Introduction to Data Visualization

Presenter: Vetria L. Byrd, Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Date: March 1, 2017




This informative seminar is intended to be the first of three seminars. It will provide an overview of data visualization by exploring the underlying principles of visualization and set the stage for other introductory data visualization seminars. The goal of the seminar is to equip participants with a summary of visualization capabilities that will ultimately help them to identify their data visualization needs and the tools available to visualize their data. Topics will include an overview of the visualization process, visualization applications, a review of different types of visualization tools for different types of data and a review of the different areas of data visualization (info vis, sci vis, bio vis, geo vis, cyber security vis).

Target audience: Beginners and curious about what visualization is.

Expected outcomes: Participants will understand the purpose of visualization is insight, will be able to recognize what area their data falls into (info vis, sci vis, etc.) and will be aware of the different types of visualization tools available to them.

Prerequisites: No prior knowledge of visualization required?

User base: Applicable to all domains with data visualization needs

Use cases: Will walk through the data visualization process, provide examples of different types of visualizations for each of the visualization areas: Info vis, SciVis, BioVis, GeoVis, Cyber Security Vis.

Training and reference materials: Will provide additional resources for commonly used visualization tools used in each area.


Dr. Vetria Byrd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology in the Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Byrd is the founder and organizer of the biennial Broadening Participation in Visualization (BPViz) Workshop co-funded by The Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research/Coalition to Diversify Computing (CRA-W/CDC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Byrd has given numerous invited talks and workshops on visualization including: XSEDE14 plenary address (featured in HPC Wire online magazine), and an invited presentation at The Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Byrd works with XSEDE to provide on campus training on scientific visualization. She was the Principal Investigator for the highly competitive NSF VisREU Site: Research Experience for Undergraduates in Collaborative Data Visualization Applications for 2014/2015 at Clemson University. Dr. Byrd continues to mentor VisREU research fellows as well as students at Purdue University. Dr. Byrd received her graduate and undergraduate degrees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in Birmingham, Alabama which include: Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences, Master’s degrees in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Dr. Byrd’s research interests include: data visualization, high performance visualization, big data, uncertainty visualization, collaborative visualization, broadening participation and inclusion.