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Ben Shneiderman presented an excellent talk on information visualization for this colloquium. People have been using graphics to display information for a long time, such as graphs and charts, however information visualization offers more potential. One of my favorite parts of the talk was when Ben said "Visualization provides answers to questions we didn't know we had." It was easy to follow what he was saying with the examples provided during the talk, such as the one stock that actually increased in value when all others decreased in value in February 07.

Another idea which was not necessarily obvious was that all data should be shown first. This generally helped lead to interesting phenomena in the data sets and also helped decided how to focus in on details of the data. Overall I was left with a positive impression of visualization to help analyze large data sets. Another point that was not obvious until seeing the examples is that in most situations highly dimensional data can be displayed effectively in two dimensions. Overall this seems like a good way to be heading in terms of analyzing increasingly large data sets.

Last modified 5 October 2007 at 2:32 pm by JeffreyLaMarche