I am an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. I received my doctorate degree in 2010 from the University of Rostock, Germany and have since worked there in various capacities with a number of intermittent research stays at TU Graz, University of Calgary, and Fraunhofer IGD. In 2018, I moved to Aarhus where I work in Information Visualization and Visual Analytics.
My research focuses on methods for the visual analysis of structured data — in particular hierarchically and network-structured data, but also data that is organized by spatio-temporal relations or similarity. In collaboration with industrial and academic research partners, I apply my methods predominantly to data analysis challenges in the life sciences and geosciences. I also collect tree visualizations at treevis.net.

 

News and Updates


Dec. 2022
Serving on the PhD Committee of Wiebke Köpp at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden (→Link)

I am very happy to serve on Wiebke Köpp's PhD committee at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. Wiebke has done her PhD under the guidance of Tino Weinkauf and defends her thesis “Static Visualizations for Dynamic Hierarchies” on 07-Dec-2022. I look forward to visiting the Visualization Group at KTH! For an overview of Wiebke's research go to https://wiebke.github.io

Nov. 2022
Successful Data Visualization Hackathon at Aarhus University (→Link)

On 29-NOV-2022, I held a hackathon for over 60 MSc students at Aarhus University. The range of visualization projects tackled in teams of 2 or 3 students varied from visualizing bigfoot sightings to depicting flight trajectories over Ukraine. 6 hours and 60 pizzas later, everybody made good progress and some of the results will soon be added to the Student Projects on GitHub.

October 2022
Speaking at the Digital Tech Summit in Copenhagen (→Link)

On 26-Oct-2022, I will be speaking on “Visual Analytics for Energy Data” at the Digital Tech Summit in Copenhagen — Denmark's biggest annual 2-day tech event with over 5,000 participants and 300 speakers. Energy analytics is an exciting field for visualization as most energy data is open-source. I am looking forward to present some of our visualizations for this data built here at AU!

Sept. 2022
Welcome to Harith Rathish as a new PhD student in the team! (→Link)

Harith Rathish is starting his PhD on the Visual Analysis of Data Errors in the VADE project. He will be working closely with Søren Drud-Heydary Nielsen from AU's Department of Food Science to improve the data quality of mass spectrometry data using Visual Analytics. His research will look at visual means to find errors and correlate their occurences to help pinpoint their likely source.

August 2022
EuroVis 2023 Tutorials & Panels Co-Chair (→Link)

Together with Ingrid Hotz from Linköping University, I will chair the first ever tutorial and panel sessions at EuroVis 2023 in Leipzig, Germany. I am thankful to the EuroVis Steering Committe for their vote of confidence in proposing me for this role. Together with Ingrid, I look very much forward to help bring exciting tutorials and panels to EuroVis 2023. Please consider submitting a proposal!

July 2022
VAOS — our open-source visualization tool for rheology data will be presented at TestVis'22 (→Link)

Together with Julie Frost Dahl and Milena Corredig from AU's Department. of Food Science, Jonas Madsen and Lasse Sode have developed an open-source tool for the visualization of rheological test data as part of their MSc thesis. Their work was just accepted at the 1st International Workshop on Visualization in Testing of Hardware, Software, and Manufacturing in Oklahoma City, USA.

June 2022
“MapBlender” wins the Cybercartography Competition 2022! (→Link)

I am happy to announce that the entry “MapBlender: Enabling Collaborative Cybercartography” by Marius Hogräfer, Jens Emil Grønbæk, Jana Puschmann, Sebastian Krog Knudsen, and myself won this year's international cybercartography competition. More details will be given in our talk at the AGILE 2022 conference in Vilnius, Lithuania. A sneak preview is available here.

May 2022
Guest Speaker at the Medical Informatics Laboratory Seminar, University of Greifswald, Germany (→Link)

I will be giving “A Primer on Data Visualization” at the MILA seminar in Greifswald on 02-MAY-2022. In this one hour online event, I will introduce not only to the ins and outs of visualization, but also give a wealth of links and further pointers to all sorts of visualization resources — books, videos, websites, and software libraries — to jumpstart the participants' own visualization projects.

April 2022
Data Science and Visualization Workshop at Steno Diabetes Center (→Link)

I am proud to be invited to run a 2-day workshop on Data Science and Visualization (26-27 April 2022) for 40 participants at the Steno Diabetes Center in Aarhus. Besides a brief look at what data visualization is (and what it is not), we will be taking a practical tour through the design process for data visualizations with plenty of tips, tricks, and anecdotes from the trenches of building visualizations.

