President's Dream Colloquium on Engaging Big Data

Speaker: Sheelagh Carpendale

Monika Dutt

Interacting with Information through Visualization

Sheelagh Carpendale, Professor of Computing Science, University of Calgary
Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 4:30–6 pm
SUR 5280, Surrey campus



Talk Highlights

0:00    Welcome and opening remarks by Stephen Dooley (Executive Director of SFU Surrey)
3:00     Speaker Introduction by Wolfgang Stuerzlinger

Sheelagh Carpendale Talk
4:10     Introduction
4:41    Student Acknowledgement
4:59    The Rise of the Data Society
5:18    Definition of a data society
5:34    Switching from a money based society to a data society
6:45    Example of companies getting value from moving data: Airbnb and Uber
7:38    Computers can gather, generate, and store data
7:53    The blind men and the elephant example for big data
8:31    What's missing: the human in the loop
8:47    Anscombe's Quartet Example of how statistics is not enough
9:51    Complex data Visual representations are not enough
10:23    Rotationally invariant polar projection example: chemist free radicals
10:59    Papilio example: security data (most popular games & their permissions)
12:53    detect the expected and discover the unexpected
13:10    discover the unexpected: exploration and explanation
14:13    Exploration of data: interact with the visualization you create
14:44    Observation for design (people watching studies) examples
15:55    Example of interaction through reorganizing: EdgeMaps (popular musicians)
17:29    Examples of interaction through graphs
23:42    Digital feudalism & data barons, data society
24:55    Data freeholders can be achieved by communication and literacy
27:21    How can we make people data literate
30:46    Ben Jonson's walk to Scotland and Serendipity
34:18    Whiteboard study, word-to-diagram spectrum
37:51    What happens when people make sketches and draw visualizations on whiteboards? 
41:17    Transmogrify, measuring length of rivers; interactively visualize soccer match scores
43:35    Empowering people with data through the democratization of visualization
45:27    Different people sketch their data differently, from numeric representations to abstract
50:14    Constructive Visualization, manipulating little blocks as token for money
54:32    Summary

Questions & Answers
57:25    Margret's Question - Mobile Visualization
1:00:09  Bernard's Question - VR and scientific exploration
1:02:46  Caitlyn's Question - dimension selection for interactivity
1:04:56  Abhisekh's Question
1:08:18  Bohemian Bookshelf concept applied to web searches?
1:10:20  Sketchbook Externalization
1:13:37  Narrative & Storytelling in Visualization
1:15:08  Mandy's Question   


The catch phrase these days is ‘big data’ and this phrase is often accompanied by the assumption that it is matched with big industry and big science. However, as individuals we are becoming more aware that data is also impinging on our personal lives.

Since my overarching research goal has long been to design, develop, and evaluate interactive visualizations so that they support our everyday practices as we view, represent, manage, and interact with information, I am interested in this impact.

I still think that interaction is the key to exploration and manipulation capabilities that can make information comprehension viable. In this talk, I will start by showing examples of how a humancentered approach can improve visualization outcomes and then discuss how the currently shifting information climate is opening up new research opportunities, notably in personal visualization and visualization literacy.

I will discuss the interplay between small data and big data considering the potential for empowering ourselves in our everyday lives.