533C Guidelines

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Your presentations on the readings will be on Mondays. Most weeks there will be two people independently presenting, and each person should plan to take around 30 minutes. After the 60 minutes of presentations, there will be a 30 minute class discussion. All students should have done the readings and should contribute to this discussion (15% of your evaluation depends on your level of class participation in these discussion).

The split of the readings into two related groups is below, it is up to the two students to determine which person does which half.

You should prepare slides to accompany your talk. You may use the software platform of your choice to present these slides, as long as it's also possible to provide a cross-platform readable version of your talk for the course web site: for instance, HTML+images, or PDF. PowerPoint is fine, it can generate a web page of HTML+images. You should send me the URL for your slides by Monday night at 10pm on the day of your presentation. Change as of 1/27: you do not need to generate the web page from your PowerPoint, it's easier to do that on my machine. (see Delivery).

If you use images, or whole slides, made by other people, you must credit the source (please do this on each slide, as needed). If you do not bring a laptop yourself, you may use my laptop to present. In this case, you must get me the slides by 10am on Monday (see Delivery). If both students are using the laptop, they must agree on what operating system they will use: Linux or Windows.

For advice on giving technical talks, see

Readings Split

Week 2
A) Ware Chap 5, Stevens
B) Ware Chap 6
Week 3
A) SMC Chap 1, Card/Mackinlay
B) Shneiderman, Mackinlay, Stolte et al
Week 4
A) Trellis, VisDB
B) Parallel Coordinates, Table Lens
Week 5
A) Ware Chap 3, Brewer
B) Ware Chap 4, Rogowitz
Week 6
A) Ware Chap 8
B) Wise, van Wijk, Wattenberg
Week 7
A) user-centered system design Chap 0-5
B) Tufte Chap 1-3
C) Tufte Chap 4-6
Week 8
A) Tufte Chap 10
B) Robertson, Ahlberg
C) Bier, Chuah
Week 9
A) Yee, Mackinlay
B) Bederson, Furnas, Igarashi
Week 11
A) Leung
B) Lamping
C) Munzner
Week 12
A) Agrawala
B) Stolte
C) Chuah, Plaisant


Dates You may do the projects individually or in teams of 2 or 3. The total amount of work done must be commensurate with the size of the group.


The language and platform for your project is your choice.

In the first several weeks of the course, I will include at the end of the main lecture a section going into detail on one or two software packages and toolkits that you might use to build your final project. Some of these packages are now listed in the Software Resources page, a list that will gradually expand over the first five weeks of the course as I present the packages in class.


Meet with me to discuss your project at least once before submitting a proposal!

You're submitting a proposal, not a specification - it's natural that your plans will change somewhat as you refine your ideas. But your proposal should be based on an idea that we've discussed and I've approved. When you come talk to me about your proposal, I'll give you some pointers to background reading in the area of your interest.

I advise that you start by thinking about what you want your software to do, and only then think about how you would implement it (languages, platforms, etc). The key is to find some domain and task that both interests you and presents an opportunity for infovis. That is, there is some task where a human needs to understand the structure of a large dataset. You're definitely welcome to link the infovis project to another class or research project. You may also build on existing software, but your project should include some implementation work of your own.

I do not advise that you start by deciding on a language, and then look around for some task that you might be able to do in that language - that's backwards, and is likely to stifle your creativity

Proposal format: your writeup should be a page or two and include:

One proposal per project (whether it is individual or team) is due on February 13th. Your proposal should be in the form of a web page, with both text and images. See Delivery for how to submit your proposal by sending me email with a URL.


The class sessions on March 17 and March 19 will be used for project update presentations. More details on exact schedule and format will be posted after the proposals are submitted.

Final Presentations/Reports

You will present the results of your project with both a presentation and a written report. The presentation will occur during the final exam slot for this course, and the report is also due at that time. The reports should be the equivalent of about 8-10 pages, and should include screen snapshots of your running software. Showing live demos of your software in action is encouraged in the final presentation. If you are giving a demo, be sure to practice in advance so that you don't run over your time slot! Also remember that the audience has seen your project update, so you don't need to repeat all of that. Focus more on your results. Single projects: 13 minutes. Group projects: 15 minutes.

In contrast, your final report should be a standalone document that fully describes your project. Do not assume the reader has seen your original proposal.

Demos: sign up via email for demo slot on Wed 4/30. 30 minutes. 10am-6pm

Projects From Other Courses

There are several previous infovis courses that have project components, browsing through the final reports may help you think about what you might like to do, and what scope is realistic for a course project.


Do not send me large files via email. You should post your course-related materials (cross-platform slide archives, slides, proposals, final project reports) on your personal web site, and send me the URL. If you don't already have a personal site, see the
webpage setup section of the CS Dept FAQ.

I will then upload your work to the course web site, so that it is archivally available.

Tamara Munzner
Last modified: Wed Apr 9 12:16:10 PDT 2003