March 2022
Demo Paper on Visual Analytics on the GPU presented by Jakob Rødsgaard Jørgensen (→Link)

Together with Ira Assent and Jakob Rødsgaard Jørgensen, we recently took a first step of bringing Visual Analytics to the GPU by bundling a GPU-parallelized clustering algorithm with a GPU-based data visualization. Jakob will present our demo paper at this year's International Conference on Extending Database Technology (EDBT) on Wednesday, 30-MAR-2022.

February 2022
Joining the Censorkorps of Information Technology and Interactive Media (→Link)

For the next 4 years, I will be available as an external censor for BSc and MSc theses at other Danish Universities. I am looking forward to seeing (and grading) a lot of interesting visualization, visual analytics, data science, and HCI projects around the country — be it in physical, online, or hybrid mode.

January 2022
Data Visualization course 2021 comes to a successful end (→Link)

AU's biggest data visualization course yet comes to a close at the end of this month with a week of oral exams. 70 students have worked on 32 course projects ranging from visualizations of ERASMUS exchange data to interactive charts of worldwide terrorism. I am particularly happy that many students will continue their visualization studies in projects and MSc theses next semester.

Dec. 2021
New AUFF Nova project on Visual Analytics of Data Errors (VADE) granted (→Link)

I am proud to announce that the Aarhus University Research Foundation has granted my research project “VADE” DKK 1.6 million to investigate errors in data. The aim is to find ways to leverage errors for gaining insights in data that go beyond the data itself. As a use case, this project will be carried out on mass spectrometry data provided by collaborators from the Department of Food Science.

Nov. 2021
Invited Talk at ETH Zurich's Geomatics Seminar on “Cartography — A Perspective from Information Visualization” (→Link)

I will be speaking at ETH Zurich (via Zoom) about our research on map-like visualizations. These are charts that mimic geographic maps in order to carry over their familiarity and ease of use to abstract data spaces. I will also highlight open questions, such as globe-like visualizations and animation for map-like visualizations. This is a collaboration with Marius Hogräfer and Magnus Heitzler.

October 2021
Invited Speaker at AU's CED Seminar on “Video in Education” (→Link)

I have been using video as part of my teaching for a long time. In my courses, I use video to varying degrees througout the entire course lifecycle from onboarding students all the way to providing summative exam feedback at the end of a course. I am very happy that AU's Center for Educational Development has asked me to speak at their seminar and to partake in a panel discussion thereafter.

Sept. 2021
Steffen Strunge Mathiesen to present our paper on Stacked Area Charts at this year's DIAGRAMS conference (→Link)

Stacked Area Charts have been around for over 100 years and they are a staple in data journalism and visual reporting. In his work, Steffen extends the notion of what makes a good stacked area chart, while at the same time proposing a layout algorithm that exceeds the quality of current state-of-the-art layouts. This brings Steffen's very successful MSc thesis project to a close.

August 2021
Teaching the MSc course “Foundations of Data Visualization” at the Nordakademie Hamburg, Germany (→Link)

I am excited to be teaching the 3-day compact course “Foundations of Data Visualization” at the Nordakademie in Hamburg, Germany this month for the first time. The course will be given in German and introduce participants not only to the theoretical foundations, but also to the basics of creating visualizations using D3.js. The course will run twice per year using a blended learning approach.

July 2021
Treevis.net now features 333 tree visualization techniques (→Link)

Ten years after its inception, the latest update brings my collection of tree visualizations now up to 333 individual visualization techniques described in 494 publications, patents, and other outlets ranging from 1714 to 2021. Thanks to everyone who sent in new (and old) techniques for me to add and grow the collection! Any more additions are very welcome, as are corrections or updates.

June 2021
Congratulations to 6 BSc students and 2 MSc students to their successful defenses on Data Visualization topics!

The thesis topics were very diverse this year — from rendering algorithms for progressive line charts to a Visual Analytics tool for finding Twitter bots, from polyomino packings at interactive frame rates to unit visualization for music — our students worked hard to push the boundaries of the current state-of-the-art in data visualization. I'm looking forward to some follow-up publications!

May 2021
Chart clinic for improving plots and diagrams from soon to be submitted CS and IT Product Development BSc theses

I will offer a “chart clinic” for all 128 BSc students at our department who will hand-in their BSc theses next month. Students can submit charts from their theses to discuss them in a joint BSc special lecture. Are the colors right? What about the axis labels? Would an entirely different chart have been better? I'm looking forward to two interesting hours of dissecting and improving figures!

