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Oct - Tamara Munzner

Speaker: Tamara Munzner

Talk Title: “Visualization Analysis and Design for Biology”

Event Details


Thursday, October 8, 2015. 6:00pm

Affiliation: Professor, Dept. of Computer Science, UBC

Web-site: Tamara Munzner

Twitter: @tamaramunzner


Tamara Munzner is a professor at the University of British Columbia Department of Computer Science, and holds a PhD from Stanford. She has been active in visualization research since 1991 and has published over sixty-five papers and chapters. Her book Visualization Analysis and Design appeared in 2014. She co-chaired InfoVis in 2003 and 2004, co-chaired EuroVis in 2009 and 2010, and is chair of the VIS Executive Committee. She has worked on visualization projects in a broad range of application domains, including genomics, evolutionary biology, geometric topology, computational linguistics, large-scale system administration, web log analysis, and journalism.


Computer-based visualization systems provide visual representations of datasets designed to help people carry out tasks more effectively. They are suitable when there is a need to augment human capabilities rather than replace people with computational decision-making methods. Visualization usage can be analyzed in terms of why the user needs it, what data is shown, and how the idiom is designed. I will discuss this framework for analyzing the design of visualization systems and analyze a range of biology visualization applications through this lens.

Please note:

Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker for open discussion of both science and career paths. This takes place 4:30-5:30pm in either the Boardroom or Lunchroom on the ground floor of the BCCRC

Recommended Readings

For the trainees who are enthusiastic to read about visualization, I suggest these two papers. I’ll briefly allude to the DSM one in the talk itself, and I won’t cover the Variant View system at all during the talk so it will be something extra.

  1. Design Study Methodology: Reflections from the Trenches and the Stacks. Michael Sedlmair, Miriah Meyer, and Tamara Munzner. IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. InfoVis), 18(12): 2431-2440, 2012.
  2. Variant View: Visualizing Sequence Variants in their Gene Context. Joel A. Ferstay, Cydney B. Nielsen , Tamara Munzner. IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. InfoVis), 19(12):2546-2555, 2013.

Introductory Speaker: Bhav Dhillon (PhD Candidate, Dr. Fiona Brinkman’s Lab, SFU)

Title: “Exploring the evolution of antimicrobial resistance using IslandViewer 3”

Webcast Link:

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