Welcome to VisWeek 2011!

2011 IEEE VIS Tutorials

TUTORIAL: Applications of Information Theory to Scientific Visualization
Date & Time : Sunday, October 23 08:30 am - 12:10 pm
Location : Room 556-AB
Topic : 
Applications of Information Theory to Scientific Visualization
Contributors: Ivan Viola, Miquel Feixas, Min Chen, Heike Jänicke, Mateu Sbert

We present a half-day tutorial to review different applications of information theory to visualization. Information theory tools, widely used in scientific fields such as engineering, physics, genetics, neuroscience, and more recently in computer graphics, are also emerging as state of the art in visualization.

Applications areas are view selection, flow visualization, ambient occlusion, time-varying volume visualization, transfer function definition, LOD timevarying volume visualization, iso-surface similarity maps and quality metrics.

The applications fall broadly into two categories: the mapping of the problem to an information channel, as in viewpoint applications, and the direct use of measures as entropy, Kullback-Leibler distance, Jensen-Shannon divergence, and f-divergences, to evaluate for instance the homogeneity of a set of samples or being used as metrics. We will also discuss the potential applications of information bottleneck method that allows us to progressively extract or merge information in a hierarchical structure.

TUTORIAL: Perception and Cognition for Visualization, Visual Data Analysis and Computer Graphics
Date & Time : Sunday, October 23 02:00 pm - 05:55 pm
Location : Room 556-AB
Topic : 
Perception and Cognition for Visualization, Visual Data Analysis and Computer Graphics
Contributors: Bernice E. Rogowitz, .

Visualization and computer graphics provide visual representations of data in order to communicate, provide insight and enhance problem solving. The human observer actively processes these visual representations using perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. The goal of this tutorial is to provide an introduction to these processing mechanisms, and to show how this knowledge can guide the decisions we make about how to represent data visually, how we visually represent patterns and relationships in data, and how we can use human pattern recognition to extract features in the data.

This course will help the student


  • Understand basic principles of spatial, temporal, and color processing by the human visual system.
  • Explore basic cognitive processes, including visual attention and semantics.
  • Develop skills in applying knowledge about human perception and cognition to interactive visualization and computer graphics applications


TUTORIAL: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Human-Subject Visualization Experiments.
Date & Time : Sunday, October 23 08:30 am - 05:55 pm
Location : Room 555-AB
Topic : 
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Human-Subject Visualization Experiments.
Contributors: Joseph L. Gabbard, Jr., J. Edward Swan II, Chris North

Course Description: This tutorial is for researchers and engineers, working in the field of visualization, who wish to conduct user-based visualization experiments with a specific aim of promoting both traditional quantitative human-subject experiments and qualitative methods for assessing usability and insight.

This tutorial presents both quantitative and qualitative approaches to human-subject experiments of visualizations. It covers (1) the basic principles of experimental design and analysis, with an emphasis on human-subject experiments in visualization; (2) formative evaluation methods for iteratively assessing and improving visualization user interfaces; and (3) approaches to designing and conducting qualitative studies that aim to measure the degree to which specific visualization designs afford insight formation.

Who should attend: Researchers and engineers, working in the visualization fields (Vis, InfoVis, VAST, BioVis), who wish to either (1) conduct evaluation experiments with human subjects, and / or (2) gain a better understanding of the basic terminology of experimental design and analysis (e.g., the precise meaning of statements such as [F(2,45) = 5.67, p = .023]), and / or (3) are researching or developing visualizations that can benefit from qualitative user-based assessment (e.g., visualizations that are at or beyond prototyping phases and are readying for potential broader use).

Level of expertise: All Levels. This material is useful to attendees with multiple levels of expertise.

TUTORIAL: Applying Color Theory to Visualization
Date & Time : Monday, October 24 08:30 am - 12:10 pm
Location : Room 557
Topic : 
Applying Color Theory to Visualization
Contributors: Theresa-Marie Rhyne, .

We highlight the visual impact of specific color combinations and provide practical suggestions on digital color mixing for visualization. The successful application of color theory is a key component in the design of digital media for interactive visual discovery, time series animation, and other visual analytics efforts.

Various artists' and scientists' theories of color and how to apply these theories to creating your own digital media work will be reviewed. Our tutorial includes a hands on session that teaches you how to build and evaluate color schemes with Adobe's Kuler, Color Scheme Designer, and Color Brewer tools. Each of these color tools are available online for your continued use in creating visualizations. Please bring various small JPEG examples of your visualizations for doing color analyses.

We will also share our own personal failures and successes with applying these color theories and tools to actual visualization projects.