List of Influences: Ben Shneiderman

Ben Shneiderman’s name has been with me through my entire computing life. In high school, we used to draw Nassi-Shneiderman diagrams to understand structured programming. In the HCI course at my university, his name was on the papers and book chapters we read. When I got into information visualization, he was still everywhere, with treemaps, the visual information seeking mantra, and many other greatly influential pieces of work. What follows below is Ben’s list of influences, in his own words. Continue reading List of Influences: Ben Shneiderman

List of Influences: Jock Mackinlay

Jock D. Mackinlay was working on information visualization long before the field or the term even existed. His Ph.D. thesis on the automatic visual representation of data translated Bertin’s semiological texts into a useful piece of software (and badly-needed visualization theory). His work also includes Cone Trees, the Perspective Wall, an analysis of the visualization design space, as well as the Readings in Information Visualization (together with Stuart Card and Ben Shneiderman). Mackinlay worked at PARC from 1986 to 2004, when he joined Tableau Software – a company based on a Ph.D. thesis inspired by his work 15 years earlier.
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List of Influences: Penny Rheingans

I was going to describe Penny Rheingans as the first purely scientific visualization person on this list, but that would have been a gross oversimplification. Penny has done groundbreaking work in volume illustration, perception, and uncertainty in visualization. One project of particular interest to me is her experimental evaluation of Chernoff Faces. Penny is also the only person I ever saw knitting at a conference – but after a look at her list of influences (in alphabetical order of the authors below), it all makes sense.
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List of Influences: Alan MacEachren

The first time I saw Alan MacEachren speak was as the keynote speaker at the Diagrams 2000 conference in Edinburgh. Because of his background in geography, he was introduced as “a practitioner” of diagrams – a designation which he immediately resisted. His work is clearly much more than that, connecting cartography, information visualization/design, semiotics, and perception. Alan’s book How Maps Work has considerably changed the way representation and communication are understood when it comes to maps.
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List of Influences: Jarke “Jack” van Wijk

A colleague of mine describes Jarke van Wijk as “somebody who has not just worked in several areas of visualization, but also written the landmark papers in each of them.” His contributions include spot noise and image-based flow visualization, cushion treemaps (with Huub van de Wetering), optimal zooming and panning (with Wim A. A. Nuij), as well as reflections on the value of visualization. His sense of humor is also notable, and his talks are always very enjoyable. Reason enough, therefore, to consider him influential enough to ask him for a list of things that influenced him.
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List of Influences: Chaomei Chen

The second list of influences is by Chaomei Chen. He is an associate professor at Drexel University and the editor-in-chief of the Information Visualization journal. He has also authored or co-authored six books, the most recent of which is Information Visualization: Beyond the Horizon. His research interests include the visualization of social networks in general and co-citation networks in scientific publications.
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