CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
Spring 2015: Tuesdays, 9:30am-12:15pm, E&CS 2120

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Paper Presentations

  Demo Schedule



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

Semester Project

Report Due: Mon, May 4, 2015 by 8:00am - updated!
Presentation/Demo: Tue, Apr 28, 2015 during class time


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.


Students should work on a project in teams of 2 people. (Arguments will be entertained for a single person project.) Expectations will be adjusted according to group size.

Teams and Projects

1) Hassan and Alexander - My Twitter Neighborhoods - website
2a) Wessam - Hypothes.is Annotation Analyzer - website, demo
2b) Mohammed - Visualizing Annotations in Hypothes.is - demo
3) Apeksha and Raghav - Economic Impact of Coastal Sea Level Rise and Flooding - website
4) Avinash and Prasanna - ODU HR Salary Data for the Mace and Crown - website
5) Kayla and Swaraj - DoD Contracting in HR - flow nationwide - website
6) Shawn and Valentina - DoD Contracting in HR - focus on HR - project blog, demo
7) Srividya and Ilho - Exploring Crime Rate in the US using Leap Motion - website, demo
8) Teresa - Coastal Ocean Surface Current Visualization - website

Important Milestones

  • Feb 17 - Initial project description. One-page document listing project members and topic to be addressed.
  • Feb 24 - Project proposal presentation in class. Describe problem/motivation, your initial analysis, a potential design for the system, and the development tools you will use.
  • Milestone check-ins - Between Feb 24-Apr 28, your group must meet with me outside of class at least 2 times to discuss your project. Be prepared to show me a demo. Send an email to set up an appointment.
  • Apr 28 (during class time) - Project presentations and demos.
  • May 1 - Report describing the system due

Project Proposal Presentation

  • 5 minutes
  • PDF or Powerpoint format (i.e., make slides)
  • Required elements:
    • group members and topic
    • motivation behind your topic choice
    • preview of the data
    • initial analysis -- what might be some interesting questions to ask of the data? abstract tasks?
    • initial design -- simple mockup (drawing or diagram) of a potential design
    • list of development tools you plan to use
  • Bring a hard-copy of your slides (6 slides/page is fine) to submit to me

Project Website

The website should contain the following info:

  • group members
  • project title
  • paragraph describing the project (could be from your proposal)
  • what-why-how framework table -- see below
  • project proposal slides (preferably in pdf format)
  • project update slides (again, preferably in pdf format)
  • planned milestone check-in dates (meetings with me to talk about your project) -- if you've already held a meeting with me, list the date
  • list of data sources (and links if publicly accessible)
  • list of (and links to) tools/technologies used (i.e., d3, jQuery)
  • list of useful links

What-why-how framework table: There are some nice examples of how to start framing this in Chapter 15. For each of the visualization tools in that chapter, there's a table that describes things like "what: data", "what: derived", "why: tasks", "how: encode". I would encourage you to start putting this table together as soon as possible. The "what' and "why" tasks should be driving how you develop the "how". Remember that the "why: tasks" need to be general, as described in Chapter 3.

You may also want to include a list of domain-specific questions that you plan your visualization to allow users to explore.

And at the end of the semester, this webpage should also have a link to your live project.


  • 15-20 minutes
  • The presentation should cover the motivation behind your project, the data set you used, an overview of any data cleaning required, a description of your system, future work, problems/things you learned. You must also describe how your system maps to the what-why-how framework and list your abstract tasks.
  • The main part of the presentation is a live demo of the system.
  • All members of the group must participate in the presentation.


  • Formatted according to guidelines and templates (US Letter paper size) for IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
  • Required heading elements: Title, Author Names, Author Affiliations (dept, university), Abstract (Index Terms are not required)
    • teaser image on pg 1 is encouraged
  • 5-10 pages
  • Treat this as you would a conference paper - you've read enough of them to know the general outline. You must include sections for Introduction, Related Work, Conclusions, and References, along with others as appropriate.
  • After the Conclusions section, add a section titled 'Final Thoughts' describing your experience working on the project. What were problems you faced? What things did you learn?
  • You must also include an analysis of your system using the what/why/how framework and describe your abstract tasks.
  • Remember that all figures and tables must include appropriate captions (and should be designed according to the principles we've discussed in class).
  • This paper must be in your own words. Especially when describing related work, you must resist the urge to copy (either directly or indirectly) from the paper you are referring to.
  • Submission: One member of the group should email a PDF version of the report to me with the subject line 'CS 725/825 Final Report'. Also, include a JPG or PNG image of some interesting part of your system, suitable for posting in my InfoVis-Gallery.

See Process and Pitfalls in Writing Information Visualization Research Papers by Tamara Munzner


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

  • Does the system work, i.e., does it read in the data and present an interactive visualization of the data?
  • Is the visualization an effective representation of the data?
  • Does the visualization support different analytical questions about the data?
  • Was your presentation an effective discussion and portrayal of the project?
  • Does your report help someone understand the problem and how your system addresses that problem?

Grading Sheet

Project Ideas

Not to intimidate you (well, maybe a little), here are the final class projects from Jeffery Heer's class at Univ of Washington.

History Mapping / Holden

Project description (pdf), example design/model (pdf)


Contact: Dr. Bob Holden (rholden at odu dot edu)

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission / Clary

Description of projects (pdf)

  • income and employment
  • DoD contracting
  • education
    • can also look at how state funding of education has changed over time (dollars and percent)
  • budgets
  • population and commuting

Data Sources:

Contact: James Clary (jclary at hrpdcva dot gov)

Mace & Crown Data Vis

ODU's student newspaper, The Mace & Crown is interested in producing ODU-specific data visualizations for either online or print. They have access to data sources around campus (e.g., Alumni Center, Institutional Research) and would be interested in discussing potential items to investigate.

Contact: Jugal Patel (jpate016 at odu dot edu)

MARI/CCSLRI - Impacts of Sea Level Rise

Create a visualization (or set of visualizations) that combine flooding data with economic data. Potential visualizations include:

  • real estate days on the market
  • auto insurance claims
  • flooding and water quality
  • days of flooding data (computed by Larry Atkinson) on a map
  • temperature vs. respiratory illness -- how does climate change affect public health?

Data sources:

I have many more data sources and links that I can share with interested groups.

Drug Manufacturers and Doctors



Expand the AutoSPLOM tool (http://www.cs.odu.edu/~mweigle/research/auto-splom/) to provide more views of the data. For instance, allow user to click on one of the scatterplots to reveal a bar chart of the data in that scatterplot. Make other interface and visualization enhancements as needed.

FluNet / SandyVis extensions

1) Expand the SandyVis visualization (http://www.cs.odu.edu/~mweigle/research/atlantic-vis/). For instance, add nuisance flooding values to the JSON data and graphs, only highlight stations where the water values have crossed the nuisance level.

2) Expand the WorldVis visualization (lhttp://www.cs.odu.edu/~mweigle/research/world-vis/). For instance, make the code extendable to any type of world data, add graphs at the bottom.

Both of these would require additional development than what is described here. The suggestions are just to get you started.

Based on project guidelines from John Stasko, Georgia Tech