    Grading: We will evaluate the overall quality of your project, including all milestones and components. The following questions will be important during that evalusation process.