Course Title
An Introduction to Information Visualization Techniques for Exploring Large Databases
Instructor: Jing Yang (contact info:, 704 6878375,      

Meeting time: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00pm - 6:15pm, Woodward hall 136, Aug 21 - Dec06, 2006

**For old slides of this course in 2005, please click here
**For a quick overview of contents of this course, please click here

Course Description
Large databases widely exist in applications such as financial analysis, homeland security, digital libraries and bioinformatics. Given the difficulties of searching and analyzing large databases, information visualization techniques, which enable users to make decision on databases using not only computational resources, but also their domain knowledge, start to play a more and more important role in exploring large databases. This course will give an introduction to information visualization techniques for exploring large databases. The following contents will be covered in this course:
1.      Basic multivariate, tree, and graph visualization techniques.
2.      Basic interaction techniques, such as selection, distortion, and animation.
3.      Theory and design principles behind those techniques, as well as evaluations.  

4.      Recent approaches to exploring large, high-dimensional databases, such as highly-compacted visualization techniques and multi-resolution techniques.
5.      Examples of information visualization applications and systems, such as bio-information visualization, document visualization and multimedia library visualization.
6.      Related contents that are of interest to the students.
By taking this course, the students will

1.      Learn basic visualization and interaction techniques in the information visualization fields, as well as basic approaches to visually exploring large databases.
2.      Become familiar with literature search. Rather than receiving all reading materials from the teacher, the students will be guided to find some reading materials by themselves.
Requirements: The students are required to read papers on a regular basis and write critiques on them. Besides regular reading, the students will be required to implement one or two information visualization prototypes to practice what they learn in class. The students are not required to know OpenGL before they take this course since all the basic drawing elements will be provided to them (they can do the projects from scratch though). They are also required to give some in-class presentations to present papers and projects. There will be no exams or quizzes in this course. Grades will be given according to the students' performance on critiques, projects, presentations, and in-class participation. 
Prerequisite: an undergraduate or graduate course in graphics. Students without graphics background are also welcomed.