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Fall 2022 Data Science Seminar Series: Vidya Setlur: The Role of Functional Aesthetics in Visual Analysis

September 12, 2022

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: Blocker 220


Also online via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 998 4499 3279
Password: 724615

Speaker: Vidya Setlur, Ph.D. Head of Research, Tableau

Faculty Host: Ann McNamara, VIZ

Abstract: Data-based decision making is becoming a core doctrine of modern businesses and organizations. How do people interact with data? They must be able to see it, either as a list, table, map, time series, scatterplot – a visualization. The power of visualization leads naturally to the question of how to present data to people so they can best understand it. The more interesting questions arise when we think of visualizations as a form of visual language for communication. Supported heavily by practical examples and research, in this talk, the speaker describes a collection of principles called Functional Aesthetics that are inspired by cognitive psychology, design, information retrieval, and visualization. Through a set of vignettes, she will describe ways in which information can be presented to humans that is both meaningful and delightful.

Biography: Dr. Vidya Setlur is the director of Tableau Research. She leads an interdisciplinary team of research scientists in areas including data visualization, multimodal interaction, statistics, applied ML, and NLP. She earned her doctorate in Computer Graphics in 2005 at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Tableau, she worked as a principal research scientist at the Nokia Research Center for seven years. Her personal research interests lie at the intersection of natural language processing and computer graphics. Her research combines concepts and methods from information retrieval, human perception, and cognitive science to help users effectively interact with devices and information in their environment.

Link to PDF Version

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