Visual analytics is the science of combining interactive visual interfaces and information visualization techniques with automatic algorithms to support analytical reasoning through human-computer interaction. People use visual analytics tools and techniques to synthesize information and derive insight from massive, dynamic, ambiguous, and often conflicting data, and to communicate their findings effectively for decision-making. This course will serve as an introduction to the science and technology of visual analytics and will include lectures on both theoretical foundations and application methodologies. The goals of this course are for students to (1) develop a comprehensive understanding of this emerging, multidisciplinary field, and (2) apply that understanding toward a focused research problem in a real-world application or a domain of personal interest.
Prerequisite: Prerequisite: COMP 15; Some experience with user interface development would also be helpful but not required (e.g., COMP 106, COMP 175, COMP 150-VIS)
The first half of this course will be focused on building up intuitions around the relationships between data, perception, and interaction that support sensemaking. To this end, four (short) assignments will help you get comfortable using the various techniques we discuss in class.
In the second half of the course, we'll shift our attention to student-driven projects. Various industry partners (VIPs) will come in to pitch potential datasets and/or problems, and you're are also welcome to propose a dataset you care about. We'll look at some ways to map the techniques we learned in the first half of the course to these problems, and you'll start building your own VA systems to address them. The project will have several (graded) milestones along the way, and we will hold a demonstration session on the final day of class.
Python is useful for data ingest, cleaning, formatting, and general wrangling.
RStudio is great for statistical analysis.
Tableau's data visualization software is provided through the Tableau for Teaching program.
Disability Services Office at the beginning of the semester. To do so, contact the Student Services Desk at (617) 627-2000 to arrange an appointment with Linda Sullivan, Program Director of Disability Services, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the materials used in this course are derived from lectures, notes, or similar courses taught elsewhere. Appropriate references will be included on all such material.