Fall 2012


Fridays 12-1pm LSRC D106

Lunch is served

September 7 – New Visualization Initiatives at Duke

Angela Zoss (Duke Data & GIS Services, Research Computing)
Eric Monson (Duke CS, VTG)

We will kick off this semester's Visualization Friday Forum series by introducing you to Angela Zoss, the new Data Visualization Coordinator in the Duke Library's Data & GIS Services and Research Computing. She will tell you a bit about her background, her new position, and some new resources at Duke for data visualization and training.

• Video of the talk

September 14 – Visualizing Change: A Spatial Chronology of San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples

Caroline Bruzelius (Duke Art History & Wired!)
Umberto Plaja (Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY)

This project started in 2009 as a collaboration between a Duke faculty member and a Duke undergraduate, Umberto Plaja.  Our goal is to explain the evolution of a medieval structure over 1000 years of its history, from Early Christian basilica to beautiful Gothic church.  Because parts were added and subtracted around an original nucleus, the history of the site is difficult and complicated to explain to visitors.  Our model aims to help explain through a series of visualizations the sequence of transformations of this important space.

• Video of the talk

September 21 – Catching Neutrinos in the DiVE

Kate Scholberg (Duke Physics)

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that interact with matter only very rarely, and require vast underground detectors to observe.  This talk will describe visualization of neutrinos interacting inside a huge water detector in Japan called Super-Kamiokande.

• Video of the talk

September 28 – Gigapixel imaging and the AWARE camera

Steve Feller (Duke DISP)

Gigapixel imaging represents a fundamental shift in photography. For the first time in history, systems such as the AWARE class cameras being developed by the Duke Imaging and Spectroscopy Program (DISP) are able to capture significantly more pixels than a human can reasonably consume. This talk will provide an overview of the AWARE class of cameras currently being developed and discuss how this is transforming the challenge of photography from scene selection and image capture to data management.

• Video of the talk

October 5 – Visualizing the Content and Context of Intellectual Property Law

Eric Monson (Duke VTG)

One of the challenges of introducing technology and visualization into a research project is figuring out how to fit the techniques to the scholarship, rather than the other way around. Questions should drive the tool development, and the technology can inspire and allow new questions to be asked that may have never been considered before. I will present some details of the techniques and technologies I have recently been using to develop two prototype web-based text visualization tools driven by Katherine de Vos Devine's research into the rhetoric of fashion and intellectual property.

(problem with the video: no audio recorded)

October 12 – Virtual Embodiment: Implications and applications of self-avatars in immersive virtual environments

Tabitha Peck (Duke CS)
David Borland (RENCI)

Virtual embodiment is an emerging area of virtual-reality research in which the participant in an immersive virtual environment is presented with a co-located virtual representation of a body.  Viewing this self-avatar from a first-person perspective display elicits in the participant the illusion that the virtual body is in fact their own body.  We provide an introduction to virtual-embodiment research, a brief overview of the work we were involved with in this area during our recent two-year stay with Mel Slater's lab at the University of Barcelona, and discuss potential applications and implications of this research.

(problem with the video: no audio recorded)

October 19 – Fall Break

No talk scheduled


October 26 – Amira and Avizo: From 3D Imaging to Data Analysis and Modeling

Shawn Zhang, MD (VSG3D)

I will talk about the capabilities of Avizo and Amira for visualization and analysis in an imaging or simulation pipeline. This talk is paired with the Viz-day workshop we are holding at the RENCI rooms in Old Telecom.

(requested no distribution of video)

November 2 – Visualizing the Tree of Life

Karen Cranston (Duke Biology)

Inferring the evolutionary history of all life is one of the great challenges in biology, and visualizing the tree of life is nearly as difficult constructing it. This talk explores recent approaches to evolutionary tree visualization and discusses the reasons why large-scale phylogeny visualization continues to pose such a challenge.

• Video of the talk

November 9 – On the use of Visualization, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality techniques for 3D Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Jean Marie Normand (Assistant Professor, CERMA, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France)

In this talk I will present the work we are doing at the CERMA laboratory where we focus on the relations between urban Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and digital images. These relations are studied through both computer vision (e.g. AR) and computer graphics (VR and visualization).

• Video of the talk

November 16 – Approaches to Visualization of Trade Networks

Ryan Denniston (Duke Data & GIS)

Communication of results to policymakers can often hampered by visualizations that are unclear or ineffective in communicating a central point.  This talk will present a variety of visualizations that attempt to capture patterns found in trade relations and in particular will evaluate the tradeoff between coverage of the data and complexity of the presentation.  Excel- and ArcGIS alternatives will be the focus, and some attention will be devoted to the sharing of visualizations.

• Video of the talk

November 23 – Thanksgiving Break

No talk scheduled


November 30 – Visualizing Biennial History

Katherine Jentleson (Duke Art History)

As a PhD student in the Art, Art History and Visual Studies Department at Duke, my approach to the history of American art combines traditional methodologies from my discipline with quantitative and spatial approaches from Sociology and Computer Science. In this talk I will focus on a relational database I am building with Eric Monson that digitizes and archives certain aspects of the history of the Whitney Biennial , an important exhibition that has been setting the agenda for the American art world for nearly a century. In addition to presenting my Tableau visualizations of the demographics of biennial rosters over time, I hope this presentation will be an opportunity to talk about collaboration between humanists and technologists.

(problem with video: audio from TV show Cops overlaid on top of authentic audio)

December 7 – Seeing Beyond the Visible: Using remote sensing data to understand the historic environment

Rebecca Bennett (Duke Wired!)

Prospection for archaeological features within a landscape is of primary importance to the study and conservation of the historic environment, yet traditional methods such as aerial photography often result in knowledge clusters and gaps, belying the palimpsest of human activity across the centuries. This lecture will discuss the novel application of remote sensing techniques that have become standard tools for the environmental sciences over the past 30 years such as airborne laser scanning and hyperspectral imaging, to archaeological landscape research. What benefits do these data bring for our understanding and what are the pitfalls as we apply sensors and data designed for environmental survey to entirely new challenges?

• Video of the talk

For more information, please contact Eric Monson or Angela Zoss.  

The Visualization Friday Forum is sponsored by: