CS 524: Visualization and Visual Analytics II, Spring 2011

Andy Johnson

Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL)
2032 Engineering Research Facility (ERF) and 918 SEO

EVL phone (312) 996-3002     email: aej at evl.uic.edu
EVL fax (312) 413-7585 WWW: www.evl.uic.edu/aej

office hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 4:45 to 6:00 in 2032 ERF, and by appointment

32362 Lecture - Tuesday / Thursday from 3:30 to 4:45pm in 2068 ERF

Visualization Toolkit Book highly recommended      
Information Visualization Book recommended
The Visualization Toolkit: An Object Oriented Approach to 3D Graphics, 4th Ed by Schroeder, Martin, and Lorens
Information Visualization: Perception for Design, 2nd ed by Colin War
and also the following reports ...

1987 report
2006 report
2007 report
illuminating the path
Visualization in Scientific Computing - 1987
NIH/NSF Visualization Research Challenges - 2006
Visualization and Knowledge Discovery - 2007
Illuminating the Path - The Research and Development Agenda for Visual Analytics - 2008

and you may also want to take a look at Edward Tufte's four books: Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, and Beautiful Evidence


(may change depending on the number of students in the class)

Day Topic Important Events
1/11 1/13 Visualization Basics

1/18 1/20 The Visualization Toolkit
1/17 Project 1 out, 1/21 last day to add/drop
1/25 1/27
Fundamental Algorithms
2/01 2/03 Visualization reports from the 00s
2/08 2/10 : Project 1 Review : 2/07 Project 1 due / Project 2 out
2/15 2/17 SciViz at EVL & Demonstrations 2/14 Short presentation topic chosen
2/22 2/24
Short presentations
3/01 3/03
Short presentations 2/28 Paper presentation topic chosen
3/08 3/10
: Project 2 Review : 3/07 Project 2 due
3/15 3/17
: Project 2 Review : 3/14 Project 3 proposal due
3/22 3/24
- - - - - - - - - Spring Break - - - - - - - - -

3/29 3/31
Paper Presentations final exam out
4/05 4/07
Paper Presentations
4/12 4/14
Final Project Work Week

4/19 4/21
: Project 3 Review : 4/18 Project 3 due
4/26 4/28
: Project 3 Review :
Friday 5/6
Final Exam Project Presentations
1pm to 3pm

""We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!" -- Willy Wonka


You should have passed CS 488 (Computer Graphics I) or CS 424 (Visualization and Visual Analytics I) to take CS 526. or have equivalent knowledge. CS 488 talks about how computer graphics is done behind the scenes; CS 424 talks about visualization and interation in 2D; this course concentrates on visualization and interaction 3D. Knowledge of OpenGL is very useful but not required.

Standard departmental disclaimer: If you do not have the prerequisites for this course make sure that you drop this course right away. The department will verify the prerequisites for all students registered in this course during the first few weeks of the term and if you do not have the prerequisites, you will be notified and dropped from the course after the normal drop/add period. By that time, you will not be able to enroll in any new course.


From the course guide: State of the art in computer graphics and interactive techniques: three-dimensional surface and volumetric models. Each time the course is taught the focus is on different topics. This course is going to focus on scientific visualization (including information visualization and medical visualization.)


Attendance is very important, but not mandatory. Part of your grade will be based on your in-class participation (ie asking good questions, making good comments) so please take that into account.

I put all of my notes on the web, however these notes should not be considered 'official' until the day of class. If I make any major changes to a page afterwards, then I will announce it in class and note it at the bottom of each page. I try to ensure that the notes on the web accurately reflect the lecture, but its what is discussed in class 'that counts', not what's written in the notes.

"Those who are absent are always wrong." - African proverb


More on the presentations

More on the projects

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" - Chinese proverb


There will be a final exam at the end of the term covering the material presented in class. This exam will most likely be a programming project, but may be a written exam.


The final grade will be calculated as follows
Letter grades
45% - Projects (15% each)

A: 87% - 100%
20% - Paper Presentation

B: 75% -  86%
10% - short presentation

C: 62% -  74%
10% - In-class participation
D: 50% -  61%
15% - Final Exam
E: 00% -  49%

Note: that you must get a passing (D or better) grade on all projects and the final to get a passing grade in the course.

Also note: I only give Incompletes for serious hospitalization issues which come up suddenly near the end of the term.

Also also note: I have no qualms about giving Ds or Es in a graduate level course, though the vast majority of the grades have tended to be As and Bs. I also have no qualms about failing graduate students for cheating - so be good.

last modified 4/06/11 - updated schedule