ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE News

CBIL Seminar: A Visualization Language

12:00 AM - 10:30 AM on Friday, October 4, 2013
Location: VTRC - Arlington; 4-024; 900, N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203

Invited Speaker: Dr. Jian Chen, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Data Visualization, Computing, and Interaction lab


In 1967, visualization theorist Jacques Bertin suggested applying seven dimensional representations to construct visualization. He further suggested that understanding the rules of construction would enable us to choose the visual variables which would lead to the most efficient representation. To use signs to depict certain meanings, he said: “all the participants come to agree on certain meanings expressed by certain signs and agree to discuss them no further.” Bertin’s inspiration has borne fruit in this century, as visualization techniques have enabled scientists to see the invisibles, with increasing accuracy and improved decision-making process. But the method of visual construction is unclear.
In this talk, I will examine some, including solutions to enabling seeing more information from dense diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging. For any given dataset, there are infinite encodings to explain it to domain scientists and infinite display choices. I will further discuss how novel design of visual construction will unify the interface design to allow more efficient query of large complex bat fight motion datasets. My idea is to place the discovery in the lens of design making use of flexible displays to enable fluid workflow to facilitate scientists' quest for new knowledge. The ideas have also been applied to physiology and gene pathway analysis to assist scientists to understand large time-varying heterogeneous data.

Jian Chen is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she directs the Data Visualization, Computing, and Interaction lab (the DaVinCI lab). She did a postdoc at Brown University, after receiving a PhD in computer science from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include design and evaluation of visualization techniques, 3D interface, and visual analytics. Her research contributions can be found online at