Moving Beyond Pretty Pictures
Science, engineering, and medicine are increasingly data- driven and multidisciplinary. Advances in computational modeling, imaging, and simulation allow researchers in these fields to build and test models of increasingly complex phenomena and thus to generate unprecedented amounts of data, creating the need to make corresponding progress in our ability to understand and explore large amounts of data and information arising from multiple sources. In fact, to effectively understand and make use of the explosion of data and information being produced is one of the greatest scientific challenges of the 21st Century.
We use our visual systems to detect patterns, reduce and refine large data streams, facilitate decision making, and interpret and associate meaning to data. Thus, while visualization scientists get attention mostly for the compelling, colorful images they create, visual data analysis takes us far beyond "pretty pictures". Indeed, visual data analysis is an integral part of the scientific discovery system and is fundamental to our ability to interpret and understand complex phenomena.
In this talk I will first present examples of how visual data analysis is currently furthering discovery in science, engineering, and medicine, and then discuss future research opportunities and challenges.
Professor Johnson directs the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah where he is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Physics and Bioengineering. His research interests are in the areas of scientific computing and scientific visualization. Dr. Johnson founded the SCI research group in 1992, which has since grown to become the SCI Institute employing over 115 faculty, staff and students. Professor Johnson serves on several international journal editorial boards, as well as on advisory boards to several national research centers. Professor Johnson has received several awards, including the the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow (PFF) award from President Clinton in 1995 and the Governor's Medal for Science and Technology from Governor Michael Leavitt in 1999. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Professor Award from the University of Utah. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and in 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).