25 - 30 OCTOBER, 2015 CHICAGO, IL, USA


Color Mapping in VIS: Perspectives on Optimal Solutions
Location: Grand

Theresa-Marie Rhyne (organizer), David Borland, Kenneth Moreland, Bernice Rogowitz, Francesca Samsel, Maureen Stone, Cynthia Brewer

In this panel, we highlight optimal solutions for designing and building color maps in visualization applications and presentations. Our panelists represent artists, software engineers, cartographers, color scientists, perceptual psychologists, and visualization researchers who have contributed effective solutions to applying color to data visualization. Each panelist will highlight their perspective as well as tips and tricks for color map solutions. Drawing on perspectives from many disciplines, the panel will identify gaps in our understanding about the use of color in visualization and will identify future research directions.

Visualization in the Real World: Assembling Teams and Systems to Create Visualization-Centric Solutions
Location: Empire

Alan Keahey (organizer), Phil Charron, Jen Christiansen, Craig Lawrence, Dean Malmgren, Sridhar Potenini

As visualization applications become more sophisticated and widespread, there has been increasing need to have it integrate well with other areas of team and system development.  User Experience, Graphic Design, ETL Pipelines, Analytics, Computational Linguistics, Optimizers, Big Data Stacks and Hardware are common areas where tighter integration is desired.  In addition, there are often requirements or opportunities for the visualizations to reflect deeper knowledge of the application domain.

These needs for tighter integration present a challenge for building a team that is able to address all aspects when delivering a solution that includes a significant visualization capability.  It is not sufficient to simply add a visualization person or system to the project, rather there needs to be support and coordination between the areas.  Conceptually we can think of these other areas or spheres as foundation requirements for delivering visualization, which can be visually represented as a pyramid with visualization at the apex.   

This panel will present insights from a diverse collection of industry leaders who have created teams and systems that incorporate visualizations in a variety of contexts including media, enterprise business, government programs, UX design shops, data science groups and more.  Each panelist will describe their challenges in finding the right balance of talent and technology in related areas to support the creation of innovative visualizations.

Creative Challenges at the Intersections of Visualization Research and New Media Arts
Location: Leroy Neiman Center at SAIC (on the corner of Monroe and Wabash, across the street from Palmer House Hotel).

Angus Forbes (organizer), Dan Sandin, Donna Cox, Eduardo Kac, Fanny Chevalier, Daria Tsoupikova

This panel presents perspectives on the interconnections between art and research from established and emerging artists, and features Illinois-based pioneers Donna Cox (NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab), Eduardo Kac (SAIC’s Art and Technology Dept), and Dan Sandin (UIC’s Electronic Visualization Lab), along with additional selected artists (TBD) from the VISAP’15 Data Improvisations exhibition.

Each panelist will introduce their own work and discuss the primary research interests that motivate their creative outputs. The panel will investigate a range of questions about the possibilities of contemporary practice, such as: How can artistic explorations offer insight into thinking about the effective representation of complex data in visualization research contexts? Can advances in visualization and visual analytics research present new opportunities for artists to think about the creative coupling of data to meaning?

The “Creative Challenges” panel is part of the VISAP’15 activities, and is open to the public as well as IEEE VIS conference attendees. It will take place Wednesday, October 28th at 1pm at the Leroy Neiman Center in the midst of the Data Improvisation exhibition: http://visap.uic.edu.

Solved Problems in Visualization
Location: State

Robert S Laramee (organizer), Thomas Ertl, Chris Johnson, Robert Moorhead, Penny Rheingans, William Ribarsky

Evaluation, solved and unsolved problems, and future directions are popular themes pervading the visualization research community over the last decade. The top unsolved problems in both scientific and information visualization was the subject of an IEEE Visualization Conference panel in 2004 (Rhyne et al 2004). The future of graphics hardware was another important topic of discussion the same year (Johnson et al 2004). The subject of how to evaluate visualization returned a few years later (House et al., 2005, Van Wijk 2005). Chris Johnson published a list of top problems in scientific visualization research (Johnson 2004) in 2004. This was followed up by report of both past achievements and future challenges in visualization research as well as financial support recommendations to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Health (NIH) (Johnson et al 2006). C. Chen published the first list of top unsolved information visualization problems (Chen 2005) in 2005. Future research directions in topology-based visualization were also a major theme of a workshop on topology-based visualization methods (Hauser et al., 2005, Scheuermann et al., 2005). Laramee and Kosara published a list of top future challenges in human-centered visualization (Laramee and Kosara 2007) in 2007.  Laramee et al presented a list of top unsolved problems and future challenges in multi- field visualization (Laramee et al., 2014).  These pervasive themes coincide roughly with the 20th anniversary of what is often recognized as the start of visualization in computing as a distinct field of research (McCormick et al., 1987).

