Showing posts from June, 2014

2014-06-26: InfoVis Fall 2011 Class Projects

(Note: This is continuing a series of posts about visualizations created either by students in our research group or in our classes.) I've been teaching the graduate Information Visualization course (then CS 795/895, now CS 725/825) since Fall 2011. Each semester, I assign an open-ended final project that asks students to create an interactive visualization of something they find interesting.  Here's an example of the project assignment . In this series of blog posts, I want to highlight a few of the projects from each course offering.  Some of these projects are still active and available for use, while others became inactive after their creators graduated. The following projects are from the Fall 2011 semester.  Both Sawood and Corren are PhD students in our group.  Another nice project from this semester was done by our PhD student Yasmin AlNoamany and MS alum Kalpesh Padia.  The project led directly to Kalpesh's MS Thesis, which has its own blog post . (All class

2014-06-23: Federal Big Data Summit

On June 19th and 20th, I attended the Federal Big Data Summit  at the Ronald Reagan Building in the heart of Washington, D.C. The summit is hosted by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) . I participated as an employee of the  MITRE Corporation  -- we help ATARC organize a series of collaboration sessions that are designed to help identify and make recommendations for solutions to big challenges in the federal government. I lead a collaboration session between government, industry, and academic representatives on Big Data Analytics and Applications. The goal of the session was to facilitate discussions between the participants regarding the application of big data in the government and preparing for the continued growth in importance of big data. The targeted topics included access to data in disconnected environments, interoperability between data providers, parallel processing (e.g., MapReduce ), and moving from data to decision in an optimal fashion. Due

2014-06-18: Google and JavaScript

In this blog post, we detail three short tests in which we challenge the Google crawler's ability to index JavaScript-dependent representations. After an introduction to the problem space, we describe our three tests as introduced below. String and DOM modification : we modify a string and insert it into the DOM. Without the ability to execute JavaScript on the client, the string will not be indexed by the Google crawler. Anchor Tag Translation : we decode an encoded URI and add it to the DOM using JavaScript. The Google crawler should index the decoded URI after discovering it from the JavaScript-dependent representation. Redirection via JavaScript : we use JavaScript to build a URI and redirect the browser to the newly built URI. The Google crawler should be able to index the resource to which JavaScript redirects. Introduction JavaScript continues to create challenges for web crawlers run by web archives and search engines. To summarize the problem, our web brows

2014-06-18: Navy Hearing Conservation Program Visualizations

(Note: This is the first in a series of posts about visualizations created either by students in our research group or in our classes.) The US Navy runs a Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) which aims to protect the hearing and prevent hearing loss in service members.  Persons who are exposed to levels in the range 85-100 dB are in the program and have their hearing regularly tested.  In the audiogram, there is a beep sounded at different frequencies with increasing volume.  The person being tested raises their hand when they hear the beep and the frequency and volume (in dBA) are recorded.  A higher volume value means worse hearing (i.e., the beep had to be louder before it was audible). Not only are people in the HCP regularly tested, but they are also provided hearing protection to help prevent hearing loss.  The audiogram data includes information about the job the person currently holds as well as if they are using hearing protection. Researchers are interested in studying Noi

2014-06-02: WikiConference USA 2014 Trip Report

Amid the smell of coffee and bagels, the crowd quieted down to listen to the opening by Jennifer Baek , who, in addition to getting us energized, also paused to recognize Ardrianne Wadewitz and Cythia Sheley-Nelson , two Wikipedians who had, after contributing greatly to the Wikimedia movement, had recently passed.  The mood became more uplifting as Sumana Harihareswara began her keynote, discussing the wonders of contributing knowledge and her experience with the Ada Initiative , Geek Feminism , and Hacker School .  She detailed how the Wikimedia culture can learn from the experiences at Hacker School, discussing different methods of learning , and how these methods allow all of us to nurture learning in a group.  She went on to discuss the difference between liberty and hospitality, and the importance of both to community, detailing how the group must ensure that individuals do not feel marginalized due to their gender or ethnicity, but also detailing how good hospitality engend