Coast to Coast Seminar Series - Spring 2013

Coast to Coast Seminar Series

The Coast to Coast (C2C) Seminar is an hour-long presentation given on a scientific topic and is made accessible to audiences at a number of remote sites across Canada through collaboration technology. C2C Seminars are held every two weeks throughout the academic year. This semester's theme is "From Data to Knowledge to Action".

The Coast to Coast Seminar Series Poster can be downloaded here


January 15

Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale
Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary

Modern society demands that people manage, communicate, and interact with digital information at an ever-increasing pace. Even though most people want to be informed, all this information is frequently experienced as stress. It is not the information itself that is the problem, but the manner in which we are bombarded with information in forms that are often hard to interpret. How then can we produce interactive visualizations of digital data in a manner that enhances people's cognitive abilities? Ideally, these visualizations would not only present information visually and aesthetically, but provide people with capabilities for manipulating and exploring this information. A good visualization provokes interpretation, exploration and appreciation, inviting direct interaction that reveals the data.

This sets the stage for my over-arching research goal - to design, develop, and evaluate interactive visualizations so that they support the everyday practices of how people view, represent, manage, and interact with information. To this end, I have followed four intertwined themes: process, presentation, representation, and interaction. My research process convolves art, science, and design practices, and has become a topic of research in itself. Presentation is the act of displaying visuals, emphasizing and organizing areas of interest. Representation is development of accurate and revealing data-to-visual mappings. And interaction is the key to exploration and manipulation capabilities that can make information comprehension viable. In this talk, I will show how each theme is opening up to indicate exciting new directions and discuss how the currently shifting information climate is opening up new opportunities.


About the Speaker:

Sheelagh Carpendale is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Calgary where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization and NSERC/AITF/SMART Technologies Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies. She leads the Innovations in Visualization (InnoVis) Research Group and has initiated the new interdisciplinary graduate- level specialization, Computational Media Design. Her research on information visualization, large interactive displays, and new media draws on her dual background in Computer Science (BSc. and Ph.D. Simon Fraser University) and Visual Arts (Sheridan College, School of Design and Emily Carr, College of Art). She has just been awarded a NSERC STEACIE Memorial Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding research. She is an internationally renowned leader in both information visualization and multi-touch tabletop interaction and has recently served in such roles as Papers, Program, or Conference Chair for IEEE InfoVis, and ACM Tabletop and has received both the IEEE and ACM recognition of service awards.

February 26

Dr. Sara Diamond
OCAD University

This talk underscores the importance of design methods and practices in approaching challenges in the representation of big data. The talk will first reference debates regarding the role and nature of aesthetics and the importance of these to perception and insight, providing illustrations of different aesthetic approaches, at times to the same data set. It will further the discussion of insight by considering ways to work with users and data sets that draw from different practices within design. Fundamentally, design and designers need to be part of the visual analytics equation.


About the Speaker:
Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada's "university of the imagination". She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering from the University of East London, a Masters in Digital Media theory from the University of Arts  London and Honours Bachelors of Arts in History and Communications from Simon Fraser University. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists. While retaining OCAD University's traditional strengths in art and design, Diamond has guided the university in becoming a leader in digital media, design research and curriculum through the Digital Futures Initiative, new research in Inclusive Design, health and design, as well as in sustainable technologies and design. She also played a leading role in OCAD University's establishment of the unique Aboriginal Visual Culture Program. These initiatives have built strong partnerships for OCAD University with science, business and communities, in Ontario and abroad.

She is a data visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist and designer. She developed, a social media software and performance and responsive fashion environment. Diamond is founding Chair of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre and current co-chair (with RBC). She is co-principal investigator on the Centre for Information Visualization/Data Driven Design, an OCAD U/York University major initiative and sits on the board of the National Centre of Excellence GRAND and is the holder of funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Diamond continues to write and lecture on the subjects of digital media history and practice, visual analytics, strategic foresight; mobility and design strategy for peer-reviewed journals and acts as a reviewer and evaluator for IEEE and ACM conferences and journals; SSHRC, CFI and the Canada Research Chair programs. Her artwork is held by prestigious collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, NYC and the National Gallery of Canada.

March 12

Dr. Stan Matwin
Dalhousie University

In this talk, we will review some of the recent applied text mining work at Dalhousie. We will argue the need for a text representation that would be more linguistically informed than the standard vector model. We will present one such proposal, in which a co-occurrence model takes into account the distribution of words throughout the corpus. We will then show how this representation is successfully applied in the task of categorizing dream descriptions by their emotional valuation (joint work with J. De Koninck and A. Razavi, Ottawa). We will round up the talk with our experience with some of the other text mining techniques used in the analysis of the twitter traffic in the 2012 presidential elections in France and in the US (joint work with LIRMM, France).


About the Speaker:
Stan Matwin is a Professor and Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie University, and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Ottawa (on leave). Fellow of ECCAI and CAIAC and an Ontario Champion of Innovation. Internationally recognized for his work in text mining and in applications of Machine Learning, member of Editorial Boards of the leading journals in Machine Learning and Data Mining. Stan Matwin is one of the founders of Distil Interactive Inc. and Devera Logic Inc., and has significant experience and interest in innovation and technology transfer.

March 26

Dr. Brian Fisher
School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

This talk explores the larger implications of visual analytics-- "the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces"-- for cognitive science and informatics. I will argue that the methods that will advance this new science go beyond those of natural science and engineering, and will require researchers to create a new translational cognitive science of analytic systems. We will begin by building field study methods that characterize human and computational cognitive capabilities as they are used for decision-making in a range of situations. Because findings from field methods do not generalize well, we must then investigate these proposed capabilities in the laboratory.

Finally, we must build mathematical and computational theories that predict the impact of changes in technology on cognitive processes in technology-rich environments. These methods will only suffice until processing capacity reduces the lag between an analyst's query and a graphical response to a certain level. When the response is generated at the same pace as the sequence of cognitive operations that the analyst performs, human and computational processes become "close coupled". At this point the distinction between processes originating from the mind of the analyst (i.e. a mental representation) versus the computer (i.e. a visualization) become impossible to determine, and the subsystems we will study will seamlessly incorporate natural and artificial processes.


About the Speaker:
I have built upon my early training in the experimental investigation of human cognitive processes to develop a program of translational research bridging cognitive science and the design of interactive visualization systems. My goal is to advance new theories and research methods for understanding how highly interactive visual information systems can support “close-coupling” of human and computational processes for improved performance in cognitive tasks such as situation analysis, decision-making, creativity, and collaboration in situations ranging from emergency management to aircraft safety, computer-aided design, security administration, and computer-supported learning.

Central to all of these projects is the emerging cognitive systems science that advances current research on cognitive style, expert cognition and skilled perceptuomotor performance to adapt information technology to individual capabilities. Together with field research and “pair analytics” translational methods, this core of laboratory research provides a knowledge-based approach to the design and customization of information systems and their integration in organizational processes.



Sessions are held at 11:30 PDT, 12:30 MDT, 13:30 CDT, 14:30 EDT, 15:30 ADT, 16:30 NDT

** Note that Saskatchewan is in the Central Time Zone and doesn’t observe daylight saving time except in Lloydminster which uses Mountain Time. Please verify the seminar time with the organizer if you’re in Saskatchewan. **


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