However, these lists, panels, and papers imply that that some fundamental problems have been solved in visualization.  After 30 years, what have we as a visualization research community solved?  Is there any consensus on solved problems in visualization?  This panel addresses some very difficult, core, fundamental questions such as (but not limited to):

• What visualization (scientific and information) problems have we, the visualization research community, solved?

• Is there any consensus on what problems have been solved?

• How can we as a community define an “open” or “solved” problem?

• When is a problem considered solved (or a challenge resolved)?

• Have any of the top challenges identified 10 or 20 years ago been solved?

• What about visual analytics?

Could Visualization Provide a Pathway to STEM?
Location: Empire

Vetria Byrd (organizer), Donna Cox, Michael Smith, Joseph Cottam

Visualization is fundamental in understanding and analyzing complex data from all aspects and most disciplines  of research  and  scholarship.  Using  visualization,  researchers  convert  raw, simulated  or observed  information into  a  graphical  format.  The  need  to diversify  a  field  with such  far-reaching influences  is imperative.  This panel  brings  together  a  diverse  group  of visualization scientists. The main goal of the panel is to facilitate a timely discussion in VisWeek 2015  about  potential  mechanisms to broaden participation  of  women  and members  of underrepresented groups  in visualization  for  the purpose  of  encouraging  more diversity  in the field of visualization.  As a secondary benefit, this panel will raise awareness about efforts that are being made to broaden participation in visualization.

The Professional Ecology of Visualization
Location: Red

Laura McNamara (organizer), David Ebert, Brian Fisher, John Alexis Guerra-Gomez, Jean Scholtz

IEEE VIS comprises three co-located complementary but distinct conferences. SciVis focuses on visualizing science data, while InfoVis visualizes abstract information and VAST takes a scientific approach to understanding analysis processes.  This panel considers an alternative taxonomy based on the institutional situation of the researcher/developer; i.e., their “ecological niche” in the field.  Our panelists represent visualization practice in three key “ecological niches” that span the SciVis, InfoVis and VAST communities: government, industry, and academia.  Together, we would like to explore the identity and practices of the “visualization researcher” in each of these niches, comparing and contrasting experience to understand the permutations of VIS knowledge in our various professional environments.

Panelists include two government researchers who work with government clients, two interactive information visualization researchers representing the commercial sector, and two university researchers with experience collaborating with counterparts in the previously mentioned two niches. We draw on our collective professional experience to open a conversation about the role of professional and institutional affiliation as shaping forces in the practice and products of our research.

Vis, The Next Generation: Teaching Across the Researcher-Practitioner Gap
Location: State

Marti A. Hearst (organizer), Eytan Adar (organizer), Robert Kosara, Tamara Munzner, Jon Schwabisch, Ben Shneiderman

Information visualization has escaped the research lab and is now widely used by practitioners across a wide spectrum of fields. New software tools and programming frameworks appear on a monthly basis. New design paradigms are rapidly gaining acceptance and evolving. At the same time, methods for teaching in the classroom and beyond are being challenged and influenced by online offerings such as Khan Academy and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the adoption of flipped classrooms, and the adaptation of instructional environments used in other communities. Pedagogy geared towards mastery learning that makes use of active learning and peer learning are being introduced in more and more contexts, reflecting the results of decades of research showing the benefits of these techniques, as well as their suitability for today’s connected students who expect a more interactive learning experience. As the role of information visualization grows and changes in the world of practice, new methods are needed to teach this dynamic topic. This panel brings together experts with different perspectives to talk about how they are rising to the challenge to teach information visualization in this new world. They are asked to take into account specifically:

• Practice vs research (infoviz is now huge in the “real world”)

• Distracted students, need active learning

• Many software tools and frameworks that instructors should build on

and address the question of how we incorporate and balance these issues into modern infoviz courses? This panel asks instructors who teach across the spectrum from purely research-oriented courses to more applied courses, and with a wide range of styles, how they meet these challenges. Two panelists teach in Computer Science departments, two teach in interdisciplinary Schools of Information, and one is a senior research associate in a non-profit policy center. The moderator is a former academic and practi- tioner thought-leader who now leads innovation at a leading software developer of visualization tools.