Speakers - VisCHI | Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Dr. Rüdiger Westermann, Technical University Munich

Monday, November 25, 2019 
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Scientific Visualization – Recent Trends and Applications 

Abstract: Scientific Visualization is about extracting and visually conveying the information that is contained in space-time fields, i.e. quantities that are structured in space and evolving in time, and which usually have a physical and geometric correspondence. Research questions in scientific visualization typically come from applications where such data are generated, like medical imaging, computational fluid dynamics, biology, or meteorology. These questions can sometimes be answered by using combinations of existing visualization techniques, yet often new techniques need to be developed to address the domain-specific needs. Sometimes, it is even unknown what domain experts are looking for, requiring explorative techniques that can be used in an interactive way.

In his talk, Dr. Westermann will shed light on how typical research projects in scientific visualization are shaped. He will focus on visualization in meteorology, where his research group has been active over the last few years, in the scope of collaborative research center investigating the limits of predictability in weather forecasting. He will address the extraction and visualization of jet-stream core lines, the visually guided assessment of the robustness of clusterings of forecast ensembles, and the use of deep-learning-based upscaling for in situ visualization.

Biography: Rüdiger Westermann, born in May 1966, is a Professor for Computer Science at the Technical University Munich. He is Head Chair for Computer Graphics and Visualization.
He received his Diploma in Computer Science from the Technical University Darmstadt in 1991 and his doctoral degree "with highest honors" from the University of Dortmund in 1996. In 2001 he was appointed by the RWTH-Aachen as an Associate Professor for Scientific Visualization in the Department of Computer Science. He has been Chair of the Computer Graphics and Visualization group since 2003. In 2012, he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant worth 2.3 million Euros for research in the area of uncertainty visualization. 

His research interests span a wide range, including Computational Fabrication and 3D Printing, Uncertainty and Ensemble Visualization, Interactive Data Visualization, Deformable Body Simulation, Cutting and Collisions, Scalable Point and Particle Rendering, GPU-based Compression for Large-Scale Visualization and Multigrid Solvers for Scalable Physics-based Simulation and Computational Steering. 

Dr. Michael Sedlmair, University of Stuttgart

Monday, November 25, 2019 
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Machine Learning Meets Visualization

Abstract: Over the last few years, the field of machine learning has substantially changed the work in many different scientific disciplines, including the visualization community. Based on the experience of conducting projects at the intersection of machine learning (ML) and interactive
visualization (Vis) over the last decade, Dr. Sedlmair’s talk will reflect on, and discuss, the current relationship between these two areas. 

The talk’s structure will follow two main ideas: first, *Vis for ML* - the idea that visualization can help machine learning researchers and practitioners gain interesting insights into their models. It will specifically focus on visual parameter space analysis to illustrate how this approach can help to better understand ML models, such as dimensionality reduction, clustering, and classification models; second, he will discuss the relationship around the contribution that *ML for Vis* can make. 

While other communities seem to have been much quicker in adopting ML pipelines, ML for Vis has gained little attention but has the potential to partly or even fully automatize the visualization design process. This new approach might potentially lead to a fundamental paradigm shift in how visualization research and design will be done in the future.

Biography: Michael Sedlmair is a Junior Professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he works at the intersection of human-computer interaction, visualization, and data analysis. His specific research interests focus on information visualization, interactive machine learning, virtual and
augmented reality, as well as the research and evaluation methodologies underlying them. Previously, Michael has worked at Jacobs University Bremen, University of Vienna, University of British Columbia, University of Munich, and the BMW Group Research and Technology.

He also holds Visiting Professor positions at the Vienna University of Technology, and the Shandong University.

Dr. Oussama Metatla, University of Bristol

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Co-Designing Inclusive Technologies with and for Visually Impaired and Sighted People

Abstract: The design of assistive technologies often focuses on addressing functional accessibility issues by foregrounding the needs of a particular group of people, which can work against objectives of inclusion. It can instead lead to technological solutions that place more emphasis on what disabled individuals can and cannot do, rather than on the interplay between social and technological structures that situate their interactions, particularly with their peers.

This is important both to characterize and address barriers to inclusion. In his talk, Dr. Metatla will present investigations into barriers to inclusive interactions from a Human-Computer Interaction perspective in domains of work and education. He will discuss his approach to using co-design as a means of engaging people with and without visual impairments in joint productions of new conceptions of inclusive technologies in these domains.

He will also outline the research directions that result in the areas of multisensory and cross-modal interaction design and reflect on the extent to which findings point to a need to demarcate inclusive technologies from traditional conceptions of assistive technologies in design, development and evaluation.

Biography: Dr Oussama Metatla is EPSRC Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol. He leads a research team and is currently focusing on exploring how insights from multisensory interaction and cross-modal and embodied cognition could be used to engage people with and without sensory impairments in the design of inclusive technologies. Oussama holds a Digital Economy Early Career Fellowship. He has been published widely in international journals and conferences, receiving a number of awards for his publications, including a recent Best Paper Award at the 2019 ACM SIGCHI, the flagship publication venue for HCI research. Prior to joining the University of Bristol, Oussama received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of London in 2011, completed two postdoctoral research fellowships at Queen Mary University of London, and lectured at Oxford Brookes University.

Dr. Marco Agus, CRS4 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Extending the Limits of Large-Scale Volume Data Exploration from Nanoscale Connect-Omics to Time-Varying Simulations

Abstract: Digital acquisition and processing techniques are changing the way scientific investigations are carried out in many application domains. For example, numerical simulation methods are able to generate large-scale dynamic data, while modern electron microscopy can acquire massive image stacks representing cell morphologies. This leads to the need for specialized technologies for interactive visual exploration of these "massive volumes"; addressing different big-data challenges related to data representation, compression, and real-time rendering. 

In this talk, Dr. Agus will give an overview of his recent technical outcomes and the application to real-time visualization of neuroscience EM data and spatiotemporal exploration of rectilinear scalar volumes. 

Biography: Marco Agus is currently a researcher in the Visual Computing (ViC) group at the Center for Advanced Studies, Research, and Development in Sardinia (CRS4). He was previously a Research Engineer at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

He holds an MSc degree in Electronics Engineering (1999) and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (2004) from the University of Cagliari, Italy.  His current research interests include large model rendering of novel displays, volume visualization, haptic and surgical simulations, and connect-omics.  He has participated as key developer in industrial and research projects. His research is regularly published in books, journals and conference papers in the area of computer graphics. He serves as chair, program committee member and reviewer for a number of publications, and has presented at several international conferences.