Data-driven tasks, such as data analysis or making visualizations, are a growing part of everyday life for countless people. Despite decades of consideration, these tasks remain challenging. Navigating the complex and interleaved steps to manipulate, comprehend, and present data while considering dozens of usage guidelines, often yields unsafe error-prone results. Failures include charts that yield misinformation or even create analytical errors that shake the world (such as by worsening the great recession). Common solutions tend to emphasize automated recommendations (which can give way to automation biases) or push for data literacy (placing the burden of work on the viewer).
In this talk, I propose a middle ground that keeps the human in the loop, in a manner that minimizes biases and makes it easier and safer to work with data interfaces. I will describe a suite of methods for automatically validating visualizations that synthesizes approaches from software engineering (like metamorphic testing and linting) in an easy-to-interpret manner. To support these analyses, I develop a formalism that allows best practices for unknown chart forms to be derived, so that such validation processes can be generated automatically. The pioneering premise of this work is that validation is an essential part of the visual analytics process, and is crucial for a future in which data tasks are accessible to anyone of any skill level.
Posted by: Deb Zemek
The use of immersive technologies in education and training has the potential to significantly enhance skills such as communication, empathy, critical thinking, and decision-making. In this talk, I will present results from our recent research showing the advantages of immersive environments, and our efforts to expand their use while also mitigating any negative side effects. I will describe how VR displays, such as head-mounted displays (HMDs), provide superior spatial awareness that can lead to an 8.8% improvement in information recall compared to traditional desktop displays. Additionally, I will discuss the work we have done with physicians and clinicians at the renowned R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore that involves VR used for non-opioid pain management and other health-related topics. But the widespread use of VR and AR is sometimes hindered by the issue of cybersickness. I will present a new method we’ve developed for measuring and quantifying cybersickness using EEG and will also discuss the development of nanophotonics phased arrays to create real-time dynamic holographic displays that address the vergence-accommodation conflict, a widely believed cause of cybersickness. As immersive technologies continue to evolve, advancing immersive environments to complement the human visual system has become increasingly crucial. I hope to provide valuable insight into the advantages of immersive environments, while also offering strategies for identifying and negating potential side effects.
Biography: Amitabh Varshney is Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland at College Park. Varshney is currently exploring applications of virtual and augmented reality in several applications, including education, healthcare, and telemedicine. His research focus is on exploring the applications of high-performance visualization in engineering, science, and medicine. He has worked on several research areas including visual saliency, summarization of large visual datasets, and visual computing for big data. He has served in various roles in the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee, including as its Chair, 2008–2012. He received the IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award in 2004. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a member of the IEEE Visualization Academy.
Posted by: Jixian Li