April 2021
Webinar on how to make serendipitous findings through data visualization (→Link)

I will be kicking off AU CiFood's webinar series with a talk on how to make surprise discoveries in your data. After all, you can hardly run a statistical test or a database query for what you can't even imagine to be there in the first place. This is where data visualization comes into the picture to facilitate finding unexpected insights at a glance. Thanks to Milena Corredig for the invitation!

March 2021
Serving on the PhD committee at Elio Ventocilla's PhD defense at University of Skövde, Sweden (→Link)

I am honored to be a member of Elio Ventocilla's PhD committee together with Per Backlund and Veronica Sundstedt. Elio has submitted his PhD thesis on “Visualizing Cluster Patterns at Scale” and in his work, he is picking up on many of my favorite topics including Progressive Visual Analytics and tool integration for Visual Analytics. You can find his thesis here!

February 2021
Webinar on data visualization at HUMIO (→Link)

I will be giving a peek into some advanced aspects of data visualization to the employees of HUMIO end of this month. While HUMIO already features VEGA-based visualization and dashboarding options in their products, my talk will focus on why and how to pass on the power of visualization design and customization to the users. Thanks to Jesper Moosegaard for the inivitation!

January 2021
Data Visualization course brings together Master students across faculties (→Link)

Last semester's Data Visualization course attracted not only computer science students, but students from all over the university — for example from the Faculty of Technical Sciences and the School of Business and Social Sciences. 40 students learned about visualization and realized their own projects to put their newly gained knowledge into practice. Some of them are showcased here.

Dec. 2020
Wenkai Han to present our paper on vibrotactile feedback at this year's VINCI conference (→Link)

Vibrotactile feedback is a common technique to guide us in everyday life — from rumble strips on the highway to vibrating presentation remotes. But how can we make use of vibration to guide users in interactive visual exploration scenarios? In this publication, we present a design space and a first user study investigating the use of a vibrating mouse for basic guidance types.

Nov. 2020
Serving as opponent at Fabian Bolte's PhD defense at University of Bergen, Norway (→Link)

I am proud to serve as opponent together with Tino Weinkauf at the PhD defense of Fabian Bolte. Fabian's thesis on “Visualization Space Exploration” sheds light on theoretical and practical aspects of creating, fine-tuning, and evaluating visualizations — including scientific, diagrammatic, and artistic representations. Find his thesis here!

October 2020
Wenkai Han to present our paper on trust calibration in VA at this year's TREX workshop (→Link)

When working closely together with a computer during a data analysis, one question pops up: Can I trust the machine? Previous work has looked at the topic of trust building to ensure that trust. But is it always warranted? In our paper, we look at this issue from the perspective of trust calibration — i.e., the mutual alignment of trust between human analyst and computer. Watch the talk here!

Sept. 2020
Welcoming Jakob Burkhardt and Jana Puschmann to the team! (→Jakob →Jana)

Jakob starts this month as talent-track student in our group. He holds an MSc in mathematics from Aarhus University and he will conduct research on progressive data sampling. Jana starts as a student programmer in the Hospital@Night project. She holds a BSc in computer science from Bauhaus University, Weimar. Jana will be working on visualizations for large knowledge graphs.

August 2020
Visualization Course started with 44 MSc and PhD students (→Link)

The second iteration of our Data Visualization course started with many changes, updates, tweaks, and improvements — including a completely restructured syllabus to better align with the course projects, a switch over to hybrid teaching, and the use of “Interactive Visual Data Analysis” by Tominski & Schumann as the main textbook. We look forward to meeting all the DaVi students!

July 2020
State of the Art Report on Map-like Visualization in CGF (→Link)

Marius Hogräfer (AU CS), Magnus Heitzler (ETH Zurich), and I published a comprehensive literature overview on map-like visualization — i.e., visualizations that are made to work and look like a map, or maps that are made to work and look like a visualization. Our STAR should be a worthwhile read for researchers and practitioners in visualization and cartography alike!

June 2020
Successful Defenses of three Bachelor Theses and three Master Theses on Visualization Topics

This year’s BSc and MSc theses in visualization did not shy away from tough topics: from progressive visualization of space telescope data to layouts for large knowledge graphs, from improving the ordering of stacked area charts to debiasing visual analysis with alternative views — our students excelled at solving some very hard visualization problems. Congratulations to all of them!

May 2020
2nd-year CS Bachelor student Sebastian Bugge Loeschcke gets peer-reviewed paper accepted at EuroVA 2020 (→Link)

Congratulations to Sebastian! He will present his paper titled “Progressive Parameter Space Visualization for Task-Driven SAX Configuration” on May 25th at the International EuroVis workshop on Visual Analytics. Sebastian's research results are the outcome of a two semester talent track project he undertook with us visualization folks here at AU's Computer Science Department.

