Data Visualization in Genomics and In-Car Network Engineering

Tuesday 1st July, A225 College Building, 12:30 - 2pm

'Design Study' is an increasingly popular form of problem-driven visualization research. Tamara Munzner will present a design study methodology developed through experiences established in over 20 cases of applied visualization research and present examples from two very different application domains: automotive networks and genomics.

RelEx supports automotive engineers who need to specify and optimize traffic patterns for in-car communication networks. The task and data abstractions that were derived support actively making changes to an overlay network, where logical communication specifications must be mapped to an underlying physical network.

These abstractions are very different from the dominant use case in visual network analysis, namely identifying clusters and central nodes, that stem from the domain of social network analysis.

Variant View supports scientists studying the genetic basis of disease; determining the impact of gene sequence variants is difficult because it requires reasoning about both the type and location of the variant across several levels of biological context. The tool provides an information-dense visual encoding that provides maximal information at the overview level, in contrast to the extensive navigation required by currently-prevalent genome browsers


Tamara is a leading light in Information Visualization, with more papers during the 20-year history of IEEE InfoVis than any other author.

Her applied design work, and efforts to develop methodologies for applied visualization are highly influential and very relevant to a broad range of the data-led research in the school.

  • the Nested Model paper is used widely as means of conducting valid visualization research.
  • the description of a Design Study Methodology has led the way in structuring and describing approaches to applied visualization. 

Tamara's talk may help those who are interested in visualization and giCentre activity see how visualization techniques can be applied to their area of expertise.


You are all very welcome - we're very lucky to have Tamara call by on her trip to Europe.

Tamara Munzner is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Department of Computer Science, and holds a PhD from Stanford.

She has been active in visualization research since 1991 and has published over fifty papers and book chapters.

 Prof. Tamara Munzner with the  MizBee multiscale synteny browser

Prof. Tamara Munzner with the MizBee multiscale synteny browser

Her research interests include the development, evaluation, and characterization of information visualization systems and techniques from both problem-driven and technique-driven perspectives.

She has worked on problem-driven visualization projects in a broad range of application domains including genomics, evolutionary biology, geometric topology, computational linguistics, large-scale system administration, web log analysis, and journalism. Her technique-driven interests include graph drawing and dimensionality reduction.

Co-chair of EuroVis in 2010 and 2009, and InfoVis in 2004 and 2003, Tamara currently serves as chair of the IEEE VIS Executive Committee and a member of the InfoVis Steering Committee. 

Tamara was a founding member of the BioVis Steering Committee, and a Member At Large of the Executive Committee of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) from 2004 through 2009 and is giving a keynote presentation at BioVis 2014 in Boston this summer.

She has consulted for or collaborated with many companies including Agilent, AT&T Labs, Google, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, and several startups.