CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
Spring 2017: Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:15pm, E&CS 2120

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Assignment Guidelines

CS725 @ GitLab

Paper Presentations

Project - updated


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

Course Overview

See previous course projects in the gallery

The main goal of this course is to equip you with the background and tools needed to develop effective visualizations in your own research and future work. Part of developing effective visualizations requires analyzing existing visualizations and visualization problems.

One important piece of developing an effective visualization is knowing what not to do. In addition to studying recommended approaches, this course should also prepare you to rule out visualization approaches where there are mismatches in human capabilities or perception or mismatches with the intended task.

Course Organization

This course will be organized based on the "flipped classroom" model. Students will be assigned readings and homework that will be due before class time. There will be few, if any, lectures by the instructor. Class time will be spent on discussions of the assignments, student presentations, and in-class assignments. It is essential that each student be prepared to fully participate in class discussions each week.

Announcements, submission of assignments, and grading will be done via the class Blackboard site. In-class work and hosting of code will be done via the ODU-CS Gitlab Community class group.

The required textbook for this course is Visualization Analysis and Design by Tamara Munzner.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain at a high-level the "why-what-how" framework for analyzing visualization use.
  • Given a visualization, identify the actions the vis allows and the targets of those actions.
  • Transform domain-specific tasks into the task abstraction framework.
  • Given an academic paper, identify the presence or absence of the four levels of vis design and validation.
  • Describe the channels of visual encoding and order them from most effective to least effective.
  • Identify a visualization where an inappropriate arrange design choice was made and explain why the choice was inappropriate.
  • Explain the importance choosing an appropriate colormap.
  • Use R, D3, and Tableau to create simple visualizations.
  • Use D3 or another toolkit to create an effective interactive web-based visualization of real-world data.
  • Explain and defend the design choices that you made in creating your web-based visualization.

Online Sections

There are some students participating in the course online. The audio and projected slides/images from our class meetings will be recorded using WebEx. Online students may join the WebEx session during class time or they may listen to the session afterwards (links will be posted in Blackboard). All students will participate in the same online discussions using Blackboard.

If you are registered for an online section but are on-campus, unfortunately the classroom is not large enough for you to regularly attend the class in person. Our activities in class will be recorded and you are welcome to meet with your in-class work group and project group outside of the class meeting time.

Deadlines are the same for in-class and online students. If something is due before the next class meeting, that means it is due before 9:30am Eastern on Wednesday.

If you are enrolled in the on-campus sections, you are expected to attend and participate in class each week. In-class participation is part of your grade.

Summary Schedule

Week Date Topic Textbook Reading Other
1 Jan 11 Introduction, What's Vis and Why Do It?
Ch 1 cancelled due to snow
2 Jan 18 Data
Ch 2
3 Jan 25 Arrange Tables
Ch 7
4 Feb 1 Marks and Channels
Ch 5
5 Feb 8 Tasks
Ch 3 2 paper presentations
6 Feb 15 Analysis
Ch 4 Milestone 1 due
3 paper presentations
7 Feb 22 Maps, Arrange Networks and Trees
Ch 8.1-8.3, Ch 9
8 Mar 1 Rules of Thumb
Ch 6 Milestone 2 due
Milestone 3 (project proposals) due
Mar 8 No Class - Spring Break
9 Mar 15 Map color and Other Channels
Ch 10 3 paper presentations
10 Mar 22 Manipulate View
Ch 11 3 paper presentations
11 Mar 29 Multiple Views
Ch 12 3 paper presentations
12 Apr 5 Reduce Items and Attributes
Ch 13 Milestone 4 (status updates) due
13 Apr 12 Embed: Focus + Context
Ch 14 3 paper presentations
14 Apr 19 Case Studies
Ch 15 3 paper presentations
May 1
Project Demos final exam slot (MWF 10am slot) 19 project demos