Seminar - Wesley Willett, University of Calgary

Situated and Embedded Visualization – Bridging Data Analysis and the Physical World

Thursday 22nd November

13:00 - 14:30

AG22 (College Building)


Wesley Willett is one of the most exciting researchers working in interaction * social * physical * information * media. With a Berkley, INRIA, Calgary pedigree he continually surprises us with great ideas that are beautifully brought to life. Wes’ palmarès includes Best Paper and Hon Mentions at CHI. He is co-chairing IEEE VIS in Vancouver in 2019 and races Mountain Bikes. He’s an inspiring researcher with important ideas about our information futures - don’t miss the talk.


Many data-driven tasks – like debugging a sensor, performing a complex surgery, or assessing the effectiveness of an in-store product display – could be greatly enriched by viewing data relevant to the task in its original context. In spite of this, most data exploration and analysis still takes place on desktop computers located far from the objects or locations the data refers to. However, technologies like cheap networked sensors, lightweight wireless displays, and mixed reality hardware are making it increasingly easy to display data in-context in the physical world. While researchers and artists have already begun to create situated computing systems that support these kinds of data-oriented tasks, the benefits, trade-offs, and even the language necessary to describe and compare them remain poorly understood. In this talk, Wes Willett will introduce a new conceptual model for situated and embedded data representations, drawing on recent examples from visualization, ubiquitous computing, and digital art. He will also highlight recent research from his group at the University of Calgary that examines design challenges for embedded data representations and suggests opportunities for future research and applications.

Bio - Wesley Willett

Wesley Willett is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Visual Analytics. His interests span information visualization, social computing, new media, and human-computer interaction, and his research focuses on pairing data and interactivity to support collaboration, learning, and discovery. At the UofC, he leads the Data Experience Lab and is a member of the Interactions Lab, the university’s human-computer interaction research collective. He is also faculty in the University’s Computational Media Design and Data Science programs.