CIS 4930/6930-002: Data Visualization (Spring 2019/2018/2017)

Location: BSN 1201
Time: M/W 3:30pm-4:45pm

Instructor: Paul Rosen
Office: ENB 311
Office Hours: M/W 2-3:30pm

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the principles and algorithms necessary for effective visual analysis of data. The course begins with an overview of principles from perception and design, continues with skills for critiquing visualizations, and then focuses on visualization techniques and algorithms for a broad range of data types. Students will acquire hands-on experience using state-of-the-art visualization systems as well as programming interactive visual analysis tools.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Associate visualizations with the foundational components, e.g. data abstractions and visual encodings, that go into their construction.
  • Critique the effectiveness of interactive visualizations with respect to task selection, visual encoding choices, and interaction design and implementation.
  • Build effective visualizations by evaluating a provided data and user requirements and programming an interface to match those requirements.


  • Optional: T. Munzner, Visualization Analysis and Design, A K Peters/CRC Press, ISBN 9781466508910

Course Work

  • Peer Review of Projects (3 reviews per assignment)
  • Research Paper Reviews (Grad: 4; Undergrad: 3)
  • Research Paper Presentation (Grad Only)

       GitHub Repository

Lecture Topics/Slides

       GitHub Repository


Jan 7 Introduction to Visualization Jan 9 Working with Processing
Jan 14 Design
Due: Project #1
Jan 16 Data and Visual Encoding
Jan 21 No class (MLK) Jan 23 Data and Visual Encoding
Due: Peer Reviews (Proj #1)
Jan 28 Color & Perception
Due: Project #2
Jan 30 Color & Perception
Due: Paper Review #1
Feb 4 Task & Interaction / View & Focus+Context
Due: Peer Review (Proj #2)
Feb 6 Task & Interaction / View & Focus+Context
Due: Project #3
Feb 11 Visualizing Tables
Due: Peer Review (Proj #3)
Feb 13 Visualizing Tables / Paper Presentations (x3)
Feb 18 Visualizing Trees & Graphs
Due: Project #4
Feb 20 Trees & Graphs / Paper Presentations (x3)
Due: Paper Review #2
Feb 25 Visualizing Text
Due: Peer Review (Proj #4)
Feb 27 Visualizing Text / Paper Presentations (x3)
Due: Project #5
Mar 4 Visualizing Sets
Due: Peer Review (Proj #5)
Mar 6 Visualizing Sets / Paper Presentations (x3)
Mar 11 No class (Spring break) Mar 13 No class (Spring break)
Mar 18 Visualizing Maps Mar 20 Visualizing Maps / Paper Presentations (x3)
Mar 25 Visualizing High Dimensional Data Mar 27 High Dimensional Data / Paper Presentations (x3)
Due: Project #6
Apr 1 Visualization & Statistics
Due: Peer Review (Proj #6)
Apr 3 Visualization & Statistics / Paper Presentations (x3)
Apr 8 Visualization & Machine Learning
Due: Project #7
Apr 10 Machine Learning / Paper Presentations (x3)
Apr 15 Visualization & Computational Topology
Due: Peer Review (Proj #7)
Apr 17 Computational Topology / Paper Presentations (x3)
Apr 22 Flex day / Paper Presentations (x3)
Due: Paper Review #3
Apr 24 Recap/Review Lecture
Final Exam: Wednesday, May 1, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

All dates and course content are subject to change.