April 2020
Guest Lecture on Data Visualization at the Applied Data Science course for Business Intelligence students in Aarhus

I’m excited to be giving an introduction to data visualization to the ca. 100 students of the Applied Data Science course at Aarhus BSS this month. The course is part of the Business Intelligence program at Aarhus University's School of Business and Social Sciences. We'll be talking about some visualization fundamentals, some essential chart types, and some Vega-Lite to get everyone started.

March 2020
Talk at the Commemorative Colloquium HS.2020 at the University of Rostock, Germany (→Link)

It was an honor for me to have been invited to speak at the scientific colloquium on the occasion of the retirement of Prof. Heidrun Schumann — Eurographics Fellow, recipient of the Fraunhofer Medal, and my PhD adviser, mentor, and friend of many years. It was humbling and inspiring to look back at her scientific legacy together with Holger Theisel, Tino Weinkauf, and Helwig Hauser.

February 2020
New Open Source Repository for our Visualization-related Research Outcomes and Teaching Material (→Link)

To bundle the output of our visualization-related work here at AU-CS, we have now set up a repository to collect our publications, software, data, teaching materials, and student projects for others to reuse and to build upon. We will grow this repository over the coming years to also include more slides, video tutorials, and recordings of talks. So, check back often to see what's new!

January 2020
Michael Reidun Engelbrecht Larsen Successfully Defended his MSc Thesis

Michael had been working to give highly regular data visualizations (e.g., matrices or unit treemaps) a more unique look&feel to improve their recognizability. In the process, he developed a highly parametrizable model for sketchy line renderings. His results are meanwhile also accepted as a short paper at this year's EuroVis conference. You can grab the source code of his project here.

Dec. 2019
Successful First Run of the MSc Course Data Visualization at AU-CS (→Link)

The first installment of my MSc course Data Visualization here at AU-CS concluded this month. More than 30 students partook in the course and learned about visualization theory and practice in a combination of lectures and project work. For many, this format was a new learning experience. And the results certainly show, how well they mastered it! See here for a selection of this year's projects.

Nov. 2019
Guest Lecture on Data Visualization as part of SDU's Data Science Master Course (→Link)

I will give an invited visualization lecture at the University of Southern Denmark on November 4th. I am looking forward to introducing SDU's Master-level course Data Science to some of the foundations of visualization and a select set of landmark visualization techniques that build on them. The lecture will be topped off by an introductory tutorial to declarative visualization with Vega-Lite.

October 2019
Invited Talk at the Driving IT 2019 Conference organized by the Danish Society of Engineers (→Link)

I am delighted to be giving a talk about “Data Visualization Done Right” at this year's Driving IT conference in Copenhagen. And I am even more thrilled, that my talk has made it into the “Cool-Track” alongside with other exciting talks on topics like story telling with data and crowd-sourcing neural networks. Note that students attend for free. So register today!

Sept. 2019
Interview on Progressive Visual Analytics (→Link)

I gave an interview for ING/DataTech, which is a Danish publication for engineers working with data analytics in the widest sense. In the interview, I talk about Progressive Visual Analytics in general and our research on visual-interactive data analysis here at the Computer Science Department in particular.

August 2019
New PhD position on the Visualization of Knowledge Graphs (→Call)

A fully funded 3-year PhD position starting in February 2020 is available! We invite exceptional candidates to join the team and to apply until November 1st. This PhD project sets out to investigate how to visualize knowledge graph structures being produced by machine learning algorithms for smarter task scheduling in hospitals and context-dependent presentation of patent data.

July 2019
Welcoming Wenkai Han as a new PhD student in our research group (→Website)

Starting this month, Wenkai will investigate view space interaction, such as direct manipulation, for Visual Analytics. Wenkai holds a Master of Social Science from Uppsala University, Sweden and brings an HCI-centered view on data visualization to our group. He has already gathered research experience working at the Byrd Data Visualization Lab at Purdue University.

June 2019
Innovation Fund Grand Solution project “Hospital@Night” granted (→Press Release)

Together with Systematic, AU's Data Intensive Systems group, and the University Hospitals in Aalborg and Aarhus, we will research solutions for off-hour task and information distribution in hospitals. In this project, visualization will support the interactive validation and iterative correction of automatically learned medical process knowledge, resource knowledge, and context knowledge.

