Towards the LEGOization of Data Visualization

Inauguration Lecture: Hans-Jörg Schulz

2018.05.29 | Andreas Birch Olsen

Date Fri 22 Jun
Time 15:15 16:00
Location 5510-103 Store Aud.

Visualizations are fundamental tools for analyzing data. Over the past decades, visualization research has taken it upon itself to transform the advances in computer graphics and display technology into an unprecedented wealth of visualization techniques. Each one of them is extremely helpful for the very particular visualization scenario it set out to address. Yet in combination, their sheer number also increases the burden on the visualization users who are trying to find their way through these thousands of representational possibilities. Even visualization designers have a hard time to maintain an overview of what already exists and reinventions begin to appear.


This talk will highlight some select solutions that aid in navigating different visualization possibilities – existing as well as novel ones. This is achieved by departing from the idea of creating techniques specific to certain visualization scenarios, which in exploratory analyses cannot be anticipated anyway. Instead, this talk proposes to make accessible building blocks that can be combined into a range of resulting data visualizations. These building-block-based data visualizations can easily be reconfigured as needed during an ongoing analysis. As a result, these solutions allow us to answer questions that are difficult or even impossible to pursue with standard “one size fits all” visual analysis techniques.


Hans-Jörg Schulz received his diploma in computer science and his PhD from the University of Rostock, Germany in 2004 and 2010, respectively. He has since worked in the areas of Visual Analytics and Information Visualization, with prolonged research stays at IBM Research in the US, TU Graz in Austria, and Fraunhofer IGD in Germany. Prior to coming to Aarhus, he was working as a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Rostock, while pursuing his research interests in exploring novel visualization concepts and developing unique visualization techniques mainly for climate research and the life sciences. On May 1, Hans-Jörg Schulz started as Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science as part of the Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction group.

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