University of Massachusetts Amherst

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George Grinstein

DS Tea
September 20, 4:00pm

Visual Analytics: A Modern View and Disruptive Steps

Scientific Data Visualization, Information Visualization and Visual Analytics share the same pipeline aimed at human consumption: taking data, analyzing that data, and producing visual representations on various interactive media and for diverse applications. There are some minor differences but all in all they’re quite similar. All three have very analogous Grand Challenges (scalability, developing a theory, computing the best presentation, …).  I’ve spoken on such and other grand challenges in each of these areas over the last 30 years, identifying what wicked problems really need to be addressed, which key problems would have tremendous impact, and, of course, I am ready to do so again. But progress on some of the most important ones has been quite slow and technology is moving so much more rapidly than anticipated. I had hoped that my lectures in the last few years on opportunistic challenges, challenges that would have incredible more immediate effect on the next decade, would awaken more activity in defining new and radical approaches, and some have, but not enough. And so in this brief talk I will discuss the importance of visualization and visual analytics, give examples of key issues, and discuss a few new grand challenges of particular personal interest that represent disruptive technology opportunities (with examples).

Georges Grinstein is a new member of the UMass Amherst Computer Science Department. He was Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, head of its Bioinformatics Program, is Director of its Institute for Visualization and Perception Research, and is now Chief Science Officer of Weave Visual Analytics. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1978.

Well-known in the visualization community, Dr. Grinstein is a member of IEEE’s “Visualization Pioneers Group”, routinely serves as Chair or Co-Chair for major visualization and visual-analytics related conferences and review panels, and provides tutorials and training sessions many times per year.  He has had over 300 research grants, products in use nationally and internationally, several patents, numerous publications in journals and conferences, co-authored several textbooks on visualization and visual analytics, founded several companies and has served as a consultant to NIST, NASA, ARPA, USAF, CDC, IBM, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and MITRE among many others. He has given numerous keynotes and mentored over 40 doctoral students and hundreds of graduate students. He has been on the editorial boards of several journals in Computer Graphics and Data Mining, a member of ANSI and ISO, and a NATO Expert.

For the last ten years he has co-chaired the IEEE VAST Challenges in visual analytics leading to new research areas. He is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence CCICADA (Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis), and directs the development of Weave, an open source web-based interactive collaborative visual analytics system incorporating numerous innovations.