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Tik-61.182 Informaatiotekniikan erikoiskurssi II (4 ov) (L)

Prof. Sami Kaski, PhD Kai Puolamäki
Semester: Spring 2001
Credit points: 4 cr
Place: Seminar room T4 in the Computer Science Building
Time: Thursdays 14-16, starting from January 18
Language: English (or Finnish)
Homepage: http://www.cis.hut.fi/Opinnot/Tik-61.182/

Information visualization

Information visualization is about presenting abstract data in a visual form to make it more understandable - to amplify cognition. The presentation tasks range from faithful presentation of results in scientific publications to interactive computer-supported visualizations of abstract multivariate data sets derived from scientific measurements, text documents, and customer databases. The vast amount of data available in electronic form makes information visualization methods needed, and the advances in computer hardware, most recently the cheap graphics capabilities of PCs make them feasible.

The area has much in common with works done under the title of scientific visualization. The difference is that scientific visualization usually refers to visualizations having a natural physical (3D) representation, for example flow fields or geographic distributions of changes in temperature. The term information visualization is intended to refer to visualization of any kinds of abstract data that may not have such "natural" representations.

Successful information visualization requires knowledge of several fields in addition to the new information visualization methods. During the course the relevant background of human visual perception, statistical multivariate analysis, and mathematics of computer graphics will be reviewed briefly (computer graphics very briefly since there exist other courses dedicated to computer graphics). The aim of the course is to gain an introduction to the most relevant background, and a more in-depth knowledge of the modern information visualization methodology.


The course is based on a selection of research articles and chapters from relevant books. The main course book will be a commented collection of research papers:

S. K. Card, J. D. Mackinlay, and B. Shneiderman: Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think. Morgan Kaufmann, 1999.

Additional topics and background will be selected from books including "Tufte: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information," "Ware: Information Visualization : Perception for Design," books on statistical multivariate analysis, and on linear and nonlinear projection methods.

To pass the course (4cr), you have to

  1. participate actively,
  2. give a seminar talk on a part of the books or some papers,
  3. prepare a brief summary handout of the material, for example in the form of copies of your clear transparencies,
  4. solve a set of exercises given during the seminar, and
  5. do a small project work, a small-scale research project.
To pass with distinction, the seminar talk, the handouts, and the project work must each be very good, and almost all of the exercises should be solved.

More information

Sami.Kaski@hut.fi (tel. 451 3266)
Kai.Puolamaki@hut.fi (tel. 451 3286)

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Wednesday, 02-Jan-2002 17:02:10 EET