CMSC 838f: Information Visualization

Prof. J.-D. Fekete, Spring 2002

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Last Update: 2/11/2002

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General Course Information

Meeting Times:
Monday 2-4:30pm
Office hours:
Mon 10-12am & Tues 10-12am
AVW 1112


Readings In Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think, Stuart K. Card, Jock D. Mackinlay, and Ben Shneiderman, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, January 1999, 686 pages, ISBN 1-55860-533-9,

Suggested additional reading: Designing the User Interface, 3rd Edition, B. Shneiderman, Addison Wesley Longman, (1998).


What is information visualization? How is it related to scientific visualization? How does it combine with data mining? Information visualization is emerging as an important fusion of graphics, scientific visualization, database, and human-computer interaction. Dozens of innovative visualizations for 1-, 2-, 3-, and multi-dimensional data have been proposed, along with creative designs for temporal, hierarchical, and network data. This seminar will examine the design alternatives (fisheye, overviews, dynamic queries, etc.), algorithms and data structures, plus human factors evaluations of efficacy for a variety of tasks and users.

Students will read current literature and conduct collaborative projects to design, implement, and/or evaluate existing or novel visualizations. Mid-term and Final exams will be given.


Students will use existing information visualization tools, such as Spotfire, to build useful visualizations on existing data sets, then conduct a major team project to create or extend an information visualization for a real-world client. Students will read, present and critique the papers in the textbook.

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