Data visualisation – a series of lunchtime talks

Data visualisation - eyeOn Thursdays of Hilary term 2015, the Research Support team will be hosting a new series of lunchtime talks about data visualisation.

This series of hour-long talks is designed to provide an accessible overview of a series of data visualisation tools and projects. Join us to discuss your own methods and problems and to hear how others are handling visualisation both in Oxford and outside.

The talks will be held at IT Services in the 13 Banbury Road building, beginning at 12:30pm and concluding at 1:30pm. The series is co-hosted by the IT Learning Programme.

Researchers working with data may also be interested in another Research Support team talk series – Things to do with Data.

Trinity Term 2015 Programme

7th May

Data visualisation: Analysis with Mathematica (click to book)

Speaker : Robert Cook of Wolfram

Mathematica is Wolfram’s flagship product – with the aim to apply knowledge and computation everywhere.  In this introductory session you will be exposed to a host of Mathematica’s visualisation functions (dealing with data sets, mathematical functions, and graphic primitives) and learn how to quickly construct dynamic interactive visuals.  The talk will also cover a variety of methods for data import/export, methods for interacting with other programming languages and gain a basic understanding of using Mathematica for machine learning.

 Key topics:

  • Making plots in multiple dimensions
  • Making interactive visuals
  • Importing local and web data
  • Interacting with other platforms
  • Mathematica and Machine learning

14th May

 Data Visualisation: Poetry Visualization on the Web (click to book)

Speakers: Alfie Abdul-Rahman and Martin Wynne

Poem Viewer is the result of the International Digging into Data Challenge carried out by a team comprising computer scientists, a linguist from the University of Oxford, and poets and academics from the University of Utah. In this talk, we will demonstrate how we sketched out initial results using visualization techniques, and how we carried out the evaluation process at the different stages of the application development. Poem Viewer has provides scholars with a tool to examine 26 different poetic attributes with the ability to make “moment-by-moment choices” as they explore the visualizations. Using a scientific jargon, scholars can now perform “multivariate data analysis” during close reading.

Key topics:

  • Visualization,
  • poetry,
  • linguistics,
  • phonetics,
  • data visualization

28th May

Data Visualisation: Image processing for 3D anatomical models of the heart. (click to book)

Speaker: Ramón Casero Cañas

Higher resolution imaging systems are providing more detail about the three-dimensional anatomy of the heart. However, this also creates challenges. In this talk, we will have a look at two quite different cases: Visualizing 3D structures of interest from high resolution MRI, and reconstructing a 3D anatomy from a stack of 2D histology slices.

Key Topics:

  • Image processing,
  • cardiac models,
  • MRI, histology,
  • anatomy

4th June

Data Visualisation: Processing: What it is and what it can do for you. (click to book)

Speaker: Greg McInerny

Processing ( is a java based environment with a user base across the visualisation, electronic arts and design communities. This tutorial will show you how to get started in Processing; from creating your first sketch to creating an interactive visualisation. We will also discuss how Processing can fit into your work and look at some inspiring examples.

Key Topics:

  •   What processing is and what it can do for you.
  •   Range of functionality, from 2d visualisations to 3d animations.
  •   What processing doesn’t do.
  •   How to get started and how to get inspired.

11th June

Data Visualisation: Unity3d (click to book)

Speaker: Keegan Neave

Unity is widely known as a games engine allowing small and large studios to easily develop games, this talk will show you some of the techniques that can be used to use the engine for data visualization. Keegan Neave works with the Satellite Applications Catapult, Based in Harwell, near Didcot. The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in seven specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created to foster growth across the economy through the exploitation of space. We help organisations make use of and benefit from satellite technologies, and bring together multi-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and solutions in an open innovation environment.

Key Topics:

  • Satellite data,
  • Visualisation in Unity,
  • Maritime data visualisation.

18th June

Data Visualisation: MAPP – Mapping and data visualisation for human rights and beyond (click to book)

Speaker: Francesco Sebregondi

MAPP is a tool to map complex events – such as armed conflicts, protests, or humanitarian crises – as they unfold. Working as an aggregator of data in different media formats, as well as a powerful data visualisation platform, MAPP enables its users to make sense out of diffused and partial bits of information. Mainly developed as a front-end visualisation tool, MAPP provides access not only to the granular details of each singular event in a given dataset, but also, through interactive graphs and charts, it allows for temporal and spatial trends to be revealed. A participatory tool, currently at proof of concept stage, MAPP is being developed by the research cluster Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths, University of London), in partnership with Amnesty International.

Key topics

  •  Why MAPP? A brief derived from real-world human rights investigations
  •  The architecture of the tool: data hosting and editing, visualisation platform, collaboration
  •  Using the tool: demo through an interactive cartography of the latest conflict in Gaza
  •  Extending the tool: open discussion about future development and use cases in the field of research/practice of the audience

Hilary Term 2015 Programme

29th January, 2015 (week 2) – Data visualisation: in Blender
This session will look at case studies of academic use of 3D modelling tool Blender as a means of visualising research data.
Further details and booking

5th February, 2015 (week 3) – Data visualisation: Digital mapmaking using geographic information systems (GIS)
This session will look at what GIS is and what it can do for you.
Further details and booking

19th February, 2015 (week 5) – Data visualisation: visualising network data
This talk will discuss the use of software tools Gephi and NodeXL as a means of visualising network data.
Further details and booking

26th February, 2015 (week 6) – Data visualisation: visual analytics at NATO
Margaret Varga, chairman of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) Research Task Group on visual analytics, talks about new approaches to data visualisation.
Further details and booking

5th March, 2015 (week 7) – Data visualisation: data visualisation in Javascript
This talk will focus on practical examples of the use of Javascript for in-browser data visualisation.
Further details and booking

12th March, 2015 (week 8) – Data visualisation: visual vignettes: examples of R graphics in demography

This talk will present a series of vignettes on using R graphics in population research. The focus will be on the flexibility of the R graphics framework including its ability to deal with novel demands that arise both during data exploration and in result communication.
Further details and booking

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