CSCI-4973 - Spring 2012
Introduction to Visualization
  Contact Information
  Office Hours


  Learning Outcomes

  Assigned Readings

  Lecture notes
  Lab materials

  On-line Material
  Optional Books

  Homework Late Policy
  Electronic Submission


Your grade in this course will be determined as follows:
  • 15% Assigned reading summaries & online LMS participation
  • 15% In-class discussion & participation
  • 50% Homework Assignments
  • 10% Midterm Report/Presentation
  • 10% Final Project Report/Presentation

Assigned Readings

Each week we will have a selection of relevant papers and articles on visualization. All students are expected to have downloaded and read one of the assigned papers for the week and made an initial post to the LMS discussion by Monday @ 11:59pm. The discussion will continue online on Tuesday and in class on Wednesday.

It's "ok" if you don't understand all of the details (we will often be reading recent technical research results). Use google and/or wikipedia to find more information about one or more background topics from the paper broadly relevant to visualization and write a summary about what you learned. Ideally, the paper will serve as a jumping off point that leads to other reading, possibly specialized to your area of interest.

One student will lead the in-class discussion of the paper in class on Wednesday. The student should give a quick (< 3 minutes) summary of the paper & online discussion, focusing on 1) the important contributions of the paper to the community, 2) what was interesting about the paper or topic, and 3) any questions or confusions that arose in the online discussion.

Homework Assignments

The process of visualization design and implementation can be roughly broken down into a series of stages (with overlap! & order can be shuffled!):

  • Motivation & Problem Definition
    e.g., audience, purpose, goals, interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Visualization Design
    e.g., media, color, organization, layout, static vs. dynamic, creativity

  • Data Collection
    e.g., data structures, file formats, parsing, performance & efficiency, databases, very large datasets, interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Visualization Execution
    e.g., data structures, implementation details, visualization tookits/environments (VTK, OpenGL, etc.), performance & efficiency

  • Analysis & Validation
    e.g., debugging, drawing conclusions from data, accuracy, precision, interpretation, useability

  • Visualization Revision
    e.g., prototype & revise, iterated design, comparing before & after, solicit user feedback, formal user studies

  • Presentation
    e.g., mixed media, descriptive titles/labels, concise and complete captions/companion text, elevator pitch, documentation

The homework assignments are your chance to practice each stage/category of visualization processing. The topic for your each week's assignment is open-ended. The programming language & environment and visualization infrastructure are your choice. You may work individually or with other students in a small group. At least once in the semester you must work alone. At some point in the semester you must work with at least two different groups of people. You may (are encouraged to) work on the same topic for multiple weeks.

You are expected to generate one or more visual artifacts and upload them, along with any code you wrote and an informal writeup, to LMS by Tuesday at 11:59pm. You also must document your time spent on the assignment in each of the above stages/categories. You are expected to spend at least 5 hours on each weekly assignment. It is expected that each week you do real work in only 1-3 stages/categories. By the end of the semester you should have logged an appropriate (non-zero) amount in every category.

Midterm & Final Presentations

You will give a more formal in-class presentation of your work (one or more of your homework assignments) to the class at the halfway point and at the end of the semester. You will be graded both of the quality and creativity of the presentation and also on the technical contect of the work.