CS448B: Visualization


Please see the course wiki for materials related to this course.


Pat Hanrahan
Gates Computer Science Building, Rm 370-3B
Office hours: 11am-12noon Thu
Email: hanrahan at cs.stanford.edu


Gates Room 392, Mon-Wed from 2:30-3:45pm (First meeting Wed Jan 11th)


Computer-mediated visual communication of information has become ubiquitous. Two major trends drove this transformation. First, nowadays, most information starts as digital data, and the amount of data available is growing exponentially. Second, media has rapidly switching from an analog to a digital format. Communication technologies such as the internet allow information to be accessed from anywhere. Although many drawing and editing tools exist for manually creating and manipulating graphics, images, and video, the tools for initially transforming data into visualizations are much less sophisticated. Moreover, it is very difficult to design effective visualizations. Creating a good visualization requires skills in art and graphic design, as well as a working knowledge of cognitive and perceptual principles.

In this course we will study how to create effective and useful visualizations, concentrating on techniques of scientific and information visualization. The course is targetted both towards students interested in using visualization in their own work, and students interested in building better visualization tools and systems.


Here are the web pages for the previous version of the course.


The course will meet twice a week. The first weekly meeting will consist of a lecture on the above topics. The 2nd weekly meeting will be a group design exercise with the goal to create a visual tool for solving a particular problem in a domain of interest.

In addition to participating in the discussions, students are expected to do a project and write up their results as a conference paper submission.


Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. Cheshire Press, 1990.
We suggest you order it online. Please do so soon, since readings will be assigned in the first week of class.