CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
Fall 2013: Tues/Thurs 1:30-2:45pm, E&CS 2120

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Tableau's data visualization software is provided through the Tableau for Teaching program.

Homework 1: Intro to InfoVis

Assigned: Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013
Due: Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 before class begins


There are three separate parts to this assignment: setup, written assignment, and programming assignment. The purpose is to assess your understanding of the material and to give you a chance to practice with the tools we will use this semester.

Part 1 - Install tools and setup webspace

  1. If you wish to use the tools on your personal computer, download and install R, R Studio (optional), and Tableau Desktop.
    To be able to install Tableau Desktop, you must contact me for your license key.
  2. Create a directory in your CS Unix account (~/public_html/cs725f13/) for your class work.
  3. Create an initial homepage for your class work (~/public_html/cs725f13/index.html). This doesn't need to be fancy.

Submission: No submission requirement.

Part 2 - Written Assignment

  1. Describe the linkages between the stages of the visualization pipeline and Fry's seven stages of data visualization.
  2. Give an example of each of the three categories of visualization: presentation, confirmation, exploration. Provide an image and URL for each example and explain how it fits into the category.
  3. Look at the papers from InfoVis 2012 and skim a paper you find interesting. In just a few paragraphs, discuss the motivation for the work, the basic idea, and what potential it has to aid human understanding. Include an image or two if available.

Grading Rubric: Rubric for Short Answer/Essay Questions

Submission: Submit a hard copy at the beginning of class.

Part 3 - Programming Assignment

This part of the assignment uses the 2004 car and truck dataset that we discussed in class. You can modify the format of the data or omit rows with missing data as needed.

First, create a webpage (http://www.cs.odu.edu/~username/cs725f13/hw1.html would be suitable) to hold the results of this part of the assignment.

  1. Perform some exploratory analysis of the dataset in Excel, R, or Tableau. (The tool choice is up to you.)
    • Once you have found something interesting, create a single chart (a scatterplot is fine) for presentation. Since what you submit is for presentation, make sure to include labels, a title, etc. - don't just accept the defaults
    • On your assignment webpage, post the image along with an explanation of what you found interesting.
  2. Create a simple visualization in D3 of the chart you created (does not have to be interactive)
    • You can use the D3 scatterplot at http://bl.ocks.org/weiglemc/6185069 as an example. If you use this or another example, you must include the URL of the example as a comment in your code and on your assignment webpage. Also, if you use an example, you must include a description of how you changed the visualization to make it your own. You are not permitted to just change the data and leave everything else the same.
    • Either create the visualization in your assignment webpage or put a link to the visualization in your assignment webpage.

Grading Rubric: Rubric for Programming Assignments

Submission: Email me the URL of your webpage before class begins. We will look at a sample of these during class.