About the Speaker:

A psychologist with an Erdos number of 2, Brian chaired VAST 2010, ISCRAM 2012, and the International Symposium on Smart Graphics in 2004 and 2006. He is a  is member of the IEEE Visualization Pioneer Society, Fellow of the Psychonomics Society, and serves on the Executive Committee of IEEE VIS, the leadership board of the DHS VACCINE Center of Excellence and the steering committees for VAST, the International Cybercrime Research Centre, and the German DFG "Scalable Visual Analytics"​ Priority Program. He was keynote speaker for EuroVAST, NATO Visualisation Network-of-Experts, and the German DFG Priority Program "Scalable VA”  meeting. 

Publications can be found at: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5665-5709


About the Talk: The role of science in interactive arts and technology, with examples from visual analytics

In his book “The Nature of Technology, What it Is and How it Evolves” W. Brian Arthur argues that technology evolves as designers build a deeper understanding of the “language” of a set of natural phenomena and how they can be technologically manipulated to achieve a practical goal. His examples come largely from engineering, e.g. the design of the subsystems that make up jet aircraft engines and how they can be assembled to build more reliable and efficient propulsion system. His claims, however, are much broader— Arthur would like to argue that his principles apply to a much wider scope of design tasks, e.g. business and social systems as well as engineering systems. While jet engines exploit air compression, combustion, and lubrication phenomena information technology designers might ask:

    What are the nature of the phenomena that we harness in information system design?

    How can our libraries and applications most effectively manipulate those phenomena?

    What sort of design “language” will we create, and how can we become fluent in it? 

I will begin to address these issues in the context of Visual Analytics, defined as "the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces”. For visual analytics, and I will argue, for many related SIAT areas, part of the “ language” may emerge from a translational cognitive science of interaction, i.e. a “cyberpsychology". This begins with studies of ”cognition in the wild”, continues with laboratory studies of the ways in which the novel perceptual and interactive environments that are generated by complex visualization environments affect human perception, cognition, action and collaboration and ends with translational field experiments that integrate theory and methods from lab studies into semi-realistic tasks and settings to inform visualization design choices and evaluation metrics. As with any (natural, social) science a cyberpsychology will develop and test general theories, in this case theories about how fluent interaction with visual information systems can enable us to understand situations, solve problems, and manage complex operations. These theories will contribute to a design language that might well generalize across a broader range of SIAT research areas.

Click here for video.