Cupertino, CA, November 2003

I am a founder and Vice President of Tableau Software, a company I co-founded along with Pat Hanrahan and Christian Chabot. At Tableau, we are building a next-generation analysis and query interface to corporate databases.

I started Tableau after getting a Ph.D. from Stanford University in June 2003. My advisor at Stanford was Pat Hanrahan and my thesis focused on visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. The main result of this research was an interactive visualization tool and formalism called Polaris. At Stanford, I also participated in the Rivet computer systems visualization project with Robert Bosch and Diane Tang.

During the time I was at Stanford, Maneesh Agrawala, Christian Chabot, and I co-founded Beeline Systems, a visualization software company that developed a revolutionary map rendering system called LineDrive. BeeLine was purchased by Vicinity Corporation (NASDAQ: VCNT) in 2000. LineDrive maps are currently available at Mappoint Driving Directions.

I did my undergraduate work at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. While there, I did research on graph theory problems (multi-dimensional spanners) with Art Liestman and Tom Shermer


In the fall of 2001 I was a teaching-assistant (TA) for Terry Winograd's CS147: "Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction" class, in the winter quarter of 2002 I was a TA for Maggie Johnson's CS103B: "Discrete Structures" class, and in spring quarter 2002 I helped with Pat Hanrahan's CS448: Special Topics in Visualization.

Research Projects

Visualization and Analysis of Databases: In recent years, large multi-dimensional databases have become common in a variety of applications such as data warehousing and scientific computing. Analysis and exploration tasks place significant demands on the interfaces to these databases.

We have developed a formal language for describing table-based visualizations of databases and database queries. Specifications in this language can be compiled by our interpreter into a set of efficient queries and drawing operations to generate displays. This language was used as the basis for Polaris, a powerful tool for exploring and analyzing databases. In addition, we applied this language in the development of a system for interactively exploring level-of-detail hierarchies in OLAP databases. The paper describing this system won the best-paper award at InfoVis in 2002.
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Rendering Effective Route Maps: Route maps, or driving directions, have emerged as one of the most popular applications on the Web. The standard computer-generated route maps, however, are often very difficult to use. We have developed a real-time system for automatically designing and rendering more route maps in a new, more usable style. The style of these maps is based on based on cognitive psychology research studying how route maps are used and on an analysis of the generalizations commonly found in handdrawn route maps.
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