CS 796/896 - Visual Analytics Seminar
Spring 2011: Tues 1:30-4:15pm, E&CS 2120

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Course Overview

Visual Analytics is "the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces" (http://nvac.pnl.gov/agenda.stm). In this course, we will be exploring the area of visual analytics, including information visualization and data mining. Students will be responsible for reading about 20 research papers and presenting at least 2 papers to the class.

Note: This is a seminar, not a regular graduate topics course.

Reference Textbook: Daniel A. Keim, Joern Kohlhammer, Geoffrey Ellis and Florian Mansmann, Eds., Mastering The Information Age - Solving Problems with Visual Analytics, Eurographics, 2010.

Let me know if you would like to order a spiral-bound, color copy (~$20).


Your grade in this class will be based on the following:

(Note that these percentages are only approximate and are subject to change, but by no more than 10%.)

Attendance/Peer Evaluations50%
Discussion Participation/Quizzes10%

The grading scale is as follows (+ and - modifiers will be applied as appropriate):


Course Policies

Academic Integrity

Please refer to the statement on academic integrity given below. Any evidence of cheating will result in a 0 grade for the assignment/exam, and the incident will be submitted to the department for further review.

By attending Old Dominion University you have accepted the responsibility to abide by the honor code. If you are uncertain about how the honor code applies to any course activity, you should request clarification from the instructor. The honor code is as follows:

"I pledge to support the honor system of Old Dominion University. I will refrain from any form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or plagiarism. I am aware that as a member if the academic community, it is my responsibility to turn in all suspected violators of the honor system. I will report to Honor Council hearings if summoned."

In particular, submitting anything that is not your own work without proper attribution (giving credit to the original author) is plagiarism and is considered to be an honor code violation. It is not acceptable to copy source code or written work from any other source (including other students), unless explicitly allowed in the assignment statement. In cases where using resources such as the Internet is allowed, proper attribution must be given.


I expect you to attend class and to arrive on time. Your grade will be affected if you are consistently tardy. If you have to miss a class, you should notify the instructor in advance. Students may leave after 15 minutes if the instructor or a guest lecturer does not arrive in that time.


Students should activate their Old Dominion e-mail accounts and check them every day. If a student chooses to have his/her messages forwarded to another account, it is the student's responsibility to take the necessary steps to have them forwarded.

Classroom Conduct

Please be respectful of your classmates and instructor by minimizing distractions during class. Cell phones must be turned off during class.

Make-up Work

Make-ups for graded activities are possible only with a valid written medical or university excuse. It is the student's responsibility to give the instructor the written excuse and to arrange for any makeup work to be done. A makeup exam may be different (and possibly more difficult) than the regularly scheduled exam.

Disability Services

In compliance with PL94-142 and more recent federal legislation affirming the rights of disabled individuals, provisions will be made for students with special needs on an individual basis. The student must have been identified, as "special needs" by the university and an appropriate letter(s) must be provided to the course instructor. Provision will be made based upon written guidelines from the university "special needs students" resource office. All students are expected to fulfill all course requirements.

Seeking Help

The course website should be your first reference for questions about the class. The schedule will be updated throughout the semester with links to assigned readings. Announcements and frequently asked questions (FAQ) will also be posted to the course website.

The best way to get help is to come to office hours. If you cannot make office hours, please send an email to setup an appointment.

I am available via email, but do not expect or rely on an immediate response.