Welcome to the course Website for IS247, Information Visualization and Presentation!

Gnutellavision by Yee, Dhamija, Fisher


Marti Hearst (hearst@sims.berkeley.edu)
212 South Hall, 510-642-8016
Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am

Course Objectives

The goal of information visualization is the unveiling of the underlying structure of large or abstract data sets using visual representations that utilize the powerful processing capabilities of the human visual perceptual system. Information visualization is an exciting topic, and the last decade has witnessed the development of many interesting ideas about how to visualize abstract information. However, to date, its use in every day products and applications has not yet lived up to its promise.

In 1998 when I first taught this course, the field was very young, I knew every piece of work that had been done, and the course was a survey of the field. Now the field is very active and a survey a survey or a history of all information visualization techniques would not be feasible nor particularly enlightening.

Instead, this course will take a critical stance towards the field of information visualization. Rather than survey existing approaches, we will analyze the factors contribute to success or lack thereof, as a means to determine how to devise future successful visualizations. Criteria for success in this analysis are either positive results from usability studies or wide adoption by the target user population.

There are many related topics that this tutorial will not address. These include: scientific visualization, cartography, computer graphics, and visualization as an artistic enterprise.

Class Meetings

Class meets on Wednesdays from 2pm-5pm in 202 South Hall. The format of the class will be a mix of lecturing, looking at visualizations, student presentations, in-class design, and studio-style assessment of other students' designs.


Grading will be 50% on assignments, readings, and in-class work and 50% on a final project.

Readings and Books

There is no required book. A set of recommended books will appear below. Class readings will consist of papers that are linked to from the website and handouts given in class.

Flash MX Instruction

We have arranged for a short course on Flash MX, to be given by Alan Newberger (alann@cs). These will be held for about 5 weeks on Fridays from 1-3pm in 202 South Hall. No units will be given. Alan's Flash Seminar

Computer Accounts

See Roberta (roberta@sims) in 210 South Hall.