Meet our new data visualization expert

On May 1, Hans-Jörg Schulz started as Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science. He joins the Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction group, but expects to have close co-operation with both Computer Mediated Activity and Data-Intensive Systems. With his expertise, he hopes to contribute to the research activities in these groups.

At the department, Hans-Jörg will be working on data visualization with the overall aim of creating a better overview of complicated data. Before coming to AU, Hans-Jörg worked as Senior Researcher at the Institute for Computer Science, University of Rostock. His scientific background lies in the fields of information visualization and visual analytics. Particularly, developing novel visualization solutions that facilitate the understanding of structured data with an emphasis on graph and hypergraph structures. In doing so, Hans-Jörg has frequently worked with application partners from the domains of biomedicine, climatology, and manufacturing that have a high demand for visual analytics solutions for structured data.

We should all do what we are best at
When data is too complex for Excel, that is when I get in, Hans-Jörg explains and further elaborates; In my work I aim at letting humans and computers do what they are best at. The computers can process and crunch numbers much better and faster than any human, while humans can draw conclusions and run analyses based on common sense and a broader understanding of the data’s context. Good visualization facilitates the hand-off between computer and human: Complex data and computational results are made accessible to people who might otherwise not be able to make sense of it. And the people interact with these visualizations, again triggering computations whose results are in turn visualized, and so on. My goal is, to create visualizations that achieve a seamless back and forth between both worlds.

To achieve this goal, Hans-Jörg is working on creating an interactive table that can visualize data, and the effects or results of different uses of the data. Via tangible items, users of the table will be able to explore various analysis scenarios with their data, and get an instant visualization of how different analytical and visual choices affect the result.

My job is my hobby
When not working, Hans-Jörg is still busy with data visualization. During his time as a PhD student, Hans-Jörg found a great interest in tree-visualization, and is creating a library of different techniques for visualizing hierarchically organized data. Currently, there are 300 different tree visualization techniques on his website  http://treevis.net. When not at the computer, Hans-Jörg is an avid hiker and climber who enjoys the great outdoors. With him, Hans-Jörg brings his wife to Aarhus – and they have just started Danish classes together.

Welcome to the department, we look forward to working with you!