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

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.