Interactive Visualization Tools for Socio-Environmental Data

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May 23, 2013

Applications are closed as of May 23, 2013.

Detailed agenda (PDF)

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is dedicated to teaching core concepts and competencies necessary to understand, research, and address socio-environmental problems. SESYNC invites participants for a two-day short course on Interactive Visualization Tools for Socio-Environmental Data. The course will be held August 15–16 at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD.


The future of user interfaces for data analysis is in the direction of larger, higher resolution screens, which present perceptually-rich and information-abundant displays. With such designs, the flood of data can be turned into a productive knowledge. Human perceptual skills are quite remarkable and largely underutilized in current information and computing systems, and visualization tools have rapidly emerged as a potent technology to support data analysis and human decision-making.

After a general introduction of the principles of human-computer interaction and information visualization, this course will review numerous examples of successful uses of visualization technologies. The basic principle of the Visual Information Seeking Mantra – "Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand" – will be illustrated with multivariate, heterogeneous, hierarchical, or network data. Ample time will be reserved for hands-on practice.

The goals of the short course are to:

  • introduce participants to interactive information and geospatial visualization principles and tools;
  • provide hands-on experience with a variety of existing applications; and
  • prepare participants to select or design new interactive visualizations.

We seek a diverse group of participants, including faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from both the social and natural sciences. Participants should have an interest in learning about information and geospatial visualization tools and their use on socio-environmental data.


  • Dr. Catherine Plaisant – Senior Research Scientist, Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland
  • Dr. Ben Shneiderman – Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland, Founding Director of Human-Computer Interaction lab
  • Dr. Michael Mann – Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, George Washington University
  • Mr. Anupam Anand, Graduate Student and Instructor, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland


Registration fees are $250 for faculty and $100 for graduate students and postdocs. Airfare and up to three nights' hotel expenses in Annapolis are eligible for reimbursement by SESYNC if booked through our travel department and under our reimbursement guidelines.

To Apply

Please submit the online application form by May 23, 2013, for best consideration. Participants will be selected based on stated interests and to ensure diversity in career stage, disciplines, gender, and ethnicity. Applications submitted after that date will be accepted if space is still available.

Questions should be directed to

The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply

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