HDR - Habilitation

From about 2019-2021 I was working (part-time) on my HDR (habilitation à diriger des recherches) In many other European countries the HDR is called a habilitation, in case you are more familiar with this term. My HDR manuscript covers part of my work conducted between 2010--2020. Here are the details:

Micro Visualizations: Design and Analysis of Visualizations for Small Display Spaces

The topic of this habilitation is the study of very small data visualizations, micro visualizations, in display contexts that can only dedicate minimal rendering space for data representations. For several years, together with my collaborators, I have been studying human perception, interaction, and analysis with micro visualizations in multiple contexts. In this document I bring together three of my research streams related to micro visualizations: data glyphs, where my joint research focused on studying the perception of small-multiple micro visualizations, word-scale visualizations, where my joint research focused on small visualizations embedded in text-documents, and small mobile data visualizations for smartwatches or fitness trackers. I consider these types of small visualizations together under the umbrella term ``micro visualizations.'' Micro visualizations are useful in multiple visualization contexts and I have been working towards a better understanding of the complexities involved in designing and using micro visualizations. Here, I define the term micro visualization, summarize my own and other past research and design guidelines and outline several design spaces for different types of micro visualizations based on some of the work I was involved in since my PhD.

The defense took take place

  • November 30th, 2021
  • 17:00 Central European Time, 16:00 GMT, 8am Pacific Time
  • On Zoom

Jury for the Defense:

Michèle SebagPresidentResearch Director, CNRS
David AuberReporterProfessor, Université de Bordeaux
Jason DykesReporterProfessor, City, University of London
Silvia MikschReporterProfessor, Vienna University of Technology
Steven DruckerExaminerPrincipal Researcher, Microsoft Research
Tamara MunznerExaminerProfessor, University of British Columbia

Here a picture from the defense. That's me all concentrated:

And my committee and some of the guests after:

PhD Research

From roughly 2004-2009 I was working on my PhD at the University of Calgary at the Innovations in Visualization lab - which was part of the Interactions Laboratory. For the first few months I was inscribed as a Master's student before my German Diplom thesis was officially recognized as equivalent to a Canadian Master's and I could switch to the PhD program.

Collaborative Information Visualization in Co-located Environments

Information visualization research has been developing new methods to represent data and interact with graphical displays of information for more than two decades. In many disciplines, however, the size and complexity of datasets are rapidly growing. As a consequence, it is becoming increasingly necessary to join the domain expertise and data analysis skills of several people to inform decisions about the content of a dataset. While the technological possibilities for supporting teamwork are gradually evolving, several obstacles remain for designing information visualizations that can support team members as they collaboratively explore and analyze information. In this dissertation, I examine this problem by identifying and addressing some of the open issues in the design of information visualizations that support small teams of experts in their joint data analysis activities.

Within the general area of collaborative visualization, this research is scoped to focus on a subset of collaborative visualization scenarios that occur in co-located synchronous work environments; where small groups of collaborators share the same physical workspace such as a large digital table or wall display. Specifically, it contributes to a richer understanding of how groups work with each other and with information visualizations in phases of joint and parallel work.

In this dissertation, I show that team members tend to prefer working in parallel on specific types of information analysis tasks and more closely together on others. During phases of parallel work, individual team members take on unique approaches to data analysis. Thus, for the design of collaborative analysis systems, the support of unique analysis approaches and a flexible temporal flow of activities—both in the temporal sequence and co-occurrence of work styles in groups—need to be considered. In addition, the three case studies presented in this dissertation examine possibilities of how this flexibility can be supported. These case studies shed light on issues of parallel and joint work with multiple views in a collaborative system, parallel and joint work with a single shared visualization, as well as awareness support during parallel work. In summary, this dissertation contributes to the evolving understanding of collaborative work practices around information visualizations and introduces several specific design considerations.

Thesis Document:
The defense took take place

  • November 20th, 2009
  • ICT building, University of Calgary

The official graduation documents date from the summer of 2010 - which is why you might see my PhD date listed sometimes as 2009 and sometimes as 2010 depending on which date seems more relevant.

Jury for the Defense:

Sheelagh CarpdendalePhD Supervisor, University of Calgary
Saul GreenbergUniversity of Calgary
Amy Ashurst GoochUniversity of Victoria
Patrick Shiao Tsong FengUniversity of Calgary
Colin WareUniversity of New Hampshire