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Visual Analytics

Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in visual analytics (VA) is an interdisciplinary graduate program consisting of technology and theory courses along with courses on applications of this new field from the Schools of Interactive Arts and Technology and Computing Science, from the Faculty of Business, Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.

The graduate certificate combines the four key aspects of visual analytics: cognition, technology, society, and integration. Integration is realized in a practical sense through completion of a substantial research project using visual analytics methods, typically the student’s thesis work or a separate significant research project. This falls under the jurisdiction of the student’s department or school, and is thus outside of the scope of requirements for the VA graduate certificate. Support for integration is provided by the VA graduate certificate program however, through facilitating participation of the SIAT Graduate Program Committee members on supervisory committees and through the Visual Analytics seminar series.

The program is offered at the Burnaby and Surrey campuses.

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Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in the Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. There is no direct entry to the VA graduate certificate. VA graduate certificate students must be enrolled and in good standing in a graduate degree program at SFU, and must graduate in order to receive the graduate certificate. Qualified students should submit their registration information to the SIAT Graduate Program Committee as early as possible.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work for a minimum of 12 units.

Students complete

IAT 856 - Visual Analytics Graduate Seminar (3)

Aims to be a research seminar on new methods, techniques and applications in Visual Analytics (VA), for exposure to diversity of VA research work and method, for fostering understanding of VA disciplinary commonalities and differences. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Registered graduate students from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, or with permission of the instructor.

and three additional courses that in total cover the following areas. Course selection must be approved by the SIAT Graduate Program Committee.

Cognitive Processes

Courses fulfilling this requirement must cover the cognitive processes that underlie analytic practice and human problem-solving. Course work may include

EDUC 892 - Cognitive Tools and Multimedia Learning (4)

Design principles for multimedia learning are derived from the theories and research of cognitive science. Topics include: tutorial interactions, history of adaptive learning systems, adapting to individual differences, dialogues with teachers (and other agents), problem solving and cognitive load, learning from multimedia, cognitive principles for document design, tools for self-regulated learning, intrinsic and situational motivation, simulations and self-regulated inquiry, inquiry with microworlds and cognitive tools, multimedia scenarios for anchored instruction.

PSYC 925 - Seminar in Cognitive Processes (3)

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 John Joseph McDonald
Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
RCB 6152, Burnaby
G101 John Joseph McDonald
Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
RCB 5201, Burnaby
G102 John Joseph McDonald
Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
RCB 5201, Burnaby

Visual Analytics Technology

Courses fulfilling this requirement examine the creation, selection, and customization of information systems in the student's discipline or area of interest. This includes data processing and modeling as well as interactive visualization. Course work may include

BUS 709 - Managing Information (3)

An introduction to the theories and practices of managing information technology. Uses case studies to analyze complex situations and develop skills necessary to select, deploy and use information systems.

CMPT 767 - Visualization (3)

Advanced topics in data visualization. Topics covered may include principles of data representation, data presentation, data interaction, data physicalization, data and visualization literacy, data visualization and diversity, open data, and public personal data visualization. Students with credit for CMPT 878 or 775 may not take this course for further credit.

GEOG 657 - Geovisualization Interfaces (4)

The concepts, theories and technology behind 3D representation and 3D geovisualization of complex spatial phenomena using emerging interactive, immersive and ubiquitous interface technologies. Combines geovisualization, geospatial interface research, geovirtual environments, GIScience, and spatial knowledge acquisition perspectives. Prerequisite: Enrolment in any graduate program plus permission of the instructor. Graduate students from other disciplines are welcome to take this course.

IAT 814 - Visualization and Visual Analytics (3)

Provides a cognitive and computational framework for understanding and designing graphical and visual representations. Investigates several psychological and computational models of diagram processing, and explores diverse interactive graphical systems.

Social Systems

Courses fulfilling this requirement examine the impact of advanced data technology on individuals, organizations, and society in order to determine how it can best be designed and introduced to support social and collaborative processes. Course work may include

BUS 621 - Information Technology and Organizational Transformation (4)

A seminar format will be used to discuss the concepts and frameworks essential to the effective management of information technology. Our focus will be on the strategic role that information systems play in organizations, their structure and components, and various perspectives on how to plan and manage this technology. Equivalent Courses: MBA621.

CMNS 815 - Social Construction of Communication Technologies (5)

A study of the social theory of information technologies, examining issues affecting computer-mediated communication.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Frederik Lesage
Mo 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
HCC 1505, Vancouver
CRIM 812 - Criminal Networks (3)

Examines the social environment of offenders through a criminal network perspective. Emphasizes how analyzing delinquency through the lens of networks can make theoretical and empirical contributions to the field.

IAT 803 - Science, Technology & Culture (3)

Introduces the core values of interdisciplinary scholarship through engagement with history, theory and practice in the study of science, technology, society and culture. This course will be a reading-intensive, extended seminar style investigation of theoretical and historical references in science and technology studies and broader societal implications of technologies. Prerequisite: SIAT Graduate Student.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G200 Kate Hennessy
Tu 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
SRYC 3240, Surrey
PSYC 960 - Seminar in Social Psychology (3)

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Michael Schmitt
Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
RCB 6152, Burnaby
REM 625 - Risk Assessment and Decision Analysis for Management of Natural Resources (5)

Use of quantitative methods of risk assessment and decision analysis to explicitly take uncertainty into account when making decisions in management of natural resources. Methods of quantifying uncertainty and the resulting risks. Examples from management of forests, wildlife, fisheries, water resources, energy, and toxic chemicals. Communicating information about uncertainties and the resulting risks to resource managers, the public, and scientists. Advantages and limitations of various quantitative methods. Includes computer laboratories. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Subject to SIAT Graduate Program Committee approval, students may fulfill these requirements through other appropriate graduate courses at Simon Fraser University.

Course work must be selected from at least two academic units, with a maximum of two courses from the student’s home department.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements within the normal completion time of their graduate degree.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.