Reading 23: Videos

by Mike Gleicher on April 22, 2015

Reading/Initial Posting due: Monday, May 4th Wednesday, May 6th

Canvas Link: Reading 23 on Canvas

OK, I had promised 1 reading a week, and last week we had 2. So this week, it’s not really a reading. (or, the reading is optional). And since you’re hopefully still thinking about last week’s discussions, we can delay starting this one a little.

The main topic (scientific visualization) is one for which I have no good reading for. There are whole books on it and tons of technical papers, but no concise introductions. So there’s no required reading on it. If you’re really interested in volume visualization (for simulations or medical imaging or …), I’d recommend the chapter from the Visualization Handbook (available via the library, but we grabbed it and put it into the reader here, or the author has a preprint here).

  • Arie Kaufman and Klaus Mueller. Overview of Volume Rendering. Chapter 7 of The Visualization Handbook (Hansen and Johnson eds), Academic Press, 2005.

Instead, I want you to watch a video. Well, two videos. They relate to two topics that I wanted to talk about in class, but probably won’t get to: presentations, and animation.

The first is about the role of animation in visualization.

You don’t have to read the paper, but you do have to watch the video:

Heer, Jeffrey, and George Robertson. “Animated Transitions in Statistical Data Graphics.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 13, no. 6 (January 2007): 1240–47. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2007.70539.

Reading the paper is optional.

Second, I want you to watch a video of Hans Rosling, who uses animated visualizations in quite a compelling way. If you have already seen a Hans Rosling video, find another one. There are lots of videos of rosling presentations – here’s one I have handy, or here’s another one.

The actual point of Rosling is not his visualizations (which are not necessarily that unusual), but rather as a way to talk about presentations. I’d like you to read through last year’s assignment (you don’t have to do it – other than watch Rosling), and read my old rant on presentations.

So, the requirements are: (1) watch the Heer and Robertson video, (2) watch a Rosling video, and (3) read the 2012 assignment and my web page about presentations.

For the discussion…

I’m not sure there’s too much to say about the animated transitions video (so I’ll trust you watched it). Actually there is a lot to say about it – especially given a recent paper that suggests that the staggering and other effects may not work that well. But there isn’t too much to say just about the video. In fact, think about the video in terms of “how well does it explain the ideas of the paper.”

In your initial posting, comment on:

Rosling’s presentation. You can say why you think he’s good (or not), but also comment on why he is often used as an example for presentation style. What can you learn from him (positive or negative)? There are lots of hints in what I wrote.

The transitions video – why is this a good presentation of the ideas (or not)?

For the discussion: consider the idea of presentations in general. How does what we’ve learned in class connect with giving presentations? How does my advice on presentations (which is 4 years old, by the way, and is actually a moving target as my thoughts evolve) apply (or not) to the kinds of presentations you have to give? (it was written for CS students originally, specifically, ones who do the kinds of stuff I do)

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