cs5984: Information Visualization

Fall 2001, CRN: 96297


Chris North

McBryde 619, 231-2458

Office Hours: T Th 3:30 – 5:00 PM 


Purvi Saraiya
Office Hours: M 2:00 – 4:00 PM


T Th 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

McBryde 322

Web site:



Information Visualization by Robert Spence, ACM Press, Hardcover - 206 pages 1st edition.

(December 15, 2000) Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201596261


Lecture presentation                 10%

            Homework                               30%

            Project                                     60%


            This will be a research-oriented course. You will learn about the state of the art in Information Visualization by reading and critiquing research papers from the field. You will also contribute to the state of the art by doing original research for you semester project.

            Lectures will consist of an introduction by the instructor, followed by presentations by students about the assigned readings, and discussion amongst the class. We will make heavy use of visual materials such as videos and live demos of visualization systems. Note that your participation in class discussion is part of your grade.

            Small homework assignments will be design oriented, giving you an opportunity to quickly sketch new visualization ideas. You will also make use of some existing visualization tools.

            The bulk of this course will concern the semester projects. You will work in small groups on original research. Your goal will be to identify an open problem and develop a solution. For most groups this will involve developing a new visualization software tool or augmenting an existing tool. For students without programming experience, the project could be an evaluation or empirical user study to compare visualizations or test a theory. I will provide a list of project ideas that you can choose from, or you can invent your own. I strongly encourage you to work on a problem this is relevant to other work you are doing (e.g. in your thesis research or other classes), or for a faculty member. You will also write a high-quality paper on your project that you will submit to a conference. At the end of the semester you will present your project to the class. For newer students, this project can provide an excellent starting point for your own thesis work.



In this course, you will learn how to:


Course outline: