Interactive Visual Discovery in Temporal Event Sequences...Talk by Ben Shneiderman



Interactive Visual Discovery in Temporal Event Sequences: Electronic Health Records and Other Applications

PLEASE NOTE: Room change to ALRD 105 (1822 East Mall).

Ben will also be presenting on another topic on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 3:30pm.

Host: Tamara Munzner (UBC Computer Science)

Speaker: Professor Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland--College Park


Effective medical care depends on well-designed user interfaces that enable clinicians and medical researchers to apply novel strategies in information visualization to explore Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in systematic yet flexible ways, so as to derive insights and make discoveries.

This talk reviews our decade of research on visualizing and exploring temporal event sequences. I begin with LifeLines ( for viewing a single patient history and then show LifeLines2 ( to view compact summaries of thousands of patient histories represented as time-stamped events, such as strokes, vaccinations, or admission to an emergency room. Our current work on EventFlow (, supported by Oracle Health Sciences, also supports interval events such as medication episodes or long hospitalizations. Demonstrations cover visual interfaces to support clinicians in making treatment decisions and hospital quality control researchers who study treatment patterns that lead to successful outcomes.


Ben Shneiderman ( is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory ( at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His contributions include the direct manipulation concept, clickable web-link, touchscreen keyboards, dynamic query sliders for Spotfire, development of treemaps, innovative network visualization strategies for NodeXL, and temporal event sequence analysis for electronic health records.

Ben is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th ed., 2010) ( With Stu Card and Jock Mackinlay, he co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999). His book Leonardo’s Laptop appeared in October 2002 (MIT Press) and won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution. His latest book, with Derek Hansen and Marc Smith, is Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL (, 2010).

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