The ordering is tentative and subject to change. But this should give you an idea of what the 2 lectures each week will be about (the first two bullets in each week are roughly the two lecture topics).

Not that the “main lecture thread” (really the main reading thread) is mainly about what pictures we need to make. In class (and in the optional Friday sessions and assignments), we’ll also include critiques of visualizations (to drive home these topics) and how to do this stuff yourself. Dates listed are the Monday of the week.

Week 1: Getting Started (Jan 23)

  • What is this class going to be?
  • A First Case study to get started
  • (Friday optional) Some time to get to know one another
  • Assignments: course set up, first paper reading

Week 2: What is Visualization? (Jan 30)

  • A look at some different perspectives on what visualization is
  • An overview of what visualization (as a field) is about (and what we’ll learn in this class)
  • (Friday optional) Problems pot-luck (bring your own pet-data or problem)
  • Assignments: perspective readings, overview readings, example finding

Week 3: Why Visualization? (Feb 6)

  • Some case studies as to how visualization pays off and why it works
  • Examples “Thinking Differently” – to find novel solutions to hard problems
  • (Friday optional) Tools discussion – what tools do people want to use/learn?
  • Assignments: why readings, data readings, initial design assignment

Week 4: How do we know its any good? (Feb 13)

  • Discussion of different evaluation methods, and the “religons” of visualization
  • Some discussion of what is data, and how we deal with it responsibly
  • (Friday optional) Additional critique session Group work time.
  • Assignments: evaluation readings, data readings, re-design assignment

Week 5: Perception: How do we see (Feb 20)

  • The basics of human perception – a crash course in how the visual system works
  • How does the psychology of perception and cognition impact the design of visualizations
  • (Friday optional) Project planning discussions
  • Assignments: Perception readings, Re-Design Due

Week 6: Encoding: How do we make visualizations? (feb 27)

  • Encodings: how do we effectively map data to visual elements (the building blocks of all visualizations)?
  • Layout and Design: how do we put these pieces together effectively?
  • (Friday optional) Project planning discussions
  • Assignments: Encoding and Design Readings, Project 1 Proposal

Week 7: Color (March 5)

  • Basics of color: how do we see it (or not)
  • Color for vis: how do we use it effectively (or not)
  • (Friday optional) Project work time
  • Assignments: Color readings, Project 1 Plan

Week 8: Multi-Variate(March 12)

  • Bi-Variate Mappings (showing 2 variables in one place)
  • Basic strategies for looking at more than 2 dimensions
  • Assignments: Bi-Variate and Multi-Variate readings, Color seek-and-find, Project 1 Status Report

Week 9: Too Much Stuff (March 19)

  • Dimensionality Reduction approaches
  • Clutter Reduction Approaches
  • Assignments: Dimensionality Reduction Readings, Networks readings, Project 1 Handin Description

Week 10: Interaction (March 26)

  • How do we use interaction to make better visualizations?
  • How do we build these interactive visualizations Project Discussions
  • Assignments: Interaction and Toolkit readings, Project 1 Due

Spring Break

Week 11: Case study, animation

  • A case study (Sequence Surveyor) that emphasizes many of the points of the previous weeks
  • Using animation and movement in visualization
  • Project planning Discussions
  • Assignments: Readings, Project 2 Proposal, Mid-Term Essay

Week 12: Graphs and Networks

  • Ways of looking at network information (Graphs, Node-Link, Trees, …)
  • Assignments: Readings, Project 2 Plans, Graphs and Networks Seek and Critique

Week 13: Animation, Presentations

  • The art of animation and its potential for Vis
  • Giving presentations
  • Assignments: Project updates

Week 14: Design

  • Principles of Visual Design
  • Slides and materials for presentations
  • Assignments: Projects progress, Course Evals

Week 15: The End

  • Depth Perception
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Assignments: Project!