December 2009

This is another posting from Test Student. It will be put into a category and have comments enabled.

This course web is running in WordPress – this is an experiment for me.

Part of the idea behind using WordPress is that it should give us an easy way to have a collaborative web page – that is one where students can make contributions, and we can use it as a mechanism for class participation. Therefore, as a student in class you may need to know a little about how wordpress works.

Getting an Account:

Things are set up so that you can create your own account as a “subscriber”. A subscriber has limited access – they can read everything, and can comments on posts where commenting is allowed.

Once you’ve created your account, the instructor or TA will promote your account to be a “contributor”.

What you can do:

For some posts (generally not on “News” or “BasicInfo”) you can add comments – this will be an important mechanism for class. For example, you will be asked to write comments on postings about readings.

You can write posts, however, since you are a “contributor” (in WordPress speak), your posting must be approved by an administrator (the instructor or TA) before it appears. Unlike the standard WordPress setup, you can upload pictures to go along with your posts. We will use student posts for things like “Visualization of the Day” and project ideas postings.

If you have ideas on how we can make things better, tell the instructor. Be warned: you might be volunteered to implement your idea.

Categories are the key organizing principle. The list of categories is on the right sidebar.

About this WordPress Setup

Students will be given “Conrtibutor” Accounts.

Some tweaks that have been made:

  • The “uncategorized” category is not shown in the categories widget by implementing the hack here.
  • The “OptInFrontPage” plug in is used so that only news appears on the home page.
  • The “WPFrontPageBanner” plugin is used to add to the front page.
  • Its using the “Thesis Style” – that I paid for. I’m still learning to tweak it.

Course Announcement

December 27, 2009

in BasicInfo,News

The original course ad can be found here.

Course Announcement for Spring 2010:
CS838: Visualization: getting from data to understanding

Spring Course Announcement:
CS838: Visualization: getting from data to understanding

Mike Gleicher
Tuesday/Thursday 11-12:15
Intended Audience
students who work with data and need to use visualizations effectively and students who are interested in creating tools to help people work with data
nominally 3, but variable credit possible (especially for dissertators)

Please contact the instructor if you are interested.

This course will explore the foundations of visualization: how we turn data into pictures to help in understanding or communicating it. We’ll cover visualization in the broad sense: including scientific visualization, information visualization (the presentation of abstract data), and visual analytics (the use of interactive tools for exploring large and/or complex data sets).

The content (the topics, not the teaching style) of this course is modeled after the visualization courses at Harvard (cs171) and Berkeley (cs294). Here, we will teach the class in a bit more of a “seminar” style – using class time more for discussion and student presentations than lectures.


Visualizations range from crayon sketches on the back of a napkin to immersive virtual reality display of the fluid dynamics around an airplane; from a bar chart in excel to a fancy, realistic 3D model.

Our goals are to understand the principles that lead to effective visualizations across this range (design, the use of color and motion, basic design patterns, dealing with high-dimensional data, …), specific visualization designs and problems (treemaps, scatterplot matrices, focus+context, volume visualization, …), as well as looking at the kinds of systems and tools that support the creation of good visualizations.

By the end of the course, we will learn how to design effective visualizations for the kinds of data we want to interpret and understand the kinds of tools that support the creation of such visualizations.

For a more complete description, I steal this from the course at Berkeley (with 2 sentences removed):

In this course we will study techniques and algorithms for creating effective visualizations based on principles and techniques from graphic design, visual art, perceptual psychology and cognitive science. The course is targeted both towards students interested in using visualization in their own work, as well as students interested in building better visualization tools and systems. In addition to participating in class discussions, students will have to complete several short programming and data analysis assignments as well as a final project.

Test student’s Post

December 27, 2009

in Uncategorized

This is a posting from Test student. They can’t do too much!

They can’t even publish it.

Update: 1/21/2010 – I have a different idea for this.

This “Category” of posts is for the “Visualization of the Day” – or “Visualization Show and Tell”.

The idea is that people can contribute a Visualization that they have found that they think is interesting, and that we all can all discuss it via the comments. Kindof like Show-and-Tell in Kindergarden!

Rather than being a free-for-all, we’ll all take turns contributing “Visualization of the Day”s. Your day will be assigned. When you publish the post, make sure that it gets put into the “Visualization of the Day” Category. Also, note that you should write your “Visualization of the Day” ahead of time – when we approve the posting, we’ll set it so that it appears on the right day.

Remember, as a student in the class, you can create posts, but they must be “approved” by the instructor or TA. (in WordPress speak, you are a contributor – except that we have added functionality to WordPress to allow you to upload images).

Starting the Course Web

December 22, 2009

in News

This is the beginning of a course web for CS838 – Visualization. As you might see, I am trying to do it using WordPress, which will be an adventure for me!

Check back later for some actual content.

Course Calendar

December 22, 2009

in BasicInfo,News

The course calendar will be kept as a google Calendar (again, this is an experiment).

If you want to look at it as a web page, go to here.

If you want an iCal feed, use this.

If you want an XML feed, use this.