Kyuhan's Colloquium note

Dr. Ben Shneiderman, 10/04/2007
The Thrill of Discovery: Information Visualization for High-Dimensional Spaces


Thanks to the information overflow, we need a new methodology to handle and organize the information beyond we can manage. Dr. Shneiderman suggested some tools of information visualization utilizing the fact that people can recognize colors faster than letters to solve this problem.

Treemap, it seemed to be a main issue of the colloquium. Itís a handy idea using information visualization. I had a chance to see this treemap before at Auburn University where Iíve studied for my master degree. Last summer there was a visiting scholar from University of Maryland, at one research meeting, he explained detail descriptions of Treemap. Originally, treemap is created for showing hard disk usage analysis such as file access frequency and file size with the colors and the size of squares. Bigger squares mean bigger files than smaller ones, and the different color shows the difference between file access frequencies. Additionally, it provides a sorting function which lets squares be displayed in descending order of alphabet. Nowadays, Treemap is being used for stock market, news, and gene ontology.

One more interesting thing to me was multi-windows in a program. It perfectly reflects 4 steps to design GUI ; overview, multiple selection, zoom & filter, and details on demand. With multiple windows, users could recognize information faster and have more interactions with system than stereo GUI which has one or two windows per system. As Dr. Shneiderman mentioned it could assure ďclear vision of what the data is and clear vision of what users are looking forĒ.

Itís a great experience to attend the colloquium in which Dr. Shneiderman delivered his speech. After being a graduate student in HCI field, Iíve heard his reputation a lot. It was such a joyful time to me. I thank Dr. Fischer for arranging this wonderful colloquium.