Visual Analytics in the Wild: Opportunities for Students Outside the University

December 2, 2010
Halligan 111A
Speaker: Alex Godwin


Visual Analytics is an increasingly important research focus within university labs. This research, however, is also driving an exciting market outside academia, and students in information visualization and interactive data analysis have a wide variety of options available to them after graduation. Small businesses that are wholly devoted to creating commissioned systems for external clients have emerged in industries such as advertising, web development, and business intelligence. Many larger businesses are also carving off entire visualization departments to develop new features and drive innovation in established products. Government programs, both military and civilian, increasingly rely on sound analysis of large and complex data sets. In this talk, Mr. Godwin will discuss several existing models for successful visualization businesses, including the job opportunities and types of projects students should expect to find after graduation. While focused primarily on the local market in and around Boston, he will also talk about opportunities within multi-national businesses for software design and visualization. Finally, Mr. Godwin will discuss the role of visualization within the Government, and opportunities for employment in both civilian and defense-related agencies.

bio: Mr. James Alex Godwin, Scientist, is an expert in information visualization and the design of systems for visual analytics. Mr. Godwin’s recent work at Charles River Analytics focuses on spatio-temporal information visualization and interface display design for collaborative planning, as well as the design and implementation of game-based training systems. Prior to joining Charles River Analytics, Mr. Godwin was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Homeland Security’s Regional Visualization and Analytics Center (RVAC) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), where he obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Cognitive Science. For his graduate research, Mr. Godwin explored methods for analyzing information on terrorist cell networks through a visualization toolkit for temporal pattern extraction and social network evaluation. He has previously taught undergraduate courses in 2D and 3D graphics engine design, game programming, and artificial intelligence. His resume is available upon request.