This year’s VisWeek conference has a distinct theory scent. It starts with the workshop, The Role of Theory in Information Visualization on Monday, and ends with a panel on theory on Friday. There is also a related BOF and a paper session at Vis.
InfoVis Theory Workshop
While many workshops are like mini-conferences, the format of this one will be different. We’ve accepted nine great position statements that will spark interesting discussions on many different aspects of theory in information visualization. These will be presented briefly, but most of the time will be devoted to discussions. In fact, we will set up the room to be conducive to discussions, rather than the typical “classroom” setting.
The goal is to start collecting different ideas of what theory means in infovis, what kinds of theory work there are, and how to go about getting more of this work funded and published.
Everybody is welcome to attend the workshop and to participate in the discussions. Whether you’ve written seminal papers on theory or you’re just playing with the idea of doing some theory research, come talk to your peers and find out where the field will be heading in the next few years.
Visualization Theory Panel
To complete the theory bracket around VisWeek, there will be a panel Friday morning, Visualization Theory: Putting the Pieces Together. The speakers on that panel are:
- Jock Mackinlay
- Bernice Rogowitz
- Ji Soo Yi
- Robert Kosara
The panel is organized by my former student Caroline Ziemkiewicz (Brown University) and Peter Kinnaird (GeorgiaTech). The speakers will cover a broad range of topics in theory, and from our preliminary discussions, I can guarantee you that it will be interesting.
A birds-of-a-feather (BOF) meeting Thursday night on evaluation in visualization will also address (among other things) how evaluation and theory are connected.
The BOF titled Getting to “a-HA!” — and Knowing How We Got There: A Birds-of-a-Feather Meeting for Visualization Evaluation is organized by Laura McNamara, and includes Patricia Crossno, Jean Scholtz, and yours truly as speakers.
Vis Session: Theoretical Foundations of Visualization
Finally, the first paper session of Vis this year is titled Theoretical Foundations of Visualization. It includes four highly interesting papers, two of which are dealing with information loss in scientific visualization.
If you’re on Twitter, sign up for VisWeek on Lanyrd to see who else is there.