May 2019
Strategy Workshop on Visual Computing and Visual Analytics brought 25 international researchers to Aarhus (→Picture)

From May 21st through 24th, researchers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the US followed our call to meet in Aarhus for discussing future research trends and joint strategies in the areas of visual computing, visual analytics, and information visualization. We thank all participants for the inspiring talks and lively discussions. We hope to see you all again for our next workshop in 2021!

April 2019
Great turnout at AU Computer Science Alumni Day with much interest in Data Visualization (→Website)

On April 25th, more than 80 AU-CS alumni came back to visit their former place of study to reminisce and to hear among other things about “The Why and How of User-driven Visualization: Tailoring Diagrams Beyond just Showing the Data”. Thanks to all alumnis who visited the visualization live demos and had a good time trying out some of the research prototypes shown in the talk!

March 2019
Welcoming Marius Hogräfer as a new PhD student in our research group (→PURE)

Starting this month, Marius will investigate focus+context techniques for progressive visualization. Marius holds an MSc degree from TU Dresden, Germany and has previously worked at SAP Research. As part of his master studies in Dresden, he developed an impressive “Toolkit for Extensible, Model-driven and Interactive Information Visualizations” (publication forthcoming).

February 2019
Paper Co-Chair for the “24th International Symposium on Vision, Modeling and Visualization” (→Website)

I'm honored to have been named paper co-chair for this year's VMV symposium together with Matthias Teschner, University of Freiburg and Michael Wimmer, TU Wien. The VMV 2019 will be held this October in Rostock, Germany. We invite original research contributions in the areas of computer graphics, computer vision, visualization, and visual analytics. Submission deadline: 21/06/2019

January 2019
Kick-Off Lecture for the “Science Communication Series 2019” at ETH Zurich, Switzerland (→Website)

On 23-Jan-2019, I'll be giving the first installment in ETH Zurich's Lecture Series on Science Communication. The lecture aims to equip PhD students and postdocs with the necessary knowledge and tools for visual exploration and presentation of their scientific data. It will shine a light on the Do's and Don'ts in visualization design, and illustrate useful guidelines and common pitfalls.

Dec. 2018
New PhD position on View Space Interaction for Visual Analytics

A fully funded 3-year PhD position starting in May 2019 is available and we invite exceptional candidates to join the team and to apply until February 1st. This PhD project sets out to investigate how to best support the unique collaboration between a running computational analysis and a human analyst who interactively explores a visualization of the computation's intermediate results.

Nov. 2018
Data Mining and Data Visualization for CS Pre-Talent Track students this month

I'm proud to be teaching this year's pre-talent track students data mining and data visualization together with Ira Assent over the course of November! The pre-talent track program offers first year CS bachelor students at Aarhus University a possibility to come in close contact with some advanced topics in computer science, such as cryptography, hacking, and data analytics.

October 2018
Upcoming Tutorial on Comparative Visualization at IEEE VIS 2018 (→Announcement)

The half-day tutorial will be a joint venture with TU Darmstadt, Vienna University of Technology, and Edinburgh Napier University. It covers how data comparison can be effectively supported by visual analytics solutions combining interactive visualization and algorithmic analysis. The tutorial will be held at a beginner to intermediate level and cater to researchers and practitioners alike.

Sept. 2018
New PhD position on Focused Progressive Visual Analytics announced

A 3-year PhD position starting in February 2019 is available and we invite prospective candidates to apply until November 1st. This PhD project sets out to realize Focus+Context techniques using the Progressive Visual Analytics paradigm. Work on this topic will be conducted in collaboration with the DABAI project that provides the datasets and analysis scenarios for this research.

August 2018
Journal article on Parallel Hierarchies accepted (→Publisher)

The Parallel Hierarchies visualization combines parallel sets with icicle plots to allow for cross-tabulating hierarchically structured categorical datasets. It has been developed together with SAP Research, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco, and TU Dresden. Parallel Hierarchies are implemented in JavaScript/D3 and available as Open Source.

July 2018
Journal article on Progressive Visual Analytics accepted (→Publisher)

The article presents recent results from an ongoing research collaboration with University of Rostock and Sapienza University in Rome on Progressive Visual Analytics. This special form of data analysis shows partial results to the user for early and continuous interaction with the emerging end result even while it is still being computed. The article is available under Open Access.

June 2018
New PhD position on Map-like Visualization for Non-spatial Data announced

A 3-year PhD position starting in November 2018 is available and we invite prospective candidates to apply until August 1st. This PhD project sets out to bring map-like space-filling visualizations to non-spatial data, such as biomedical data or financial data. Work on this topic will be conducted in collaboration with the DABAI project that provides the datasets and analysis scenarios for this research.