CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
Spring 2016: Wednesdays, 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.

Paper Presentation

Give a 10-minute presentation on an academic paper from the IEEE Information Visualization (InfoVis) or IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) conferences. These are the top-tier conferences in the visualization field. (For an overview of IEEE VIS, which includes the InfoVis and VAST conferences, see the VIS 2015 Program and the VIS 2015 website.)

The accepted papers list is available on Blackboard (Wikis > Paper Presentations).

You may send me a draft of your slides for early feedback. The draft is due by Monday at 8am the week that you are presenting. I will not look at drafts sent after that time.

Online students -- You must pick a day to submit your presentation. You can host and record your own presentation using WebEx. See http://www.odu.edu/facultystaff/teaching/tools/webex#tab572=0 under "Recordings".


This assignment is worth 40 points (20% of your final grade). Your grade will be based on the following elements:

  • Content - 15 points
  • Analysis - 10 points
  • Slides - 10 points
  • Delivery - 5 points

Grading Sheet (pdf)

The criteria for each of these is explained below.


This is a 10-minute presentation, so there is not enough time to go into the details and present all parts of the paper. So, it is important that you identify the main points of the paper before you begin crafting your slides. If you have not read many academic papers, then Keshav's How to Read a Paper will be helpful.

The goal of the presentation is to teach us about the paper. To do this, you must be able to identify and understand the main points of the paper and present them in a clear manner.

If the paper is about something that is not familiar to you, you may need to do some outside research on the topic. Odds are, if the topic is unfamiliar to you, it is also unfamiliar to your classmates. You should include enough background information in your presentation so that everyone can understand the main points of the paper.

Here are some questions that you should answer in your presentation:

  • What is the motivation, or the problem that the authors are addressing?
  • What is the authors' approach?
  • Was there an evaluation? If so, describe it briefly. What were the results?
  • What are the contributions of the work?
  • What are the 3-5 main points that the authors want readers to remember from their paper?

You must have a conclusion slide that provides a summary of the main points of the paper and brings the presentation to a natural end.

Some papers may have an associated 30-second video (see the list from InfoVis 2013). These might be good to incorporate into your presentation, especially if the paper is describing an interactive system. (Do not show a video just because one exists -- it must be helpful for the presentation.) With only 10 minutes for your entire presentation, I would not advise you to show a longer demo.


There are two pieces to the required analysis, paper type and validation.

Paper Type

Process and Pitfalls in Writing Information Visualization Research Papers (by our textbook author, Tamara Munzner) describes several different types of papers (Section 2). The papers that we are reading will likely fall into one of these three categories:

  • Design Study
  • Systems
  • Evaluation

At the beginning of your presentation, you must state what type of paper you are presenting and how you came to that conclusion.


You must also talk about how the paper fits into the What-Why-How framework.

  • what area is it addressing (What-Why-How)?
  • what are the abstract tasks that are being addressed?

Further, you must analyze the paper in the style of Chapter 4 (Analysis: Four Levels of Validation). See the examples in Section 4.7.


You may use PowerPoint or something that generates PDF to create your slides.

Your slides should have a non-distracting theme, be free of misspellings and grammatical errors, be consistent in use of slide titles and capitalization, and should not contain too much text per slide. Use figures whenever possible (a picture is worth a thousand words), but do not add unnecessary clipart images.

Your title slide must contain the following information:

  • Title of paper
  • Authors
  • Venue (conference)
  • Year of publication
  • CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
  • Presented by your name
  • Date

Make sure that you include slide numbers on all of your slides (except the title slide).

You may find the authors' slides online. While these may be helpful to look at, you are not allowed to copy them. (If there are figures that would be helpful in your presentation, you may use them as long as you include an acknowledgement on the slide.) The main goal of this assignment is for you to summarize the paper and teach it to the class. This means that you must organize and develop the slides yourself.


Here's what I expect in terms of the actual delivery of the presentation:

  • Speak clearly and at an appropriate volume and speed
  • Maintain eye contact with all members of the audience (not just the professor)
  • Demonstrate that you are prepared and have practiced the talk
  • Use the slides as guides, but do not read directly from them
  • Ensure that transitions between topics are smooth and natural
  • The presentation must have a natural ending (usually done with a conclusions slide) to avoid ending with something like "That's all I have"

General Advice

There are several nice guides on how to give good talks. Read them and put them into practice.

If you do not have much experience at giving presentations, then the best advice is practice, practice, practice.

What Not To Do