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VASS 2010


SEPTEMBER 16th - 24th

Image courtesy of PNNL

As part of the UKVAC or United Kingdom Visual Analytics Consortium, Middlesex University is hosting VASS 2010, the Visual Analytics Summer School (camp) at their Hendon campus in London. This residential event is sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security via the US National Visualization and Analytics Centre (NVAC) and is organised in collaboration with the UK Home Office and Ministry of Defence.

Programme items include... 


Dr. Joseph Kielman Science Advisor, S&T Directorate, and Lead, Basic/Futures Research, CCI Division, DHS, US
Dr. Dario Leslie Office for Security and Counter Terrorism and Ministry of Defence, UK
Dr. Joe Parry Head of Research, i2, Cambridge, UK


Dr. Simon Attfield Snr. Lecturer, Middlesex University
'Perspectives on Sensemaking'

Prof. Chris Hankin Director of Institute for Security Science and Technology, Imperial College London, UK
'Abstraction from very large datasets'

Prof. Fred Roberts Rutgers University and Director of CCICADA 
'Data Sciences Challenges'
'Sequential Inspection'

Dr. Jonathan Roberts Snr. Lecturer, Bangor Unversity, UK
'Multiple Coordinated Visualisations

Prof. William Wong Head of IDC, Middlesex University, UK
'Visual Analytics'
'Representation Design'

Dr. Kai Xu Snr. Lecturer, Middlesex University, UK
'Graph/Network Visualisation'
'Visual Perception

Hands-on Tutorials

Dr. Simon Attfield Snr. Lecturer, Middlesex University
'Evolving Hypotheses with Email Visualisation'

Prof. Ann Blandford Director of UCL Interaction Center, UCL, UK
'Situated Evaluation of Visual Analytics Systems'

Dr. Simon Buckingham Shum, Snr Lecturer, Open University, UK.
'Visual Sensemaking for Contested Intelligence (Compendium and Cohere)'  

Dr. Jason Dykes Snr. Lecturer, City University, UK
'Exploring Design Decisions for Effective Information Visualization using HiDE'

Prof. David Ebert  Purdue University, and Director of VACCINE, US. & Dr Ross Maciejewski Visiting Professor, Purdue University and VACCINE, US
'From Foundations to Applications of Visual Analytics'

Mark Fleet Trainer, i2, Cambridge, UK
'Analyst Notebook

Dr. Richard May Director of NVAC, US 
'In-Spire document analysis'

Michelle Smith Project Manager, A E Solutions (BI) Ltd
'Biometric design exercise'

Michelle Smith Project Manager, A E Solutions (BI) Ltd
'Authority Miner'

Fun/social stuff

Summer School dinner at Hendon Hall (16th Century) - no additional charge
treasure hunt in central london
Film nite
Pub nite

VASS 2010 follows in the tradition of the Summer Camp held in 2008 at the US NVAC, National Visualization and Analytics Center, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. As part of a series of events in September this year to mark the foundation of the UKVAC, VASS 2010 will be hosted by Middlesex University, in London, UK.

What is Visual Analytics?
Our ability to create data extends far beyond our ability to use it effectively. Through the use of technology we are capturing and storing vast amounts of information describing important aspects of our worlds, and yet our capacity to use this information effectively in timely analysis and decision making is severely limited. Areas in which this presents a problem include (but are not limited to) security, crime, emergency management, medicine and corporate investigations. Visual analytics is a multidisciplinary field aimed at addressing this problem. At its heart lies the idea of interactive visualisations allowing users to seamlessly explore and derive insight from complex datasets to address an operational problem at hand.

It includes:

  • The study of human analytical reasoning involved in making sense of data, often collaboratively, to support conclusions and coordinated action.
  • The design and development of visual representations and interactive technologies necessary to support insight by exploiting our natural ability to identify trends and anomalies in visually represented information;
  • Data representations and transformations necessary to convert data into useful forms, including rudimentary inferences, to enable the natural application of higher-order human reasoning processes.

To date research has been conducted in all of these areas. The challenge for visual analytics is to engage with and harness these perspectives in the production of technological tools which integrate and add value into the real data analysis problems that we face. 

Reference:  James J Thomas & Kristin A Cook (2006) Visual Viewpoints: A visual Analytics Agenda, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 26(1), pp.10-13.

Over a seven day programme delegates will learn about visual analytic problems, techniques and solutions from leading international experts in the field. Included in the syllabus are: analytical reasoning; the design of interactive visualisations; data representations and transformations; perspectives on software engineering and programming for rapid visualisation. The aim of the summer school is to provide a multidisciplinary grounding on this emerging and important area. Teaching will be by classroom delivery, discussion and hands-on experience with visual analytic tools.      

Attendance is open to participants from industry, government and post-graduate students with an interest in the area. Programming is not a requirement although a high level of IT literacy is essential.

Thanks to support from the DHS we are able to charge nominal fees:

    £150 (standard fee)
    £100 (student fee).

We will also ask registrants to submit a short CV/Bio and a short (~500 word) outline of their interest in Visual Analytics (format available at registration) for possible discussion at the event. 

Delegates will receive university accommodation for a maximum of 10 nights (Sept. 15th- 24th), lunch and refreshments on teaching days (16th-17th, 20th-25th), and a hosted summer school dinner and social outing.

** How to register **
Registration for this event is now closed.

Travel, maps and directions

To be announced
Dr. Simon Attfield & Prof. William Wong, Interaction Design Centre, School of Engineering and Information Sciences, Middlesex University, The Burroughs Hendon, London, NW4 4BT.

Contact email: s.attfield - at - mdx.ac.uk.

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